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Saturday, February 16, 2013


Mike W, are you taking the position that unless the Phils win the WS this season that Charlie shouldn't be back?

If the team shouldn't base the decision on past performance, what exactly should they base it on?

I'm sorry, his "past record" was the term that was used.

MLB managers are very hard to judge. Casey Stengel was considered a laughingstock as a manager in the 1930s. After 9 years he had a winning pct. of .439.

He was banished to the minor leagues, where after 4 years of up and down, he posted a .606 record with the Oakland Oaks, a team that featured a bunch of older former MLB players, including Hall of Famer Ernie Lombardi and some good younger players like Billy Martin.

The Yankees, who had a new owner, hired him to manage in 1949. He won the next 5 World Series (a record unlikely to ever be broken) and 7 total in his 12 seasons with the Yankees. He was lauded as the greatest manager in history.

In 1962, he became manager of the expansion Mets. He managed them for 5 years and his highest winning pct. was .327. He was considered a clown and a joke.

Is Charlie Manuel a great manager because his record says so?

If the Phillies make the playoffs this year, I find it hard to believe that Manuel won't be re-signed, unless he ends up being a big 'FA' and phils don't match another offer.

And its just as hard to imagine him coming back after missing the playoffs too.

If the Phils are in 3rd or 4th by mid-June, Mr. Manuel should be shopping for beach umbrellas and RVs.

And Sandberg should be only smiling to hisself.

I will always appreciate what Manuel did with the phillies, and I like his personality. BUT, as our offense continued to decline over the past few seasons, we have certainly lost more than a few games due to Charlie's decisions.

Whether it was not using Cliff against Sabathia , instead throwing Blanton, in the '09 WS game 4 I think, or continuing to hit people like Michael Martinez in high leverage situations when he had Pierre (who was hitting .300+ and even did good against lefties recently), or not using Pap for more than 3 outs on a few occasions that it made sense bc our young guys were struggling with leads in the 8th, all those things made me realize that without a high powered offense, Charlie isn't the right manager.

And if Revere does good in the leadoff spot this spring while Rollins is in the WBC, and he still puts him back to leadoff, I'm gonna flip.

This team is not built for Charlie Manuel anymore. We need a strategist that can win us close games using the right players in the right situations using wit and sound baseball theory. Charlie has never been that guy, and will never be that guy, I'm sorry to say.

The way I look at it, Charlie's record is 0-0.

I understand that posts like this are designed to get traffic and not promote intelligent discussion, but this isn't why I come to Beerleaguer. Anyone pointing to postseason failure in '10 and '11 isn't fit to write for Bleacher Report, much less Beerleaguer. Charlie has faults that are worth discussing; postseason records aren't one of them. Go away and let Jason write.

I think Charlie is right to openly address the issue early in spring training, and tell the press he doesn't intend to talk about it again.
He can now say "I already answered that question " for the next 9 months or so at every daily press session.

I tend to agree with the notion that the Phils need to make the playoffs for Rube to renew his contract.

Ummm, Mike, this is 2013, so the question about managing after 2012 has already been answered, unfortunately. IMO, Samdberg should be the skipper this year. Manuel, like AR, has overstayed both his usefulness and his welcome.

I agree with every poster who says that this team as presently constituted needs an in-game strategist rather than someone who trots out the same lineup day after day and crosses his fingers hoping/expecting a slugger to stroke a three-run home run.

I'm hoping the Phils win the World Series and Manuel calls it a career LaRussa style.

GM- Amen.

Sorry if this has been previously discussed, but is JW done with BL or he just going to be writing very rarely as is going on now?

CRD, my hope is we see more of JW in the future. Period.

Better the devil you know, especially if that devil guided you to two WS (winning one) and the best record in Phillies history. Give Charlie the horses and he will win. No one can say for certain that Sandberg will do any better.

As mentioned above no guarantees that Sandberg will be a better manager. This current run or dynasty by the Phillies is coming to a end. Phillies are positioning them selves for a possible makeover and unfortunately looks like Manuel will be included.

Charlie Manuel, much like Jimmy Rollins, is the least of the Phillies problems. Yet they are somehow the most discussed.

Chuck will manage the Phillies until he doesn't want to any longer....barring a total rip roarin' disaster of a season. If the impending season is equal to or greater than last season.....Chuck will be back next year if he so chooses. It's how the Phillies function.

Another news flash....TMac is likely to retire as the play by play dude. He will be around 50 at the end of this contract with 15 years with the Phillies behind him. He's here until he retires's how the Phillies function.

Beerleaguer side note...please bring back more of that Jason guy. The place feels kinda internet ghosty without him. The arguments and such are still cool and all and I know those filling in are trying their best, but the place ain't like it usta be.

What I said was more about what's likely to happen than what should happen. If the team as constituted starts heading seriously south, the first scapegoat, this time, will be Manuel. (After all, how can it not be his fault if so many productive guys don't produce?)

Not Phillies related at all but I found this gem hilarious:

"Like all the guys, we’ve got to get ourselves in game condition," Bochy said. "Even though he’s [Sandoval's] been playing games, it’s fair to say he has to shed a few pounds, and he will. He has the time. He’s up there working as we speak."

IE: Lose some weight, fatarse.

I never comment but I have read every post and you guys responses for the past 4 years. The comments are what are the greatest part of this page. You guys always have some great insight and the stats you pull out of your collective asses are amazing. I have learned a lot about baseball from you all. That being said: I have been a big supporter of Chuck and have always laughed off the neigh sayers. But I now agree that this team isn't built for Chuck to win with. And I do think that Sandburg's record in the minors are a very good indicator that he will be a great Pro Manager. People seem to play extra for him. Chuck wasn't that great of a player in his day although the whole story about his jaw being broken in Japan is amazing. You can't argue with Sandburg. He has been there and done that, and done that better then almost any other player. He has payed his dues in the minors, again, and is ready to lead the phillies into the future. It may take some rebuilding after this season but he has been the couch of these guys already in reading and will know how to handle them. Its time for chuck to go over to the astros where all old phillies go to die. IMHO.

Peripherally related, & well worth a read: Dismissal By Phillies Still Stings Ex-Hitting Coach Greg Gross.

I would love to see Cholly go out on top. Very few people have that chance afforded to them in life. Gillick has and wisely has taken it. If Cholly is presented with that opportunity, I hope wisely takes it.

Cholly is 69 though and in the last year of his deal. It's time to go a different direction at manager next year for several reasons though including his age, likely significant roster turnover, etc.

Andy - That's a really strong likelihood. The only question is just how soon and how much a record below .500 it would take.

I really wonder if Amaro would be willing to pull the trigger even by Memorial Day weekend if this club is scuffling a couple of games under .500.

If the Phils are below .500 again at the ASB, I don't think Cholly makes it until the end of the season.

I don't really think Charlie is the best manager in the world, and given his age its likely that the team moves in a different direction after this year and thats fine, but if the Phis struggle this year, I find it hard to imagine its his fault, instead of Amaro's.

Amaro is the guy who got 170 million to spend, and by his own words said he should be able to build a WS contender with that sort of money. If the team and Charlie amicably part ways, that's fine. But if Charlie gets scapegoated for any failures the team may have this year, I hope people are smart enough to see who is really responsible.

"But if Charlie gets scapegoated for any failures the team may have this year, I hope people are smart enough to see who is really responsible."

Michael Martinez?

clout and GM-Carson said it best. I like and respect Cholly, but I think that this should be his last year; with Sandberg announced as Mgr-in-Waiting.

LF, they cannot annouce something of that sort. It would totally undermine Charlie.

You have to be a fool to not what read what is going to happen.

This will be Cholly's last year as field manager, regardless of what happens record-wise. He's 70 years old and in the last year of his contract. And his replacement was hired on staff, to keep him from leaving for another gig.

Sandberg will be the manager in 2014, as the rebuilding/retooling job starts in earnest.

The actual question that needs to be asked is if Amaro is still the GM when Ryno takes over.

Pretty sure Sandberg already got that nod when they put him on the MLB coaching staff.

No need to make it official...everyone already knows.

Amaro is signed through '15 and isn't going anywhere before then.

This is his 'make or break' year though. If the Phils don't make the playoffs, he is well on his way to the unemployment line in 2 years.

If we make the post-season, I wouldn't be shocked to see Monty give him an extension.

After all, he would have shown himself to be a good GM by taking a .500 club to the post-season like that.

NEPP - Nah. I have always wondered though what Amaro and Cholly are making. LaRussa and other top managers make about $4-5M/year from the anecdotal reports I have seen. Probably only a few veteran managers that amount annually.

I imagine most are in the $2-3M/year range annually with Cholly somehow at ~$3M/year on his last deal.

I've always been curious as to what the threshold is for 'blaming the GM' or manager vs. 'blaming the players' or just blaming it on bad fortune.

If both Hamels and Lee go out in spring training and blow their arms out, do you put it entirely on Amaro because he signed them? If the team scores 800 runs but Halladay & Lee both show their age and become middling starters, and the young arms in the bullpen are a disaster again, making this a .500 team, do you put it on Amaro? Is it his fault no matter what? The players assume no blame at all?

I really think it's kind of presumptuous to dole the blame out to a certain person or area of the team before we actually see how the season plays out. It won't be so-and-so's fault no matter what- unless you think the GM is 100% responsible for what happens during any individual season, which I believe is just an intellectually lazy way of thinking.

In the article, it sounds like Gross is being a whiny baby. He admits the team hit badly but points out that the hitters sucked (kinda circular reasoning, there.). Then he implies that it was hard working with Charlie and Charlie overrode him, but when asked directly if that happened, he denies it. Then he says the Phil's should've offered him another job in the org, implying he deserved it because he spent 15 years with the team.

Maybe Gross is a great guy, but he comes out looking very poorly in the article.

I thought the same as Heather about that Gross article.

It's never fair to judge a person entirely on an article written by a third party, but the things he's quoted as saying come across as petty and unprofessional. Blaming the hitters for sucking? Your job is to make them better, man!

He might even be right to a certain extent, but that's not something you say if you're looking to continue being a hitting instructor. What are the players going to think knowing that if they don't perform well, the guy is going to turn around and say "Well it isn't my fault...they just suck."

It's very difficult to judge a hitting coach over the course of a season, because the different pitchers, teams and approaches you face on a night-to-night basis make it a player's job to adjust his approach on the fly. I think the playoffs are a little different: the hitting coach has a specific set of pitchers he knows the hitters will face, what situations will arise pretty much is much more possible for the coach to develop a game-plan and have the hitters attack a pitcher's weakness on any given night.

Using that standard- even in the Cincinatti series, which they won- Gross fared very poorly. The team was completely and utterly without a plan for any series, especially the Giants series in '10, where the relievers did the same things to them over and over again, with no adjustments being made. The St. Louis series, specifically against Garcia and Carpenter, were two more examples of the team not going to the plate with any kind of plan or specific approach. Garcia had abused the Phils numerous times in the past, and they let him do the same thing to them until Francisco bailed them out.

The Cards, on the other hand, took advantage of Halladay in the first inning twice (his big weakness in '11) and bled Lee to death, working up his pitch count. They also had a very good approach the relievers in the series.

If you believe Gross, the team failed because the hitters suck. He has no culpability in that. Hearing him say that is enough for me to know that the team is better off without him.

Iceman - Agreed. The coaching staff last year largely deserved to be canned in mass and I still don't understand how Samuel survived the purge.

He's was a poor 3rd base coach who was overly aggressive bordering on the ridiculous at times sending runners last year. Understand the offense was desperate for runs at times last year but it seemed like he sent too many guys where the percentages weren't very favorable at all.

A manager plays the hand he is dealt. For that reason, win-loss record as a measure of a manager is confounded by the caliber of personnel he is given. In-game decision making over a substantial time period is a more meaningful measure of competence. I agree with Phan that Cholly is a poor game manager who generally manages by autopilot. He has managed for a very long time, so his 2013 record really doesn't count for much. I hope RAJ makes a change next year.

That article by Brookover is interesting.

However, one of the things Brookover does NOT mention when he discusses the Phils' offensive decline in 2011 an d2012 are the injuries - not only to Howard and Utley - but across the board. He also doesn't mention that they lost players to FA, most significantly Werth. Ibanez departure also cost them a double digit HR, which affects the scoring.

The Phils were 18th in HR in 2012, but Brookover did not note that there are a lot of teams bunched up in that vicinity. For instance, if they had had full, healthy seasons from Howard and Utley, and gotten 22 more HR out of those two, they would vault all the way into the top ten in HR.

But HR aren't the only story. It's also OBP, and to an extent BA. STL had only one more HR than the Phils 158, but they scored 81 more runs. Their BA was 16 points higher, and more significantly, their OBP was 21 points higher.

As has been noted numerous times, the 2013 Phillies need Howard and Utley for a full season. If that happens they could score over 700 runs again.

But they need a return to balance, and by that I mean that the pitching and defense need to click and supress 40-60 more runs than they did in 2012.

To amplify on clout's post about Casey Stengel, he is far from the only manager to have a mixed record of brilliance and idiocy.

Joe Torre managed for 14 seasons before becoming manager of the Yankees.

In only five of those seasons did his teams have winning records. Three of those seasons had his teams losing 95 or more games.

His record as a manager, when he got hired by the Yankees, was 894 - 1003.

By Mike Wisniewski's calculation the Yankees should never have hired him.

I dont think he is Gross is necessarily whining. Although its sort of bordering on it. He just giving his 2cents and just about anything he says other than your standard prepared answer could be taking as whining. Some of the stuff is the truth, unfortunately in these type of case truth can come as been whiny.

CRD: "Sorry if this has been previously discussed, but is JW done with BL or he just going to be writing very rarely as is going on now?"

JW is now in charge of all social media for Comcast/NBCUniversal with a salary in the low 7 figures. With greater responsibility, he has far less time to visit. But this is still his first love.

mlbtr has a Boston Globe/Nick Carfado link that says the cubs may want to move David DeJesus midseason.

He has a .349 OBP the last four seasons, a lifetime .367 OBP vs. RHP, and a .325 OBP vs. LHP.

Sure would be nice to see a guy like that at the top of the Phillies lineup.

Best reason to get DeJesus?

Nobody f8cks with the DeJesus!

MG- I wish someone would have kept a running tab of how many guys Samuel hung out to dry last year.

Is there a stat floating around that keeps track of this on the Internet? I'd be interested to know the average of runs a 3B coach costs a team per year and how many Samuel was above that average. I know most teams complain about their 3B coach, but Samuel seemed abnormally bad last year.

I would imagine that JW will return a bit more when the regular season starts. That's my guess, at least.

I think everyone is going a little overboard on the new writers on the site. It's been a long off-season for everyone- the longest in the short history of BL. Not much to talk about right now. In a few weeks, there will be plenty of things to discuss.

Though, as clout has said many times in the past, if the team is lousy again this season, the site population will plummet to levels not seen since the launch of the site. You could get J.D. Salinger writing articles and Ansel Adams doing photography and it wouldn't make a difference. Fans in this city are no different than anywhere else.

This brings up an interesting point. Does it make sense to have a third base coach that, once upon a time, had blinding speed? Those that are old enough to remember Sammy as a player will attest; the guy was a blur. As a rookie he stole 72 bases. At that time, a rookie record. His spikes were sent to Cooperstown. I know. I saw them there. It may be an over-simplification, but the guy was crazy aggressive. I wonder if his own natural ability played into him being a lousy third base coach. Full disclosure: Juan Samuel is one of my favorite Phillies ever.

My thoughts on Charlie Manuel are well documented on BL, so I won't bore you too much.

He stinks.
He has always stunk.
He will continue to stink.

Thank you.

RBill: To paraphrase you and quote the Grinch


Pretty sure Sandberg already got that nod when they put him on the MLB coaching staff.

No need to make it official...everyone already knows.

There's no guarantee that Sandberg will be a great manager (although his minor league success is somewhat telling), but it's time for a change regardless. He may not be the "solution" per se, but Charlie's time to go is long overdue.

donc: that's a really good question. I always wonder about what the ideal qualifications for a 3B coach are. It's an incredibly difficult and thankless job that incredibly talented base-runners (in their playing days) have sucked at for years.

I think, in the end, there are no objective qualifications- the best you can do is to put a guy there that had great instincts as a ball-player. There's no math, trickery or skill to be a 3B coach- you just have to be able to process the situation very quickly and make a decision based on a number of factors in a split-second's time.

I bet Chase Utley would/will be a great 3B coach when he retires.

Iceman, bbref supplies a lot of baserunning stats for each team, including how many times a team had a player thrown out at each base, including home plate.

It's not a perfect analysis, since it's devoid of context, but I think it's close enough for our purposes.

Anyhow, I pulled all the teams, and yours and MG's intuition is dead-on.

The Phillies were the WORST team in baseball in terms of being thrown out at 3B. They were thrown out 27 times, (Dodgers were also thrown out 27 times).

NL Average: 18.81
AL Average: 15.78
ML Average: 17.4

Best teams:

Athletics: 7
Giants: 10
Astros: 12
Rangers; 12
Pirates: 12

Worst teams:

Dodgers: 27
Phillies: 27
D-backs: 25
Rays: 24
Brewers: 23

Definitely a place where the Phillies could use an improvement. Give away less outs on the bases, maybe they steal a win here or there.

"The Phillies were the WORST team in baseball in terms of being thrown out at 3B."

Should read:

"The Phillies were the WORST team in baseball in terms of being thrown out at home plate."

If Hunter Pence never did anything else for the Phils, it was worth having him just to see him round third, knock that unqualified idiot Samuel (putting on the breaks) on his ass and score.

On my death bed the only base coach I will ever remember fondly is Davey Lopes. Look at the numbers. You can bitch all you want about Jayson Werth. Lopes is the one that got away.

Here is a bit of good news that Jayson Stark hipped me to this morning; this is the last Sunday until November without a baseball game. Hallelujah!

MG- I wish someone would have kept a running tab of how many guys Samuel hung out to dry last year.

Is there a stat floating around that keeps track of this on the Internet? I'd be interested to know the average of runs a 3B coach costs a team per year and how many Samuel was above that average. I know most teams complain about their 3B coach, but Samuel seemed abnormally bad last year.

Posted by: Iceman | Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 06:27 PM "

Iceman, you can find it here:

It's the "Detailed Stats" link on the Phils page at

YOu'll find it under "Team Baserunning/Misc*".

The answer:

The Phillies had 27 runners thrown out at home plate last season - tied for the most in MLB with the Dodgers.

MLB average?: 17 runners thrown out at home.

Ughhh TBag resigned for 5 more years. Why. Can't he just do st joes. And have the radio crew and sarge and wheels do the games.

I guess it would help to read the entire thread before I posted, Fatti had done th eworl already,.

Juan Samuel was actually my favorite player during his Phillies career, but when it came to the fundamentals of the game -- i.e., defense, bat control, pitch selection -- he was nothing short of horrid. For that reason alone, I always found him to be a very odd choice for any type of coaching position.

For those reasons, I hated Samuel. As a player, not as a person. He's a great guy from all accounts but I couldnt stand him because he could have been so much more.

Fat - Thanks Jerry Remy used to say something along the lines of the best 3B coach is a guy who you don't even know is there.

Dead on because the only time a 3B coach really gets noticed is when a guy gets thrown out at 3B from 1B or going home from 2B.

I am too busy right now to run the numbers but how did Steve Smith stack up in '07 and '08. He got canned after the '08 season and it seemed like the Phils ran into their share of outs with him as the 3rd base coach.

I thank JW for starting this site, and building it up to the point that it is today. However, it's the posters that make the site now. Nomatter who is starting each thread, it's the posters who decide what is discussed, which is often off-topic from the header.
I come here for the info and the humor. I know that if I express a random thought, someone will be here within minutes with stats to shoot me down, and I accept that.
I also want to congratulate JW for probably being the first grad of Brandywine Heights HS to earn a 7 figure income.

Its a better site when JW is posting thread headers.

Looked up Steve Smith's numbers:

2007: 23 times
2008: 18 times
2010: 16 times
2011: 13 times
2012: 14 times

Samuel (O's 3B coach)

2007: 23 times
2008: 19 times
2009: 19 times

MLB average:

2007: 18 times
2008: 18 times
2009: 17 times
2010: 18 times
2011: 19 times
2012: 17 times

Kind of hard to draw real inferences from this since it is only a single stat & more importantly you don't know how many more runs Samuel's aggressive style resulted in or the contextual situation of the data.

Just from the numbers, it appears that Steve Smith has been better than league average since he became the Indians' 3B coach and Samuel is aggressive and perhaps too aggressive at sending runners as a 3B coach.

What I am really looking for out of Samuel this year is if he can help Mayberry & Brown steal a bit more and what kind of totals Revere has. Probably the best way to judge what kind of job Samuel is doing as the 1B coach.

Sammy was also not a student of baseball history. He was on the team for years before he learned that Whitey was more than an announcer.

carson: "I'm hoping the Phils win the World Series and Manuel calls it a career LaRussa style."

If the Phillies win the world series this year, Charlie can manage for life for all i care.

Its pretty crazy that a seemingly random stat like the league average 'thrown out at home' is so consistent from year in/year out.

I'd actually love to see Mini-Mart become the Phillies' 3rd base coach. It's not that I think he'd be any good at it. It's just that, if he's coaching third base, it would mean he's no longer playing.

bap, LOL!

Just in case you think the Phils roster is set, here's the mlbtr list of players on MLB 40-man rosters with less than 5 years of service time but who are out of options:

The Phillies have two - Mayberry and Frandsen.

Anyone on other teams that would be preferable to someone on the Phils?

out of all the way we've ripped Delmon Young, it looks we (or i missed it) forgot one:

Out of his 112 strikeouts last season, only 4 were looking - which was the lowest % of called strikeouts in the league.

Only the worst of hackers could strikeout over 100 times without being caught looking more than 4 times.

Davey Lopes

I always thought his rep here was a bit overrated. The Phils had such as base stealers from 07-09 largely due to the personnel they had and not what Lopes did/didn't do.

Lopes was been a 1st coach for a long-time:

'92-'94 O's
'95-'99 Padres
'03-'05 Padres
'06 Nats
'07-'10 Phillies
'11-'12 Dodgers

18 seasons as a 1st base coach which I would bet is among the most in MLB history.

Out of 14 AL teams
'92 - 89 SBs (10th), 65 %SB (9th)
'93 - 73 SBs (12th), 57 %SB (13th)
'94 - 69 SBs (9th), 84 %SB (1st)

Out of 14 NL teams
'95 - 124 SBs (7th), 73 %SB (7th)
'96 - 109 SBs (10th), 66 %SB (13th)
'97 - 140 SBs (5th), 70 %SB (t-5th)

Out of 16 NL teams
'98 - 79 SBs (11th), 68 %SB (t-7th)
'99 - 174 SBs (1st), 69 %SB (t-5th)
'03 - 76 SBs (8th), 66 %SB (14th)
'04 - 52 SBs (14th), 68 %SB (12th)
'05 - 99 SBs (4th), 69 %SB (11th)
'06 - 123 SBs (4th), 66 %SB (t-11th)
'07 - 138 SBs (2nd), 88 %SB (1st)
'08 - 136 SBs (3rd), 84 %SB (1st)
'09 - 119 SBs (2nd), 81 %SB (1st)
'10 - 108 SBs (4th), 84 %SB (1th)
'11 - 126 SBs (4th), 76 %SB (5th)
'12 - 104 SBs (8th), 70 %SB (t-11th)

While in Philly, the Phils were 1st in % SB in the NL 4 straight year. In the other 14 years that Lopes has been a 1st base coach, his teams have only been better than league average 4 of 14 seasons.

What it looks like to me looking at the data is what while Lopes has had a decent track record in getting his teams to run, there has been a slight price to pay in terms of their success.

Phils numbers before and after Lopes:

'05 - 116 SBs (2nd), 81 %SB (1st)
'06 - 92 SBs (8th), 79% SB (t-3rd)

'11 - 96 SBs (10th), 80 %SB (1st)
'12 - 116 SBs (5th), 83 %SB (1st)

Phils SB from last year:

Pierre: 37
JRoll: 30
Vic: 24
Utley: 11
Chooch: 4
Pence: 4
Orr: 3
Mayberry: 1
Lee: 1
Wigginton: 1

Pierre and Vic are gone but Revere had 40 SBs last year. He should duplicate or slightly exceed Pierre's total. JRoll has had 30 the last 2 seasons and I expect he can steal 25-30 if he stays healthy for the entire year again.

After that it becomes a crap shoot. Utley can probably steal 15 SBs if he stay healthy enough to play at least 130 games.

No reason that Mayberry can steal at least 7-10 even if he is just a PT player and Brown at least 12-15 SBs as a FT player.

After that, you have guys who will opportunistically take a bag here or there including Chooch or M. Young.

Revere: 40
JRoll: 25
Utley: 15
Brown: 13
Mayberry: 8
Chooch: 3
M. Young 2

So maybe a slight failoff but as long as Revere & JRoll remain healthy this team should approach their SB total from last year. At least have 100 SBs and remain above the NL average.

Juan Samuel can easily take on Pence.

pencil me in for 60 from Revere.

MG, interesting post.

Look, while your point about Lopes being the beneficiary of good base stealers while with the Phillies is certainly one worth discussing, I don't think that anyone would argue with your point that in order to lead the league in SB% a team needs to have good base stealers.

Lopes was given credit by the players while he was here, so I would think that he had to have had some positive affect. As far as their leading the league in SB% since he's been gone, I'll chalk that up to the fact that they didn't forget what they learned from him while he was here.

But, of course, your point is valid. In fact it's rather obvious.

JRoll from 07-10

136 SB, 18 CS (88.3 SB%, 82.9% career)

Utley from 07-10

59 SB, 5 CS (92.2 SB%, 89.6% career)

Vic from 07-10

132 SB, 29 CS (82.0 SB%, 82.3% career)

JRoll really started to improve in '04 and well before Lopes got here.

Werth from 07-10

60 SB, 8 CS (88.2 SB%, 86.7% career)

Lopes had really smart baserunners here who were very good at deciding when to steal a bag and have very high success rates.

Can Ben Revere duplicate Pierre's steals? Sure, but what's his ceiling?

Pierre played in 130 games and was on base 147 times (He had 148 hits but one was a HR.) He had 6 triples, so he was on 1B or 2B 141 times - that is, he had 141 opportunities to steal a base.

He attempted 44 steals and was successful 37 times, an 84% success rate.

44 ÷ 141 = 31.2% so he attempted to steal 31 percent of the time he had an opportunity.

Ben Revere played in 124 games, and was on base 182 times, with 6 triples(0 HR). So he had 176 opportunities to steal a base.

He tried it 49 times and was successful in 40 of them, an 81.6% success rate.

49 ÷ 176 = .28 or 28%, so he attempted to steal 28 percent of the time he had an opportunity.

So, there's a marginal difference in their aggressiveness (Pierre actually had a higher percentage of attempts) and their success rate.

If Revere can play in 140 games, and he gets on base at the same rate, he should be on base about 205 times. Assuming he hits about 7 triples he'll have 198 chances to steal a base, or about 22 more than last season. At his same rate of attempts and his success rate, he probably has a ceiling of 45 stolen bases, unless he either increases his percentage of attemps or plays in more games.

Oops, numbers on Pierre above are accurate but inaccurate.

Pierre had 121 hits, 23 BB and 4 HBP. Subtract the 6 triples an 1 HR and he had 141 opportunities to steal.

Revere's numbers also include BB and HBP.

Sorry for the confusion.

There are other variables in your aggressiveness quotient, of course. How willing was the team, in each case, eager to steal? Was their manager a "produce runs" or a "three run homer" guy? And since you're using one season of numbers, the numbers would be influenced,even, by whom the specific pitchers and catchers were. So I wouldn't necessarily say there's any difference in aggressiveness or success rate.

Ryne Sandberg may end up being the greatest 3rd Base Coach in baseball history. From my memory viewing about 20 LV games last season, Ryne wind-milled runners home to nearly a 100% success rate.

Andy, I agree the difference is negligible, but Revere doesn't really have a long term track record at this point.

Pierre, OTOH, has been a very good base stealer for a long time.

Murph has some additional quotes from Greg Gross about Phillies' hitters that didn't make it into the article:

"On Ryan Howard: “They got away from the lineup they had when Jayson Werth left. They banged the ball and everybody did. I don’t know if he’d admit it, but with things going the way they’re going, he feels like he has to hit three-run home runs all the time to help pick up the team. I think that expands the strike zone. He chases more pitches than he did in the past. I think it’s human nature. No matter how good you are, you need help."

"On Domonic Brown: “I don’t think Domonic ever got comfortable. He never has been at any level for a whole season and the game at the top level is difficult. That learning curve in a situation where you’re expected to win is going to be really short. The patience is not going to be that long. A second-division club is totally different for a young player. They learn that way. In a situation like the Phillies have been in since 2006, the leash is going to be real short.”"

Pap has some interesting wuotes in the above link. He thinks the 'pen will be good in 2013.

Also, he had something really interesting to say about last season:

"Like so many other people, Papelbon said he could see disaster ahead even before the Phillies left Clearwater for the start of the 2012 season. With Ryan Howard and Chase Utley unable to reach the starting line, he said, the Phillies panicked.

"I think the panic started in the spring," he said. "It started from everywhere. Not just the team. I think at times last year the front office panicked. I think the coaches panicked. I think our players and team panicked. This team had never been through that kind of adversity before, where you lose your best two hitters.

"Any team, any front office, any manager would panic. You take [Dustin] Pedroia and [David] Ortiz out of the Red Sox lineup - done. You take [Robinson] Cano and [Mark] Teixeira out of the Yankees lineup - done. You take [Jayson] Werth and [Ryan] Zimmerman out of the Nationals lineup - done. It's that simple.""

Gross' quote regarding Dom Brown is interesting. It's nothing new, but it's nice to see someone who has played and coached explain it that way. That's why I'm not giving up on Dom. He had a really difficult ascent to the big club. Couple that with lofty expectations and it makes it even more difficult. He was progressing nicely, putting up great numbers and then was yanked back-and-forth, given irregular playing time, told to change positions, change his batting stance, then change his stance back and host of other issues. And he had some injury trouble.

The guy is going to need some time. Hopefully, he's healthy and gets regular playing time. I still think he's going to be a good player at this level in spite of how the Phils (admittedly) mishandled him.

"Any team, any front office, any manager would panic. You take [Dustin] Pedroia and [David] Ortiz out of the Red Sox lineup - done. You take [Robinson] Cano and [Mark] Teixeira out of the Yankees lineup - done. You take [Jayson] Werth and [Ryan] Zimmerman out of the Nationals lineup - done. It's that simple."

Pap's not the smartest guy on Earth, but even he gets it. As most of us have said: a healthy Utley and Howard make this team a contender. In 2012, with an moderately healthy Utley and Howard, they were a good team. They had one of the best records in MLB after the AS Break, if I recall correctly. Give me a healthy Utley, Howard and Halladay and the Phils make the playoffs.

I don't have anything against what Papelbon said in those above quotes, but I'll never listen to anything he has to say in the near future. He's earned the 'shut up and play' label.

good job by MG re-hashing the phils SB numbers from past years. While I too was upset when Lopes left, the team's baserunning has remained unchanged from his time here. Phils have been an ultra-efficient team on the bases through multiple lineup shuffles and coaching changes. Rollins and Utley lead by example.

I hope Revere pushes the envelope further, as being ultra-efficient is actually a sign that they're not agressive enough.

MG: Your posts on the stolen base stuff and Lopes is why I get on your case when you rehash the same silly topics over and over on here.

The posts in here are insightful and really fly against the conventional BL wisdom that Lopes leaving affected this team greatly. Nice work in the research!

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