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Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Stick with Quintero-Kratz since Chooch's suspension is only 25 games. No sense giving a MLB guaranteed deal to anyone left and none of the guys mentioned above bat LH.

I still think Chooch's suspension has a silver lining since Chooch generally doesn't hit that well and gives him fresher legs/prevents Cholly from playing him at an insane pace in April as he has been prone to doing the past few years with his veterans (basically has gone on record as saying veterans don't really need rest really early in the season).

Chooch hit well in April. It's his 2nd worst month of his career (June is the first) and he always has been a guy who generally hits much better in the 2nd half.

Kratz isn't the emerging star BAP thinks he is and he'll never duplicate last year's numbers, but he's fine to start while Ruiz is out.

Does anyone have a sense of how close to the luxury tax the projected 2013 team salary is at this point? By my count, the Phils only have about $2 mill in wiggle room. I guess that's more than enough to bring in one of these backup catching knuckleheads, but what's the point?

I don't think there's any reason to think that, save maybe Shoppach, there's any reason any of these guys we'd pick up would be appreciably better than Kratz. In fact, they've shown they're likely to be sub replacement level, and Kratz really can't be much worse. Since he's already in house, and he's likely to be just as good, if not better, why sign another guy?

Tommy Joseph was invited to ST. Just sayin....

Go with what they have until Chooch returns.

At 21 and with zero games above AA, I think Joseph is unlikely to make the club. Valle seems possible, but I'd rather he be stashed in a room somewhere where he can avoid potential injury and continue to be decent trade bait, something the Phils need desperately.

consider that Kratz did hit .181 with three walks and 19 strikeouts over his final 76 plate appearances last season.

I spit on your small (and strangely chosen) sample size.

Tommy Joseph was invited to ST. Just sayin.

If you saw TJ in the AFL you would know he is NOT ready for the show.
Good Kratz didn't hit .181 in has first 87abs or we'd have never seen the good part.

What the hell. Why not take one more shot at making another shockingly disappointing signing? Go for it, r00b!

They're fine at catcher, or at least as fine as could be expected given Chooch's suspension. None of the available guys is an upgrade.

That second utility infield spot can and should be upgraded before the season, though, so that Galvis can get a few months of playing every day in AAA. Hopefully someone's roster crunch ends up being to our benefit in late March.

To Epicurean -- After the Chad Durbin signing, Matt Gelb had the Phillies at just over $173 million (when accounting for bonuses and benefits and 40-man roster salaries)

ColonelTom - Yeah but I still want Galvis on this roster as the utility guy on Opening Day over two absolute stiffs in Mini-Mart and Betancourt.

Sadly I do think Betancourt is going to be the guy who ends up with grabbing the utility infielder spot on Opening Day. Amaro looks like he finally realizes Mini-Mart sucks and Cholly didn't have much to say positive about him either.

J.C. Ramirez still throws mid-90s, still has no command and is basically the same guy they got 3 years ago, except now he's 24.

Either this guy doesn't learn or the Phils coaches are poor teachers. It would be interesting to see if a change of scenery would make a difference.

Because he's out of options, any team that claims him would have to pass him through waivers if they wanted to return him to the minors after ST, which is where he belongs. That will make it easier for the Phils to keep him.

AWT -- That 23-game, 76-PA sample was from when Kratz peaked to the end of the season. We kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, for pitchers to stop testing him with inside fastballs when he couldn't make contact on anything off-speed and outside, and that's what they did.

A cherry-picked sample, sure, but designed to show how much he tailed off after the historic start. If Kratz' season ended 23 games before it did, he would have had the most extra-base hits in the fewest plate appearances in major-league history.

Sebastian Valle could also wiggle his way into the picture should Quintero be utterly horrible. There's also a chance some guy becomes availabe as the teams are whittling down their rosters to 25.

Stand pat.

I'm not exactly crazy about the first month being Kratz/Quintero either but I don't see anyone else being an improvement. If Valle or Joseph can work their way onto the scene that's cool too.

Why can't I shake this concern that if RAJ makes another move, it will be for another veteran reliever and not a catcher, or second utility player, or any other position of need?

Why can't I shake this concern that whatever Amaro does GTown will find a way to b!tch about it?

Oh that's right, because that is his entire shtick.

I'm for standing pat. Though you neglected to mention the best reason for having Matt Treanor on the team. (We like his fan base.)

Too bad they don't have those 10 day contracts like they do in the NBA, to get us through Chooch's suspension. We could have a couple of "catcher's du jour" and I'd be all for bringing back Sal Fasano for a game or two.

Stick with Quintero/Kratz. Quintero can't hit, but at least is a good defender; Kratz has a great arm and decent enough defense if he doesn't have to move side-to-side very much. That, and he might sock a dinger or two. I think Olivo/Snyder/Treanor will make the team worse. Not to mention, the sight of Barajas makes me aggressively angry.

If the team sputters to start the season, it will be because they're "not driving in runs" (RAJ's words), and will not be due to an inability to upgrade from Erik Kratz for 25 games.

Thanks Corey. That's a bit lower than I thought.

That's also a fun fact on Kratz's production through his first 27 games last year.

Corey, Phils expressed more than interest in Shoppach. But the guaranteed deal and PT won.

As far as the rest, its stand pat time. But don't be surprised to see Valle (who's on the 40 man) break camp over Quintero. With the logjam at C at AA and AAA its not the worst idea, especially if they want to give him a chance to showcase a little.

As far as the comments above about the utility guy, keep in mind folks that unless you go with this pen:

Papelbon,Adams, Durbin, Bastardo, one LHR, ONE RHR

you have 5 bench spots. assuming Mayberry, Nix, Frandsen, and backup catcher take up 4, that leaves one spot for EITHER Galvis, Ruf/Brown or betancourt. (assuming Young is healthy. If he's not, sure....)

You can't have both. Point is, Don't expect them to carry two utility guys too often this year.

Boy, this site misses JW.

This is another thread that is a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.

Kelly Shoppach? Are you f88888g kidding me?

In the first place, when Seidman responded to AWT thus:

"AWT -- That 23-game, 76-PA sample was from when Kratz peaked to the end of the season."

that is simply not true. The date Seidman references is August 23rd, when Kratz's line was .319/.383/.725. Kratz had 76 PA from there until the end of the season. Kratz peaked 16 days before that on August 7th at .406/.457/.938. From that peak until the end of the season, 122 PA, Kratz put up a line of .202/.262/.376.

But Kelly Shoppach? The same Kelly Shoppach that over the course of 2 seasons ('10 - '11) and 440 PA put up a .185/.285/.340 line? Who "rebounded" in 2012 over 245 PA to a .233/.309/.425 line that was below Kratz's .248/.306/.504 in 157 PA line? The Kelly Shoppach who put up a .188/.253/.304 line over HIS final 75 PA last season? Who over 685 PA the last three seasons has put up a .202/.294/.371 line?

And you're trying to sell THAT to me as an upgrade?

Ummmmmm, no.

Stand pat. Moving on and next question........

Oh, forgot to mention that last 75 PA from Shoppach in 2012 included 23 Ks in those last 75 PA.


No doubt in my mind that Miguel Olivo has his bags packed for Clearwater.

No. I think the Phillies should just go with what they have. I'm surprised they brought on Durbin. But I like it now that it's done. They have a lot of a young talent that they don't need to bring on anymore, at least not in the Cather or Reliever dept.

Unless the move is to go back in time and sign Nick Swisher or Ryan Dempster? No, stand pat.

aksmith said earlier this week that Kratz was sure to wear out in April and therefore Quintero would be seeing a lot more than just a handful of games. I'm surprised nobody here agrees with that unique assessment of things.

rolo/awh sorry I got very busy at work and haven't been able to reply until now. here is the link to the article I was reading:

I say bring back Tuffy.

"I say bring back Tuffy."

This has my full support*!

*keep in mind I'm the guy advocating for 10-day contracts to bring back Sal Fasano, so whatever.

Pretty funny. Is this true of us?

‏@MLB Story of your life?

Let me try again to see if I can make it a link.

GBrett, that is AWESOME!

Meh i dont think they should add any of those catchers. Worse case scenario if needed some team will at one point release a catcher or one will be available that hasnt signed anywhere.

@Rolo -- ....ok, and that .406 line was through eight starts. Eight. If you go from that point to the end of the season, you're basically using Kratz's entire season, minus 35 plate appearances.

If you want to look at Erik Kratz after 8 games as his peak, you're discounting the next 12 games when he had three homers and three doubles. The cut-off point I took was when he had 14 XBH through 81 plate appearances, which seemed reasonable since -- as I wrote often last year -- it would have been a major-league record for efficiency had his season ended right there.

As for Shoppach, he's pretty much a proven version of Kratz. Same skills. Despite Shoppach's low batting average in that 2-year span you provided, he has a .738 OPS the last four seasons. Not bad at all.

Anywho, the topic was brought up because Ruben Amaro said last week that the Phillies are still looking at backup catchers. Sorry, I guess.

Hey guys! I am only 40 and the last time you had me on the roster you made it to the World Series!

"ok, and that .406 line was through eight starts."

Yes, it's arbitrary, but it is his "peak".

"As for Shoppach, he's pretty much a proven version of Kratz."

So then if that's all he is, why give him an MLB contract? You already have the "unproven" version on the roster, with Chooch back in May.

"Despite Shoppach's low batting average in that 2-year span you provided, he has a .738 OPS the last four seasons."

When I aggregate the last 4 seasons using the tools on, I get a .687 OPS. It's .738 over the last 5 seasons, and I'll make any BL Bet you want that he comes nowhere close to the .865 OPS he put up 5 seasons ago, which is included in that number, was a career year, and reasonably ought to be tossed aside as an aberration. He's had a .206/.307/.380 line the last 4 seasons, and based on the last 3 and his age I seriously question whether he can reach that.

Based on the last 4 years he's just as likely to put up a .176/.268/.339 line like he did in 2011 as he is to do anything else. They might as well give mimimart a shot at catching, because he can at least play other positions in a pinch.

We're just going to have to disagree on this one, because I'd rather save the money in case they need it for a pickup at the trade deadline (despite DPat's prognostications to the contrary).

Now, if you want to take the position that most backup catchers at the MLB level stink, then we can agree on something.


If Paul Bako gets a shot, I played an aging, veteran pitcher in the 1998 cult classic "Major League : Back to the Minors". If you thought I was great acting as a pitcher, I should act just as well catching!

It was only a matter of time before Scott Bakula made an appearance on BL.

Speaking of Major League, something tells me Rube would be all-in for a 'run producer' like Pedro Cerrano.

Not what I said. And clearly not what I meant. He wore down and took a pretty good beating at the end of the season. I was saying he shouldn't be expected to start all but a couple of games. He's not a 24 year old with no mileage. But thanks for thinking of me, Iceman. I only hope that when you think of me, and apparently you do that all too often, you're not fondling your groin.

***aksmith said earlier this week that Kratz was sure to wear out in April and therefore Quintero would be seeing a lot more than just a handful of games. I'm surprised nobody here agrees with that unique assessment of things.

When you're down by 2 runs with a Buddhist/Voodoo practitioner coming to the mound, you're in good hands.

That's Allstate's stand.

Iceman - I would much rather have an in-shape Pedro Cerrano in RF even if he couldn't hit the curveball to save his life.

Young is a guy who has one good ankle, is still overweight, and also can't hit curveballs either.

Or looking at Young's numbers the slider or splitter either.

MG- I'd rather have angry, Jobu-worshipping Cerrano in Major League 1, who at least mashed the ball and could hit cleanup- but the Cerrano in ML2 had no intensity and had one big hit the whole year. Plus, from the limited shots of his defense, he's about as capable in the field as Young.

My guess is Cerrano's BABIP in the first movie was off the charts and he quickly reverted to career norms after that one fluke season.

The real question is whether or not we'd rather have Roger Dorn as the GM, activating himself to be the 25th man and taking a big HBP in Game 7 to start the game-winning rally.

I say delmon young Darin ruf Sebastian valle Dom Brown Ethan martin nd Jesse biddle for stanton. Trade Kendrick stutes schwimmwr Rosenberg for soriano. Lineup of revere young Utley Howard Stanton soriano Rollins chooch

Corey Seidman, Ken Brett, Mike Maddux, Vince DiMaggio. Why are we cursed with the wrong brother so many times?

mikey ro - When you think about it, that's a great package. Why is it that this is the first we're hearing about it?

While at it, I think the Eagles should trade for Matt Ryan and while at it, Roddy White and/or Julio Jones.

mikey ro is the quintessential WIP caller.

@mikey ro

' , .

^ They are your friends

Corn, excellent!

2 weeks and there will be actual baseball stuff to talk about.

I wish I was going to be in Clearwater this spring, maybe next year.

TTI~ You still don't get it do you. You must live under a rock. Yeah they got a bunch of someones. But the someones they got aren't going to make them a helluva lot better. Granted they should be better than 81 wins, but they're not a playoff team. And when they aren't come October, that's when I'll say I told you so.

If you read the article in SI about off-seasons grades, you'll find they got a D. Now does that mean anything? No. But it'very hard to argue they got better enough to contend for the division title or a playoff spot. That's a fact that even you can't ignore. And you can't tell me or anyone else that you're not the slightest bit disappointed on how the off-season turned out. Like I said you just don't get it.

For whatever the reasons, whether the cirrent payroll, or not wanting to overpay for whom was avalable, or whether his hands were/are tied, Amaro just did not perform well this off-season. That's not to say he's a bad GM, he just did not perform well.

They certainly as a whole did not bridge the gap between tha Nat, Braves and them much at all, if at all. For some reason, you fail to realize the lack of headway they made this off-season, and they had chances to do so. I call it like I see it. Just because you don't agree, doesn't mean it isn't true.

Counting down.....

Reports are out there that the Twins are looking to possibly trade/unload their high priced catcher and are willing to pick up part of the money. It would cover chooch's absences and and if the trade deadline rolls around with the Phillies out of reach just sell off pieces to get under the luxery tax.

I just realized it, and everyone else probably already did, but I think DPat actually has a comment template that he copy/pastes and makes a few changes to in every thread, like Mad Libs. Every one of his comments looks and feels the same.

"You just don't get it, _______. Amaro messed up because _________. Right-handed bat. You live under a rock. They could win ______ games but it won't matter because Amaro didn't _________. All he had to do was pick up (insert right-handed FA bat here). I speak the truth."

DPatrone: You don't get it. You are a fvcking moron! Don't believe me, ask your sources.

Michael Young is an upgrade over what they were running out there at third base last year.

Mike Adams is a massive upgrade over the slop that was pitching the 8th inning, or out of the bullpen, last year.

A presumably full season of Ryan Howard is better than the slop they were running out at first before July last year.

A presumably full season of Chase Utley is better than Freddy Galvis.

A presumably full healthy season of Roy Halladay is better than whatever Halladay was last year.

Revere is a step down from Victorino in many ways but I do think him starting in center and moving Mayberry to the bench is going to work out.

Ruf/Brown/Young the jury is out on as to how they will fit and produce vs. Pence.

Again- the problem is you want them to build a video game team where you can turn off computer rejection of trades and just build an all star team. That doesn't happen in real life pal.

The problem is they have health concerns but that isn't unique to them. Any team has health concerns coming into a season. But if the three main guys (Utley,Howard,Halladay) are healthy- this is a team that probably gets into the playoffs.

As someone mentioned the other day- you should take note that a lot of Amaro's moves are one year deals. He is trying to patch around some spots without committing any more long term dollars.

And you saying you can't wait until they don't make the playoffs so you can say "I told you so," tells me all I need to know about you as a fan.

Go back and find what I said to BAP the other week about saying stupid sh!t if you don't like it. (Because I don't remember exactly how I phrased it)

In my previous post I want to clarify something:

I only used the qualifier "probably gets into the playoffs" because it is impossible to predict what other teams do. If the Phillies win 90 games and don't make the playoffs it means the other teams put up some impressive win totals.

This may have been mentioned already but there was a report yesterday that documents were released from that company busted that was providing substances to athletes.

For Gio Gonzalez there was an order form with his name listed next to a 1,000 dollar order for Aminorip which is a muscle building protein that contains no substance on the banned substance list. However, his name was also listed next to a list of ingredients for pink cream which is a synthetic testosterone which does include substances banned.

Also, there was a report that there were pictures of Gio with a guy who works for the company on his Twitter and Instagram as recent as 3 months ago. It his listed as his "off-season conditioning coach."

Could turn out to be a bit of a mess for him and the Nats. Could also distract him for the coming year.

Kevin: "Reports are out there that the Twins are looking to possibly trade/unload their high priced catcher and are willing to pick up part of the money. It would cover Chooch's absences."

Sounds good to me. Phils should have no problem getting a guy with an .861 OPS as a fill in. Kendrick & Gillies should pretty much do it, no?

Ryan Howard and Tommy Joseph for joe Mauer straight up. Thats fair, right?


Yankees are shopping A-Roid.

Yankees are shopping A-Roid.

This is new news? Haven't they been shopping him since some point last year?

Are we at a point where ARod's HOF chances start going from "lock" to "questionable"?

Honest questions for you guys and gals:

What value, if any, does A-Rod currently have? What type of deal (remaining money, prospects in return, etc) would it take for a team to pull the trigger?

To me, he doesn't have much value. The Yankees would have to eat significant salary and not expect much in return by way of players.

A-Rod will not make the Hall of Fame for the same reason that Barry Bonds and Clemens aren't making it.

Not because they all weren't among the 20 greatest players ever (they all were), but because writers just have no clue what to do about the steroid issue, so they're just leaving them all out of the Hall of Fame.

Personally, I would include all the guys, but that's just me. I don't understand the concept of a Hall of Fame that *doesn't* include Bonds, Clemens, and A-Rod.

There's no doubt in my mind that A-Rod and those other guys were Hall of Fame baseball players. But I have a lot of doubt they'll get into the Hall of Fame, at least in the near future.

R.Bill: A-Rod has no value right now at all. Even if the Yanks ate every single dollar, why would you trade for him, considering he's likely to miss almost all of this season recovering from hip surgery.

"Could turn out to be a bit of a mess for him and the Nats."

It could. I mean, probably not as much of a mess as the Phillies missing our best player last season for the first 25 games of this year due to a PED suspension, but sure. It could.

When you put a guy on the trade market days after you make it known that you want to void his contract, you can't possibly expect anyone to give up anything of value, or pay any more than a fraction of his remaining salary.

Plus, the guy's body is deteriorating- apart from whatever decrease you can expect from him now that he'll probably be off PEDs for good. Who would want to take the PR hit for a guy that probably won't bring any type of value?

Only team I can see making that kind of a reach is the Dodgers, who have proven that they will scrape any bad contract up off the sidewalk and take it on themselves.

I agree, Jack. That's why it's surprising that the Yankees are "shopping" him. Perhaps they're just seeing if ANYONE will give them ANYTHING for him.

Don't think A-Rod has much value at all. Even if the Yanks ate $20m a year, you'd still be left paying him $7.5m a year for the next 5 years, his age 37-41 seasons. He hasn't played more than 140 games in 5 years and he's a huge distraction. I mean he hits well when healthy, but how much longer is that going to last. Maybe he's worth it if the Yankees picked up all but $10-12m of the remaining deal and the receiving team felt like they could just cut him without it being a big deal if he declined further because the total invested wouldn't be prohibitive.

With normal decay, ARod is likely to be an average to slightly above average 3B for the next couple of years, except that he is likely to miss 30-40 games. That has value but the fragility is a big risk that adds complexity to assembling a roster.

So he has value for a couple of years, but being owed for 5 more years reduces that value. The Yankees probably want a 1/3 reduction, but can ARod give you 35-40M value if you trade for him? He doesn't get close. For the Yankees even to get a Top 100 borderline prospect, they'd have to eat 90-100M of the contract.

I'm hard pressed to see a path to a trade.

A Rod needs 53 homeruns to get to 700. Wonder if he'll get there. Doubt I'll care when he does. I mentally don't count the steroid users in the record books.

fangraphs says A-Rod was worth $9.8m last season and I don't see him getting better as he moves into his 40's. So I guess he might be worth another $25-30m over the next 5 years. But then, fangraphs doesn't account for his negative appeal to fans, and natural smarmy-ness.

If A-Rod were healthy, even with his decline, he of course would be a massive uprade over Michael Young, or Kevin Frandsen, or whatever we're putting out there at 3B this season.

But he's not healthy, so it's a moot point.

I should revise--at this point, A-Rod isn't likely a "massive" upgrade over Michael Young (assuming Young isn't as terrible as he was last season).

He obviously would be a massive upgrade over Kevin Frandsen et al.

Too much hostility in this thread. Looking forward to the start of my spring in 2 weeks when pitchers and catchers report.

Weirdly enough it is Feb. 13th for the Phils and everyone else in MLB is 11th/12th.

Everyone has to report by Feb. 16th and the first full workout is Feb. 17th.

That's going to be a meaningful date to see who is actually on the field and how they look.

My surprise for early camp is that Utley is participating in workouts while Howard isn't.

"A-Rod will not make the Hall of Fame for the same reason that Barry Bonds and Clemens aren't making it. Not because they all weren't among the 20 greatest players ever (they all were)"

Not. Even. Close.

I'm sorry, but if you used steroids for part of your career, you just as well have used them for all of your career.

All of this talk about "so-and-so was a Hall of Famer before they took steroids or they would have been without the steroids" is nonsense.

1. You don't induct a player's season into the Hall of Fame. You induct the player. Otherwise, I'm campaigning for Bo Jackson 1989 to be inducted ASAP.

2. If they're dishonest enough to use steroids, why in the name of god would anyone be naive enough to believe them when they say that they only used it on such-and-such of a date?

I say that Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa used performing enhancing drugs throughout their entire career? Why do I say that? Because they declined that they used at all and it has been demonstrated that they had. Their word means nothing. Their career is tainted...ALL of it. If you test positive or show up on the Mitchell report or other evidence is shown that you're a user, you are a user by default for your career unless you can conclusively prove otherwise. I have no reason to take your word for it.

Best 20 in the history of the game. What a joke. They're not even legitimate ballplayers.

MG- I'm sure you'll rip me for this, but if Howard is hurt more than is being let on (and Amaro gave some cryptic comments on his status a few weeks ago), the reasoning behind the Young signing starts to come into focus.

If this team lost Howard for a long amount of time, they would be completely barren of any power and have to lean on Ruf to be the real deal. Young gives them another bat with pop if Howard is missing from the lineup.

And if Howard is not ready for opening day, the lineup for the first few weeks will be missing both he and Ruiz. Doesn't bode well to getting out to a fast start when the best possible middle of the order you can put out there will be Utley-Ruf/Brown-Kratz-Young.

Waiting for the announcement on a 3 team blockbuster trade where we end up with Stanton while only giving up Brown, Kendrick, & Matt Rizzoti.

Iceman - What's the latest on Howard's health?

Jack: but you understand a hall of fame without Shoeless Joe Jackson and Pete Rose?

Cyclic: There's no way we can give up on Rizzoti like that! Babe Ruf & The Rizz are going to be the modern day bash brothers!!

Will S, your faith in the power of steroids is intriguing. Are you really suggesting that Barry Bonds, the on-field greatest 5-tool player the game has ever witnessed, would have been a simple nobody if he didn't take steroids?

Fata, Bonds just took better steroids than Manny Alexander.

I heard through DPatrones source that Howard and Utley are in the best shape of their lives.

Sophist- last I heard (I think it was around Christmas) Amaro said that Howard 'may not be 100% for spring training' but is 'getting closer.' I'm not saying Amaro is being intentionally misleading, but normally when he gets creative with his wording, it's because he knows something that he's not telling.

Hearing that a guy coming off a major leg injury- along with a second procedure to remove muscle from that leg- won't be 100% for spring training almost a year and a half after the injury is a little alarming. I'm not buying into any conspiracy theories or anything, but after the Utley thing last year, I've got my guard up until I see Howard on the field without a lawn chair.

Another troubling assumption of the "ban all steroid users from life" club is the inference they seem to make that it was only a select few using steroids during the height of the steroid era. As if Bonds, Palmeiro, McGwire, Sosa, and others had a leg up on every other non-steroid using player, which constituted the vast majority of the league.

But why should we believe THAT? I mean, if the steroid usage was so prevalent back then, and the effects so flagrantly flaunted, why shouldn't we assume that most were using it? but if that's the case, doesn't that kind of even out the playing field, a bit?

Iceman, you know what kind of contract Howard has. Lawn chair? They'd at least give him a La-Z-Boy.

Iceman - That's possible. I still think the Young signing was the simple fact Amaro wanted a RH power bat who could play that in the OF. Amaro said that at the start of the offseason and repeated it several times.

Don't mind the Young signing given the price tag and the almost complete lack of organizational depth at OF. The statement though about Young be the starter in RF is baffling.

Amaro has made a couple of cryptic comments about Howard (I am making a complete guess that Howad isn't going to be ready for the start of camp) this offseason.

I did wonder how Howard was really working out hard when he was going to be off his feet until at least Thanksgiving with the broken toe (still a really stupid injury) and then had his marriage in mid-Dec.

Howard also broke his big toe on Sept 29th, i'm sure that hasn't helped anything.

Jack, interesting points about the HOF.

You're right, the writers don't know what to do, and neither would I had I the vote.

The HOF is supposed to include the all-time greats.

And that is the problem that PED usage by players creates: because PEDs affect individuals differently, there is no way to know whether the alleged PED users performance would have been among the all-timers had they not used PEDs. At least, that's the standard with which I think the writers are struggling - fairly or unfairly.

And if you look at the careers of Bonds and Clemens, they both had very different trajectories prior to their alleged PED usage. Bonds, IMHO, arguably had a HOF career before his alleged usaged, whereas Clemens, IMO did not, and looked to be washed up at the age of 35.

ARoid is a different case altogether. While there is certainly no evidence (yet), the recent suspicions could lead one to conclude that in the past he lied about his "previous" PED usage, and therefore could be lying about the scope and length of that usage. He very well could have been using them since the beginning of his career - there's really no way to know. If that's the case, how does one really evaluate said career? Sure, in actual "performance" he's among the all-timers, but the BBWA are an odd bunch and could look at it as a 'tainted' career which is impossible to evaluate.

I really don't have an opinion on the matter though I will say this:

Clemens, Bonds, and ARoid are seemingly some of the most arrogant and least likable characters among recent MLB players. That may amplify the PED issue in the minds of the writers.

Fatalotti: Are you really suggesting that Barry Bonds, the on-field greatest 5-tool player the game has ever witnessed, would have been a simple nobody if he didn't take steroids?


I'm saying that I don't care. The truth is that we'll never know, because there never was a Barry Bonds who didn't take steroids.

Righteous indignation about PED users. My favorite baseball activity.

I'd say that they're welcome in the Hall of Fame if they build an additional Steroids wing to the Hall that is separate from the actual athletes.

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EST. 2005

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