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Sunday, March 31, 2013

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Corey, nice analysis, but it's on paper.

From your fingertips to God's ears!

Cory: The Phils are famous for winning series against "better" teams, and prone to losing series against bad teams. As you say, thats why they play the games. It's hard enough to predict the overall season. Predicting 3-4 game segments is futile.

Btw, when do you and your cohorts plan to post a prediction thread?

Tomorrow morning, awh

How about we do a "predict the predictions" thread?

I predict BAP predicts a 78-84 season and season-ending surgery for Halladay in May.

I predict TTI predicts a 92-70 season and playoffs.

I predict Clout refuses to make a prediction.

I predict MG makes a bunch of contradictory predictions that don't make any sense.

Jack, I predict that all of your predictions are true. Furthermore, I predict that they will use sabermetrics all season long.

By the way, for all of those who care about pundits' predictions, Buster Olney wrote in his column today that if he could amend his predictions (which I guess he made last week sometime), he would make the Phillies the second wild-card team in the NL.

Corey, the post at the top of this thread is as silly and pointless as I've ever seen on this site. And I've never in the past taken anyone to task for a thread starting post.

Maybe it's an outgrowth of pseudo-sports talk and fantasy baseball and twitter-filled attention spans, but there is very little reporting and thoughtful discussion anymore. Even what used to be legitimate reporting sources are more interested in predicting the future, usually in some fakey, reality show manner, where former baseball players take pre-planned opposite sides of things that will play out tomorrow.

Add to that all the "exclusives" and "breaking news" which is never exclusive or, um, news, at all, and it is a perfect storm of bull excrement passing for sports talk/reporting.

Luckily, there are some thoughtful posters here who still make it fun to discuss baseball.

I have a prediction, but it's more of an if-then type of thing. I think it's actually impossible to know what becomes of this team this season. But I used to think that the determining factor would be the health of Roy Halladay. I know longer hold out any hope that Halladay will be more than an unhealthy fifth starter this season. So, the Phillies fate will hinge on how well KK and Lannan perform as the third and fourth starters. Were Doc to be some semblance of his old self, it wouldn't have mattered much if those two were merely .500 between them. But for this team to do well enough to make the second wild card, KK and Lannan in aggregate will have to perform better than any of us have a right to expect.

What Corey is saying is that this needs to be up on bad teams especially the 36 games they have vs Mets/Fish.

Even the best baseball teams typically don't have that a great a record vs teams over .500. That's all.

19-13 is a very optimistic/high level of expectation. It's a 99 win pace. The Phils though are almost completely heathy to start the year and will have had Chooch back for over a week by the time they wrap up their 32nd game. It's a nice barometer on the schedule to look and see where they are in the standings given a favorable schedule that includes 18 home games.

If the Phils don't at least have a winning record at that point, I don't think they are playoff contenders this year even though they technically will be hard pressed to be considered out of the race until deep into the season with the 2nd WC.

Jack: The Phillies don't do season-ending surgeries in May. The Phillies' way is to turn every injury into a season-long drama, with the player making multiple trips to the DL, followed by multiple assurances that now he feels as good as new.

As for your prediction that I'll predict a 78-84 record . . . I'm not telling.

BAP, I laughed about your injury prediction-but only because it's true.

Does Weitzel ever post posts here anymore? He was a good writer.

Never a commenter, been an avid reader for the past few years. The quality of posts have unfortunately declined since more people have got their hands on the Beerleaguer posts.

Luckily, as was mentioned, I still come to read the comments, where I enjoy every intelligent, well-thought debate and civil discussion.

"On a broader note, do any of you ever think there's something odd that the only people predicting the Phillies to be particularly good this year are Phillies fans on a Phillies blog? That doesn't raise any flags to you all?"

Dumbest comment ever? Dumbest comment ever.

I was thinking just what Chris posted.

19-13 is a 99 win pace, yes, but the Phils don't play the Mets or Marlins 64 times in 162 games (same as 13/32). The opening month isn't a balanced schedule and they should take advantage. Saying its a 99 win pace overstates the degree of difficulty in the strong start.

The 09 team had a pretty weak start to the year against a fairly easy schedule. I don't expect dominance from this team, but a winning record and some promising starts from the important pieces (utley, Howard, doc, Adams). I don't expect them to win this opening series.

Iceman: Why is that?

I mean, in the last thread, there was comments making fun of a Yankees blog for being ridiculous and predicting the Yanks would've the playoffs. "What homerism!" everyone declared.

Yet I'm not allowed to suggest that might be happening here, where Phillies fans are the only people I've seen predicting them to be a playoff team?

Team sports depends on homerism. If all anyone watched were the best teams, then all the other teams would pretty much dry up from lack of interest and revenue. Of course, there are teams like the Astros and Marlins that will be lucky to have anyone show up at all this year. But the majority of teams are like the Phillies, or even a little worse. They are mediocre with a slight chance to grab onto a second wild card by their fingernails and hope to catch fire in the playoffs.

Tray: I imagine JW might return now that the season is upon us. That said, he has a new gig within Comcast, and a young family. I also sensed he was getting a bit burned out on the Phillies, as well as the general bitchiness that permeates the site, although the last part could be projection on my part.

The reality is, the posts that kickoff each new thread rarely remains a consistent topic of discussion throughout the thread. As such, I'm not sure how critical they are. I think the crew that has been posting them has been fine, not radically different than what JW would be offering up during the off-season.

aksmith: What you're describing is fandom, not homerism.

What I'm describing is people making predictions, which are fun but largely irrelevant. I could predict the Phillies to go 60-102, and I'd still be a fan and watch every game and root for them to win.

Bold prediction: people will complain about every header author not named J. Weitzel.

Jack - Fandom? Homerism? I don't really see the difference when both are largely, although not entirely, based on geography.

I grew up a Phillies fan because that was my local team. That's sort of the intersection of fandom and homerism. Do I see that my hometown team could suck? Easy answer. My first year of "fandom" or "homerism" was 1964.

Will I watch almost all of the games whether the team stinks or not? In the past, yes. But if the season is winding down and they're awful, I will find other things to do. Like I said, there are more choices. And my life is winding down much too fast to watch meaningless games. I find that i enjoy the meaningless one much less than I used to.

Its the commentators that make or break a site and I amazed at how many regulars still post on here even from '06 or '07 and excellent posters (e.g., Sophist) still occasionally post.

It gets snarky and personal at times but overall it maintains a civil tone most times with a pretty wide range of thoughts on the Phils and at times other topics (e.g., food, etc). It also follows the golden rule that you don't talk politics or religion either with strangers.

Maintaining a blog on a daily basis (especially a sports-related gig) though is an unrelenting and somewhat thankless task. Glad Weitzel was able to leverage it for bigger and better things.

aksmith: Ok, I just think we're talking about something different, but that's fine.

"Homerism," in the sense that I'm using it, is predicting things irrationally because you're a fan of that team. Being a fan of that team is a distinct thing, in this construct. Obviously, they go somewhat hand in hand (part of being a fan requires irrationality, you could argue), but I'm using them as distinct ideas.

I probably agree with you on watching less of the team if they're really bad. But I don't think it's because of being less of a fan or anything--it's just a bad product. If it's a good product and they're losing (for instance, a bunch of exciting young players who could be good in the future), I will definitely still watch. But if it's a bunch of Laynce Nixes and Ty Wiggintons and they're just playing boring baseball, yeah, I find it hard to watch as well.

Seems like as good a time as any for Chooch to serve a 25 game suspension.

On a broader note, do any of you ever think there's something odd that the only people predicting the Phillies to be particularly good this year are Phillies fans on a Phillies blog? That doesn't raise any flags to you all?

Posted by: Jack | Sunday, March 31, 2013 at 12:16 PM

And yet last year, a majority of sports writers were predicting both the Phillies and the Red Sox in the WS. That was right on.

i predict haikus
and one box/one post dialogues
by other folks, too

It has been pretty popular to dump on the Phils this spring & yeah I don't think a lot of the national guys don't really pay much attention at all to how a team is really looking in the spring. Everything except Halladay has broken the Phils' way this spring though.

Understand why some of the national guys are a bit down on the Phils because of Halladay (I think he's hurt and will have a trip to the DL in April) and the concerns about their overall starting pitching.

It is an uphill climb for them to make the playoffs without a healthy Halladay but I would put the Phils in the same group as the DBacks/Brewers (team that are around .500 but could make the playoffs if some of their
question marks break right).

The biggest issue to me isn't the Phils but the quality of the NL this year which I think is better overall & a bit deeper than the AL this year.

Best teams in the NL are the Reds and Nats. Next tier are the Dodgers/Giants/Cards/Braves. That's the biggest issue for the Phils. There are 9 teams this year in the NL that I think will be above .500 this year.

isn't tribalism another word for this phenomenon? i've been a tribal member since 1958 at age 11. i have my grandmother to thank for this.

I looked to see how many Opening Day starts various guys have made and it is JRoll's 13th this spring (passes Bowa's 10th).

Doubt that JRoll breaks Schmidt's franchise record (16th Opening Day starts) but he has a shot to get close if his '15 option vests in '14.

Bowa had 12.

Andy --

Isn't Haiku of the form:

5
7
5
(syllables)?

For example:

The Phillies fandom
Show love with great abandon
A loss means nothing

Jack- I mean, I sort of hope you're joking with this argument you're trying to make. Weren't you the one talking down to everyone just a few days ago about these 'silly predictions' and how everyone is getting worked up over things that are pointless? Now you're saying they should be instructive as to how we should feel about how the team is going to do?

Frank Thomas says Howard is going to win MVP and the Phils are going to the World Series. Does his opinion count more than our own because he's 'impartial'?

It's just a stupid argument and a ridiculous point to make. Leave aside the fact that a good portion of people here (not mentioning any names) have been crapping on the team for years. When you read a lot of these preseason predictions, a lot of the reasoning is just stupid. A lot of national pundits are not nearly as intimately familiar with the team as its diehard fans are. A lot of the pundits are just idiots. Who cares what their consensus is, and why should that consensus say anything about how we feel about the team's chances?

Iceman: The point was not that national pundits are right, obviously. I could care less what most of them predict.

It's that where the only place I hear an argument for "this is a playoff team" is on a blog with Phillies fans, it makes me think it's much more wishful thinking than it is a rational, convincing argument.

But hey. Baseball is about to start. It's all good.

Yep, MG, 2007 at least. Time flies. Happy Opening Night, everyone.

Seriously, the Astros are playing in the first nationally broadcast game of the 2013 season?

Ugh.

Your premier matchup to begin the 2013 season with a bang?

Bud Norris vs. Matt Harrison

The Astros are an example of MLB letting a new owner (Jim Crane) put out an embarrassingly bad product while raking in $$$ all for being the good soldier & letting the Astros move to the AL.

Zero interest in this game tonight.

Jack- I think we are all adult enough here to judge arguments based on their merits, and not necessarily where they are coming from.

I think Jon Heyman is an idiot because most of his arguments are dumb- not because he doesn't echo what I want him to say about my team.

Yeah, I'm excited for the start of the season -- but definitely not excited enough to sit down & watch the Astros.

***The Astros are an example of MLB letting a new owner (Jim Crane) put out an embarrassingly bad product while raking in $$$ all for being the good soldier & letting the Astros move to the AL.***

That's more the norm than the exception if you look at most of baseball's history. Skinflint owners are the norm.

I guess the Phillies are standing pat with Inciarte.

Of all the games to pick to lead off the season, MLB picked one of their faux 'Interleague' rival series which features one terrible team.

Why not open the season with two good teams or at the very least a real rivalry game (Cards-Cards, Giants-Dodgers, Red Sox-Yanks, etc)..

Selig and MLB kind of dropped the ball on this one. NFL wouldn't open with such a crappy game.

MG: I used to like the tradition of the Reds hosting the first game of the year.

@MG, when was the last time Selig didn't drop the ball with opening day? This year is bad but last year ( last couple I think) with "opening day" in Japan was downright ridiculous

The Astros 2013 motto is "Ignore the Noise"?

Really should be "Ignore the Absence of Any Noise Whatsoever".

Maybe Selig just saw the premiere of 'Game of Thrones' debut was tonight along with the season finale of 'Walking Dead' and figured who would really watch an Opening Night game on Sunday night.

lorecore - Me too. A Reds-Cubs or Reds-Cards game would have been a solid way to start the year and showcase the game.

I'm watching, loosely. Just happy baseball's back! I'm pulling for the 'Stros.

aksmith makes a good point about the importance of KK and Lannan having pretty good years to make up for a much more mortal Doc. I'd feel better about our chance if Doc were vintage Doc.

So Casper Wells, Sweeney and Rapada are now on the market, no movement?

Baseball is baseball regardless of it being the Stros.

BTW, their new uniforms are fantastic looking. Great traditional design.

i like the new unis, too, NEPP.

Happy they scored a few runs while the announcers were continuing to speak of how bad they'll be. They'll still be bad, but it was good to hear the home crowd cheer on Opening Day.

The hats look like a throwback to several of the Negro League teams and the uniforms look almost like the NY Giants uniforms (or a good number of 1950s teams)

I really like them. I'm curious to see what their 3rd jersey looks like (its bright orange)...but I always prefer the white home/gray road uniform look.

***Of all the games to pick to lead off the season, MLB picked one of their faux 'Interleague' rival series which features one terrible team***


Not interleague anymore.

If Amaro doesn't pick up someone who an upgrade over Inciarte, he's just being a horse's ass. There are a few guys who have been waived who are clear upgrades & would give the Phils an upgrade offensively.

Yeah but Inciarte is a young rising star/prospect...its totally worth wasting a roster spot on an a ball player just to get that.

If its one thing our system lacks, its toolsy defensive OFs.

Clay Rapada is a fraud. Last year 115 of the 155 batters he faced were LHB, giving him the platoon advantage 74.2% of the time - which is the largest PADV any LHP has had in a decade.

Normalize his PADV for next year to the 2012 League average of 46.4% and he reverts back to the AAAA pitcher he really is.

to clarify, 46.4% is specifically the PADV for LH relievers.

One day I need to find someone smarter than I to find out how to take my PADV stat and normalize it into results. I can calculate that Rapada should have been expected to face 43.1 more RHB last season - but I don't know how I would use that data to account for his vs RHB numbers and find his 2012 'normalized' performance.

Berkman looks like he went on the Delmon Young offseason training regimen and lost a few pounds. Not nearly the weight Young has supposedly lost but Berkman looks slimmer.

What kind of trade would they have to work out to keep Inciarte? It couldn't be anything significant, right?

If they want Inciarte they should just swing a trade. They are hurting the MLB roster for no good reason as a result.

FYI - Billy Wagner over the last decade has had the lowest PADV of all LH relievers, so some of his dominant years are actually even more dominant then they look, since he did it vs batters that were only LHB around 19% of the time.

I didn't expect to, but I'm actually enjoying the booth tonight for ESPN. Kursk is a good addition.

Damn autocorrect. Kruk is a good addition.

Does anyone know if Kruk's daughter goes to Stanford?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Joe Morgan is exactly like Sarge. When they actually decide to talk about what is going on in the game especially in the batter's box, they can provide some useful commentary.

Both guys though almost never do that though instead talking in generic cliches and everything in between. It always shows how badly/poorly prepared both guys are too most times.

The only difference is that Sarge wasn't the pompous jerk Morgan could be. The ESPN broadcasts were better last year simply because Morgan wasn't around and I imagine the Phils' broadcasts would be if Sarge wasn't around.

Phillies' early schedule is quite favorable - Beerleaguer - Phillies Blog, Baseball News, Trade Rumors & Spirits

Tonight probably had about 40% of the 'Astros 2013 Season Highlights'

"We're becoming like the NBA," says Brewers GM Doug Melvin. "Instead of old-fashioned baseball trades, we're trading contracts. I can see more of these in the future. And that's concerning.

Saw this on MLB.com and it is a very good point with the recent extensions. It's also a very bad thing for baseball in general & has been generally a hindrance to the NBA & NHL.

"If Amaro doesn't pick up someone who an upgrade over Inciarte, he's just being a horse's ass. There are a few guys who have been waived who are clear upgrades & would give the Phils an upgrade offensively."

MG~ RAJ would just be true to form by standing pat. Wells & Sweeney will probably sign elsewhere. So much for looking for OF help. But I hope I'm wrong here. Maybe they just didn't want to do business on Easter.

I've been a big Beerleaguer fan (and regular contributor) since 2006 and as much as I like JW... his posts were rarely what brought me here.

These comment threads are the most interesting Phillies-related items on the web.

It's also funny that many of anti-new contributor comments come from folks who don't seem to comment often.

I rarely, if ever, look to see who wrote the post. I agree with the majority here, that the reason for coming to this site is to read the varied opinions of the posters. I don't see how who, or what the thread post is about has any relation to your enjoyment of this site. Just seems a case of biting the hand that feeds you.

On that note, eagerly awaiting which hack will write the prediction thread ;)

Supposedly the Rangers are close to signing Andrus to an 8 year deal...why do that when the #1 prospect in baseball in Profar plays the same position? Sure, they could move Kinsler to 1B/DH to make space in the middle infield but Kinsler's bat isn't good enough for either slot. Seems like an inefficient allocation of resources to me.

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