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Sunday, February 10, 2013


If Doc is healthy, Charlie gives him the ball on Opening Day.

Hamels or Lee. Halladay's not gonna be as good as he was, unfortunately. Injured in 2012 or not, he's getting old.

I'm one of the bigger Doc fans here but it's time for Cole.

Plus, you know, split the lefties.

I think that when they get a look at the Phillies defense they will all be saying, "No, you go first."

Hamels, no questions asked.

It's completely unimportant. The season is very long. Opening day is just a day.

Im surprised Bowa didnt erupt during the Eskin segment...I would give the ball to Cole for opening day.

Head tells me cole gut says doc. Cholly loves his vets.

Cole is your ace, deserves to start opening day. Split the lefties. Doc needs to reestablish himself as an ace.

TTI was going full bore with front office apologism in the last thread. It's a shame we had to move on to something new, because he was really on a roll.

I, too, think it's time for Hamels. He is right now, and for the future, the ace of the staff.

As usual, you can't present a differing view on BL without being labeled a FO apologist.

Unless Doc loses his arm in a thresher accident in the next few weeks, he'll get the ball on Opening Day.

Somebody linked an article about Pap taking Torodol in the last thread. I've taken it for my back on occasion and my doctor was very restrictive on it. He'd give that type of shot rather than cortizone and giving it for chronic pain (like before every start as mentioned in that article) would be a big no-no for long-term health.

Definitely not a PED, but not smart from a medical standpoint. Its like any other NSAID in that respect.

Unless Cholly isn't there,it's a no brainer,Doc.

Splitting up the lefties means nothing. Cole Hamels has a reverse split thanks to his devastating change up

Smitty is correct. It's completely unimportant. They have three aces, all of whom deserve the honor of an opening day start.

If they all look good and healty in ST, I would pull the three of them into my office (if I were Charlie) and draw straws. Why?

Again, it really doesn't make a difference.

Also, speaking of Doc, I'm sure you read the wuote in the Stinky yesterday. He may not be the same pitcher he was in '10-'11, but sounds to me like he's determined to have a huge year. (It's a contract year for him.)

NEPP, I'm not arguing with you about whther Toredol is a "performance enhancer" in the traditional sense, but how much pain does it relieve, and does the pain and inflamation reduction allow a player to "perform" better?

NEPP- I've also taken Toradol during recovery from back surgery and was limited to like two injections per day in the hospital. That stuff was like a magic bullet, though.

It will be Doc, as it should be.

And fortunately, as long as Cole pitches in the opening Atlanta series he won't start in the afternoon home opener. That is a day game, and there is MG's scientifically validated theory that Cole has some vampire blood in his veins and is weakened by sunlight.


Do we really have to wait another month and a half for the predictions thread? I'm looking forward to it this season. First time in a long, long time it won't be a whole series of "95 wins and first place." There will actually be some wildly divergent predictions.

Aaron Cook gets the ball. He's primed and ready for the challenge.

Looking at Hamels' picture triggered a rush of joyous anticipation of watching 95-100 games of 3 master pitchers work this season. While I dread what I might see from the hitters (PLEASE, PLEASE, Darin Ruf, PLEASE be the real deal), watching those 3 is a wonderful experience that I had forgotten in the miasma that was this offseason.

Its Doc and honestly it should be Doc. Opening Day isn't about who had the best ERA last year, its about who is the leader of the pitching staff. That is and will be Doc until he's out of red pinstripes.

As far as the term "Ace" goes, I think Cole might be in the Ace in terms of being the most likely to be consistently good this year.

But let's not forget that Lee is one year removed from a 160 ERA+ season, and Doc is one year removed from back-to-back seasons with an ERA+ over 162. These are numbers that Cole has never even sniffed, for as good as he's been.

If all three are healthy, and I needed to win a game, Cole would probably be my third choice to start that game right now, and I'm a huge Cole booster. I just think Lee and Doc have shown the ability in the not-too-distant past to be best in the game pitchers.

Another reason Doc gets the ball? Unless he pitches 260 innings this year, its his last in Philly. Cole will be "The Man" the rest of the way after 2013.

Though, if Doc has a good year, I'd love to see him back in 2014 on a 2-3 year deal at a lower AAV.

Comment by NEPP:

"Unless Doc loses his arm in a thresher accident in the next few weeks, he'll get the ball on Opening Day."

Good one, NEPP, and I agree.

NEPP: "Though, if Doc has a good year, I'd love to see him back in 2014 on a 2-3 year deal at a lower AAV."

Part of me wants to see that. Another part of me wants Doc to go somwhere and win a World Series.

It is a big deal to the pitchers to get the nod on Opening Day. Hamels has never done it even after the WS MVP, Meyers was the opening pitcher.
They just paid him like the Ace so he should get the first game, let Doc have the Home Opener.

If Roy 2013 is 14-8 W-L; 3.35 ERA ; 1.25 WHIP...what is his next contract? 3yr/$45M?

Here's info on ticket sales. 3000-4000 fewer season ticket holders as compared with last year.

From Ryan Lawrence, advice for Phans:

" [I]t's the time of the year when everyone can daydream of first place, when the previous year's standings are wiped clean and when even the most pessimistic fan can be hopeful.

It's sports, it's supposed to be fun; wait until your team starts regularly losing games (or key players to injuries) before breaking into panic or negativity."

Unfortunately, he then declares that the Phillies may lead the NL in question marks (paraphrased quote).

Optimism quickly doused by realistic fears of the unknown?

@Jack Really? Like where? Like he'd be the final piece in Washington? Or New York? I get the affection for him, but come on, man.

With all the validated concern over the offense in past months, it's nice to have the dilemma of who starts opening day. That being said my vote is for Cole. Purely because he's my favorite Phillie. Although I wouldn't have a problem with Doc or Cliff starting opening day. As if that would be a problem.

Optimism quickly doused by realistic fears of the unknown?

The problem is that there are far more than 5 questions. :(

I know my excitement is tempered by all the questions.

I think Ryan Lawrence covered the main questions.

I would add:
* Will the BP be more or less reliable?

Jack is ready to go full-on troll today with that comment on Halladay.

I don't really care who gets the ball on opening day. I'd like it to be Halladay just because if he's not the real Doc, I'd like to know sooner rather than later so I can start heading for the bridge. Looking at things objectively, it probably should be Hamels.

It should be pointed out, though, that Lee, who will almost definitely not get the ball on opening day, nor get any arguments in his favor, would probably start game 1 for at least half the teams in baseball- probably more. The top of this rotation is still ridiculously good, and if healthy, will carry the team to 90+ wins by itself.

They'll probably leave Hamels for the home opener, as they did last year. That would likely mean Doc on opening day in Atlanta, followed by an off day, then Lee and Kendrick. Hamels pitches the home opener against the Royals, followed by Lannan and Doc (on 5 days' rest) in the Sunday game. That lines up Lannan's next start for the off day on 4/11, letting them skip his turn.

If this team isn't headed in the right direction at the end of the season, and Doc can still contribute to a team, and be part of a team with championship aspirations, I'd absolutely be happy to see him go somewhere and win a WS.

If the Phillies still have a chance to compete for a WS going into 2014, and Doc is still good (if not great), of course I'd love to see him here, but if the Phillies don't project to contend in 2014, Doc will (and should) go somewhere where he feels he has a chance to win the ultimate prize.

It doesn't matte, and splitting the lefties doesn't matter. There will be 2 in a row regardless and those 3 starters don't have any significant splits whatsoever

I agree that Doc needs a chance to win a WS ring, Fata.

Never understood the "split the lefties" mantra. These guys are going to have to start at some point. What does it really matter what order they're in? Especially considering that most SP, and especially good SP, don't really have immense splits (else they'd likely be relief pitchers).

"If Roy 2013 is 14-8 W-L; 3.35 ERA ; 1.25 WHIP...what is his next contract? 3yr/$45M?"

Bonehead, how many IP?

I doubt Doc will take an annual-salary pay cut. If they do sign him to an extension, they'd probably end up with something like 2 years/$40M plus another vesting option.

I agree with NEPP, Doc will and should be the Opening Day Starter.

If it was Game 1 of a playoff series starting right now, I'd take Cole.

Every comment Jack has made this thread is an attempt to start an argument about how the Phillies suck.

Hopefully everyone can see through his schtick and ignore.

It's Grantland, but Jonah Keri is generally pretty solid: the 15 worst contracts in baseball:

Howard #3, Werth #4. Papelbon an honorable mention.

Brandon League is #13 on the list before he's even thrown a pitch, which is surprising, as that was a deal that MG lauded numerous times here after it was made.

Mike g: If we take away Jack's ability to call people a FO apologist we are hindering his ability to post on here significantly. He only has trolling, "FO apologist," lack of thought comments, or his underlying support for the Braves.

Let him have what he has.

Besides- kind of funny he called what I said being a FO apologist. Him doing that just shows him trolling the board. Look at the Halladay comment in this thread for further proof.

Interesting fact: Cole Hamels has never started opening day.

2003-4: Milwood (1-1)
2005-6: Jon Lieber(1-1)
2007-09: Brett Myers (0-3)
2010-12: Roy Halladay (3-0)

Hamels earned the start, give him the ball.

Ticket sales:

That 3-4k drop in season ticket sales is huge and even larger than I expected. I thought it would be under 10% drop. Instead it is closer to 15% right now and the Phils are probably hustling hard to get it down to a 10% drop (3k).

If use the data that an average ticket last year was $38 (Team Marketing Report data) and that the average fan who showed up at CBP conservatively spent at least $50/game (probably too low) including the ticket and other items, that's a notable hit to gate receipts.

Using a really crude methodology that has several limitations ($50 x 3k x 81 home games), that is roughly over a $12M drop in gate revenues.

iceman - The worst thing about League's deal was all of the incentives he got. I liked the deal a lot less after I found about it but Keri still ignores the fact that the going rate for a FA setup man (not even a closer) is at $5-6M/year if you use comps from this offseason and last year.

League is making a base of $7.5M which is a slight overpay but not that far out of line with what some other relievers have gotten.

Hell Broxton got 3 yr/$21M this year and he is coming off 2 subpar in '10 and '11.

In isolation, League's contract looks like an overpay (which it is especially if he hits some of those incentive clauses) but if you compare it against similar market comps it isn't that far out of line as far as his base salary goes.

Furtherest ball I've ever seen hit with my own eyes: Opening Day 2006, Albert Pujols off of Lieber during a dreary rainy cold April afternoon. The ball hit the 2nd deck over top of Harry the K's before it even was starting to lose trajectory.

Halladay gets the start as that is largely a ceremonial honor, and Manuel won't be the one to end his streak. Only way he does is if Halladay lobbies for Hamels to get the ball.

I don't know if 'splitting the lefties' has much merit but, the thinking is pretty obvious. Managers / coaches think that batters get more comfortable against them when they see a guy throwing from the same side on the second day.

On the topic, again, Steve Carlton is my favorite Phillie of all time but, by the time 1980 rolled around, I almost expected him to lose every opener.

I was at that game too, lorecore. I remember that HR fondly. Absolute blast. If memory serves, he hit another one in that game, too.

Pblunts: I should have been more specific. Obviously I wouldn't want Halladay to go to the Nats or Braves and win a title, though if that happened I'd still be able to be happy for him while upset about our rivals winning.

Ironically, a good place for him to go win a title might be the Blue Jays, who now appear to be a contender. That would probably be a pretty fitting end to his career, and one I wouldn't mind seeing.

And sure, if the Phils project to contend, they should obviously try and re-sign Doc, assuming he's healthy and productive this year. But I really don't see the Phils projecting to contend, and thus a re-signing doesn't seem particularly likely to me--not a great fit for either side.

***that is roughly over a $12M drop in gate revenues. ***

That's a worst case scenario that assumes that none of those would be sold as single game tickets. Odds are, that wont happen and we'll still come close to selling out a lot of games.

A good chunk of people simply decided not to drop down a fortune on a full season ticket plan.

rbills: While the Pujols HR was awesome to witness, the coolest part of the day was when Jroll literally tomahwaked a 3-0 pitch over his head in his last AB to extend his hitting streak that continued from the end of 2005.

The whole place knew he wasn't going to walk no matter where that pitch was.

I can't wait for the first time that Cholly goes over to Doc after he comes in to the dugout after the 7th (2-1 Phils lead, 96 pitches thrown) and tells him he's done for the game...and that Adams/Pap are taking them home.

In the worst contracts article, Keri says (without sourcing it) that Amaro has said that Howard won't completely heal from his Achilles injury until sometime this summer.

Is this something that was common knowledge? I don't remember hearing anything like that.

Forgot that Rolen hit a salami that day. JW predicted the Cards 2006 WS, and most importantly, 7 years ago MG was STILL posting about his disappointment with his fellow fans in attendance.

Correct. There is no greater revenue for ticket plans than for regular gate sales.

The Phillies had 115,000 fewer ticket buyers in 2012 than they had in 2011, but had more regular season revenue because the average price of a ticket went up $3-5.

And in 2012, the Phillies were still at 100.8% of capacity (the 4th straight season of capacity above 100%).

I wouldn't be shocked to see the Phils drop below 100% in 2013 and see another drop of 100,000 or so, but the Phils modified their ticket pricing this year to put premiums on the most popular games while dropping prices on the least popular games. That will likely lead to a similar revenue stream, if not higher.

lorecore: thanks for wasting the next half-hour of my work day by posting a link to an archive. Those things are like a vortex.

Bebop hits on something that is a nice part about having a proven 8th inning guy that Charlie can trust. You might see some extra wear and tear taken off the big 3

From Jason Stark's column today:

Best Free Agents $2 Million And Under

1. We can't say we personally endorse this nomination, but the voters have spoken. And they voted Delmon Young's $750,000 deal with the Phillies as the best bargain of the winter. Look at it this way: Young is one of 10 players in the big leagues who were once the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. The other nine will collect an average of $13.26 million apiece this year. Which means they'll earn as much every week and a half as Young will make all season.

KAS - Who were the voters?

KAS: If you look at it that way...then we should have signed Pat Burrell out of retirement since he went #1 overall. Probably would have a higher OBP too.

Matt Bush is probably available for less than $750K too. He was a #1 overall pick.

Speaking of signings, the Eagles just came to terms with Michael Vick on a one-year deal that maxes out with incentives at $10M:

Who were the other free agents that signed for user 2 million? There is a very good chance that Young is the top player legitimately on that list.

lorecore - I was in town that day and the home crowd booed a couple of Phils' players on Opening Day. Yeah I thought it was completely ridiculous. If I recall correctly, Bell got booed when his name was even announced & quite loudly during his first AB of the season. It was just stupid and completely uncalled for.

mg: hah i know, just funny that people bust your chops about commenting on the fan reaction every time you are at a game, and to see your post back in 2006 was too funny not to mention.

GBrettfan: Stark says it was 16 anonymous baseball executives.

MG Why do you assume that all the season ticket holders that did not renew had the full season plan? There are many more people who have 17 and 14 game plans, like myself.

So even though the numbers are down the revenue should not be as low as you might think.

TTI: "Who were the other free agents that signed for user 2 million? There is a very good chance that Young is the top player legitimately on that list."

If you use the filter function, you can sort by "less then $2 million." Off the top of my head, a few guys better than Delmon:

Andres Torres
Jair Jurrjens
Matt Diaz
Jason Frasor
Jon Rauch
Francisco Liriano
Reed Johnson
Travis Hafner
James Loney
Nate McLouth

Most of those guys are either relievers or bench players. But, of course, Delmon should be a bench player too.

Good point by Reverend.

MG: Your predicted drop in revenue is likely severely over-stated. Most people do not buy full season ticket plans.

Another interesting point is that season ticket buyers saw no increase for the 10 premium games (or decrease for the 10 games against the Royals, Astros, etc.) so if there are more single game tickets available for those 10 games, that's a little bump for the team in revenue.

I think it would be interesting to see numbers on how much each ticket holder spends over and above the cost of the ticket. And further, how much of that actually goes to the Phillies. I guarantee you they know within a penny what the average person spends in the ballpark. It would be interesting to know how much the vendors have to kick up to the Phils. If you spend $10.00 at Campos how much do the Phils pocket? Same thing with parking. I know the deal at the Vet was slanted toward the city in a big way. I doubt that is the case at CBP.

But, of course, Delmon should be a bench player too.

Posted by: Jack | Monday, February 11, 2013 at 01:51 PM

I'm not even sure I'd grant him that high of an honor. He's truly awful.

It was just a really rough calculation. If I was doing a more detailed calculation, I would assume something like only 40% were full season ticket holders who didn't renew and the rest were half-season tickets holders, Sunday only, etc.

You could run a few different scenarios to come up with a revenue estimate range drop depending upon how you weight the various season ticket plans.

The same folk who will resign Doc for 2 years-40 Million. Will be the first one's that will have a pissy-hissy fit when Doc suffers shoulder problems in year one of that contract. With a comment like why didnt they go younger. Why does Rube keep resigning older players. This person was available and was 4 years younger. Lol...

Young for a $750k flyer is an 'ok' signing if he is just going to be a guy who gets a majority of his ABs vs LHP and is a LF/DH.

Problem stems from the fact that Amaro made the comments that he saw him as a possible everyday starter in RF. That is what makes almost no sense about the signing.

The Delmon Young signing's major problem is that it will affect the opportunity extended to the other young OF - Brown and Ruf.

Not that those guys would have been world beaters, or that they would have individually made THE difference, but based on his track record Young may not really project to be any better than Brown (so why bump him out of RF?), and if Young proves incapable of handling RF defensively and gets stuck in LF, they'll probably favor/play him over Ruf, even if Ruf does manage to outhit him.

The Young signing is indicative of one think, IMHO:

I think it shows that RAJ and the FO think that if H, H and U are healthy, this team could contend, and they didn't want to go into the season with the risk that the corner OF spots could wind up a total "fail".

Thus, they tossed Young into the mix, because, despite his paltry track record of success, he is a more "proven" commodity than either Brown or Ruf.

To amplify: I'm not taking the position that either Ruf or Brown will prove to be "real", but the Young signing means we probably won't get the chance to find out.

Who would be the more valuable player as an everyday starter, Laynce Nix or Delmon Young?

I think it's Nix. More RHPers to face, and better defense.

lore, that's harsh, but probably true.

If Young winds up as the everyday RF on this team (personally I think Amaro was just giving public lip service to the idea in order to appease Young and his agent), then they are truly scrapping any sense that defense matters.

If Young is an everyday player on this team, it will be in LF, IMHO.

Then again, there was a period where Bobby Abreu occupied RF...

rolo: "I think it shows that RAJ and the FO think that if H, H and U are healthy, this team could contend, and they didn't want to go into the season with the risk that the corner OF spots could wind up a total "fail"."

I think this is probably an accurate assessment of their thinking. But it still reflects terribly on the front office, because giving the starting spot to Delmon Young is just as likely to end up a "total fail." I mean, the guy has a negative WAR in 3 of the past 5 seasons, and has topped 1 WAR exactly once in his career.

This is what cracks me up about the notion that Delmon was a low-risk, "high-reward" signing. He has once in his entire career given something that could potentially be considered a "reward" (his 2010 season), and even in that season (1.7 WAR), he ranked 46th out of 62 qualifying outfielders, tied with none other than Raul Ibanez, whom most people called to be platooned that entire season.

If Delmon Young is your failsafe against poor performance in RF, I don't think you really understand how to measure performance, since he's just about guaranteed to give you poor performance.

rolo: Delmon Young makes Bobby Abreu look like Roberto Clemente in RF.

Jack, meh, there's not much point using a defense-heavy counting stat to evaluate (what should be) an offensive bench player. His WAR was low that year because he crapped it up in the OF defensively playing every day. The potential "high reward" people are looking at is the .826 OPS, and perhaps even more so the .493 SLG. That's not nothing coming off the bench.

The argument that it's a bad signing because he's in danger of actually becoming an everyday OF is a different argument. It's valid in the sense that that would be a truly terrible outcome for the team, but it's invalid with respect to evaluating the signing itself. $750k for Young's upside IS a good "low-risk, high-reward" deal. If RAJ and Charlie proceed to royally screw up the execution of that deal, then that sucks, but it really is a separate issue. The bottom line is that Young has a nonzero shot at being a productive offensive player in exchange for almost no payroll impact. It's reasonable to use the phrase "low risk, high reward" for that situation, even if "moderate reward" might be more accurate.

"If Delmon Young is your failsafe against poor performance in RF, I don't think you really understand how to measure performance, since he's just about guaranteed to give you poor performance."

Jack, you'll get no argument from me.

This season may go down as the "Hope and a Prayer" season:

The FO hopes and prays for HHU to stay healthy and for a miraculous (that's what it will take, no?) rebound from DYoung.

Delmon's more of a "failsure" than a "failsafe."

The argument that it's a bad signing because he's in danger of actually becoming an everyday OF is a different argument. It's valid in the sense that that would be a truly terrible outcome for the team, but it's invalid with respect to evaluating the signing itself. $750k for Young's upside IS a good "low-risk, high-reward" deal. If RAJ and Charlie proceed to royally screw up the execution of that deal, then that sucks, but it really is a separate issue.

So RAJ signs a guy, but we're not supposed to evaluate RAJ's signing based on the role RAJ signed the guy to play? Got it.

ctom: not really, since you'd be evaluating him based on interview comments. Trusting what GM/Managers say in public interviews is never a good thing.

Colonel, as I mentioned above, methinks that RAJ was just giving lipservice to Young and his people when he said they'd "give him a shot" in RF.

I don't think that RAJ and the FO are "THAT" bad at their jobs that they cannot see the obvious:

Unless the absolute miracle I mentioned before happens, Delmon Young does not belong in RF.

Ryan Madson had soreness after his last bullpen session on Feb. 1st and hasn't thrown in 10 days. via Angels beat guy

I agree that you can't really take what management, in any sport, says publicly at face value, and I'm fine with that.

Regardless of what they said, however, given their affinity for veterans and their past treatment of Dom Brown and their (whether justified or not) skepticism towards him, I actually do think they're likely to give Delmon Young every opportunity to be the starting, everyday RF.

I certainly hope Dom has a good spring and Delmon's injury keeps him out. Otherwise, I tend to think we're looking at Delmon Young as a starter. That's not based necessarily on what they've said, but how they've acted in the past.

Yo new thread.

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