Phillies

Transactions & Such

Winter leagues

Part of CSNPhilly.com


« Failed opportunities result in Phillies' fourth straight loss | Main | Game chat: Phils go with righty lineup vs. Garcia »

Friday, April 19, 2013

Comments

Hoping for regression to the mean!

repost:

bap: What was so different between Pence I and Pence II?

Pence career when he was acquired: 117 OPS+
Pence with Phils in 2012: 108 OPS+

This goes directly back to my biggest problem with Amaro, he doesn't know how to evaluate talent even after its already happened. Ruben Amaro saw his 2011 numbers and thought thats what Hunter Pence was - but in reality he was more likely to get Pence's entire 2860 PA with Houston.

Put your life savings on the Cards tonight. This is as close to a lock as you'll ever find in sports.

Re-post:

What's interesting is that (and I think Sophist has pointed this out) when it comes to evaluating pitchers, Amaro actually seems to be in tune with advanced analysis. I think it's likely by happenstance and not by design, but still. He clearly values pitchers who strike out hitters and don't walk hitters. As it happens, advanced metrics tell us those are the two things pitchers can most directly control and are most related to their success. If you look at career K/BB ratio leaders, 4 of the top 18 all-time were in the Phillies rotation in 2011. I mean, that's crazy.

Now, it doesn't take an advanced degree in stats to tell you Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee are good pitchers. Still, I find it fascinating that he seems to be directly on point with that analysis with pitchers, and yet seemingly so far behind the 8-ball when it comes to valuing position players (in terms of both offense and defense).

What gives?

Garcia (-120) @ Halladay (even), o/u 7.5

also out today:

The Next Manager to be Fired:

Charlie Manuel (4/1) is the favorite. Bud Black and Ron Gardenhire are 5/1.

I was just livid when I heard the Amaro quotes yesterday about how he was baffled that they didn't have any walks. Did he not build this team? It would be like me slamming a 30-pack of Bud and not expecting to spend the entire next day on the toilet.

Are we really still citing a pitcher's historical record against a team? Even after last week?

Seidman: "The Phillies are hitting .131 against lefties this season, which is obviously dead-last in baseball. They've scored two runs against lefties and have a .370 OPS. Comically bad numbers, but they have to improve, right?"

The real problem is specifically our RHB facing LHP. Yes, our lefties are amongst the worst vs LHP, but not drastically.

Our RHB are .175/.214/.225 vs LHB...that is a monumental drop and absolute dead last in the majors.

Good thing Babe Galvis is a switch hitter. Problem. Solved.

How about that defensive alignment for the top of the 9th last night? Pretty awesome.

Even if you want to argue that Pence was a move made for 2011-2013, and not just to put them over the top in 2011, you have to contend with 3 factors:

1) It was still an overpay in that you gave up your two best trade-able assets in Singleton and Cosart, for the rights to acquire a player that would cost you $29.1 M (the $4.9 M paid by the Phils in 2011, and the $24.2 M he's paid in 2012 and 2013), or roughly $12.47 M per season (they would have had him for 2.33 seasons).

That doesn't sound like a great deal to me, all to acquire a complementary, sub All-Star player, who, given his poor fundamentals, was no lock to age gracefully.

2) As was pointed out, this notion that it was a move made for the future and not for 2011 is controverted by the fact that RAJ traded him away in 2012.

3) Simply put, it didn't work. It didn't put us over the top in 2011, and we entered 2013 in a much worse position in the OF, since we still need a corner OF, except we had significantly less resources to bring in said OF.

The Pence trade, in my mind, is easily the worst of RAJ's tenure.

after pointing out Asche's slow start, he racks up 4 hits last night(all singles).

lorecore: Good point and it is why I am hoping that when Chooch and Young are in the lineup that improves. Both guys hit left-handers very well and will help. In fact, once Young returns I would not mind at all seeing Brown/Young/Nix/Mayberry used as double platoons to play the splits. Even with as much as i want Brown to succeed and play everyday i think we need to give him the Werth treatment in 2007 where he needs to earn his ability to play everyday.

Old standby Joe Savery on the way.

Fatal: When isolated to just Pence, I believe the money works out just fine. I would easily pay the $$ for Hunter Pence even with hindsight and 2013 ahead of us.

The problem is that a GM can't isolate it to just 1 player, and by his own doings, had created a situation where a ~115 OPS+ corner OF making $13M in 2013 was incapable of keeping.

Amaro either #1) thought Pence would be a 140 OPS+ player based on his 2011 season, #2) didn't comprehend his resources and upcoming roster vacancies in the future, #3) was only worried about immediate returns in 2011 and was OK with the future risk.

For his sake, I hope it was #3, and we simply have to accept his strategy that going all-in when a top team is the best way to win championships, and not trying to maximize making multiple playoff appearances. Its a fair opinion I believe.

I however think that #1 and #2 are strong possibilities as what really happened.

One wonders if Savery is a temporary move, until a starter comes up to replace Lannan, or if this means that the Raul Valdes will be taking Lannan's turn in the rotation. After all, it worked out so well the last time Valdes started.

One of Valdes, Savery, Horst will be hitting the road come Monday.

Savery will likely have the chance to remain on the team, but there will be another move after this weekend for a starter. Lannan is expected to miss 6-8weeks, so a spot start isn't the solution.

lorecore, I think the money's steep for a pre-FA player, and the argument that it was OK to give up Singleton/Cosart BECAUSE you were getting a pre-FA player for 2+ years is washed away when you realize that they would have been paying him like a FA player. That was my point.


Even if you want to argue that Pence was a move made for 2011-2013, and not just to put them over the top in 2011, you have to contend with 3 factors:

1) It was still an overpay in that you gave up your two best trade-able assets in Singleton and Cosart, for the rights to acquire a player that would cost you $29.1 M (the $4.9 M paid by the Phils in 2011, and the $24.2 M he's paid in 2012 and 2013), or roughly $12.47 M per season (they would have had him for 2.33 seasons).

That doesn't sound like a great deal to me, all to acquire a complementary, sub All-Star player, who, given his poor fundamentals, was no lock to age gracefully.

2) As was pointed out, this notion that it was a move made for the future and not for 2011 is controverted by the fact that RAJ traded him away in 2012.

3) Simply put, it didn't work. It didn't put us over the top in 2011, and we entered 2013 in a much worse position in the OF, since we still need a corner OF, except we had significantly less resources to bring in said OF.

The Pence trade, in my mind, is easily the worst of RAJ's tenure.

Posted by: Fatalotti | Friday, April 19, 2013 at 11:15 AM

The dumping of Pence coupled with the acquisition of Pence does look incredibly stupid in hindsight, but I'm quite sure Amaro intended to retain him until he hit FA when he acquired him. The decision to extend Hamels changed Rube's plans and had him scrambling to get under the luxury tax; it was fairly obvious that Rube wasn't even thinking of a Hamels extension back in 2011. Even so, had Rube been able to unload JRoll on the Dodgers or the As (as he reportedly tried to do at the deadline last year), I suspect we'd still be seeing Pence in RF and Galvis at SS.

No AT, I think it was the fact that the Phillies stunk last year and Pence could be moved for some prospects.

I think people need to actually watch players in the minors, rather than just looking at the numbers. For instance, Asche's four hits weren't exactly authoritative yesterday. All singles, and I started watching a little late, but his third hit was a parachute that just managed to elude the outfielders. In the majors, it's likely a pop up out. In other words, if you're looking at numbers and not the players, take a glance at the babip while you're checking out a four hit game. It's a much better indicator of what's really going on.

And Savery looked good yesterday. Against a lousy Pawsox offense. His slider actually looked improved. But without a gun on the video feed, his fastball still looked pretty ordinary. If it were a straight 99 mph fastball, then we'd be talking. But if it's still high 80s to low nineties, he's going to continue to get shellacked at the major league level.

It's important to note that even Diekman looked good against these guys, and for two innings.

The line between "not having a plan" and "adjusting to changing circumstances" is awfully thin and sometimes not particularly clear.

You could argue that the trade to get Pence followed by dumping him a year later shows Amaro had no plan at all. You could also argue that he was simply adapting--the team declined quicker than he thought, and there was no point to holding onto Pence just because you gave up so much for him--that's a sunk cost, and dealing him last year was cutting your losses and getting the most you could for him to rebuild.

As I said, that distinction is very hard to draw.

fatal: I disagree that Pence's status as a "pre FA" player should effect his value.

If player A and his performance can be controlled for $X, then he's worth Y.

I do agree that the prospect value and $$ commitment is an overpay, but that is such a gray area trying to value prospect into $ that I'll give Amaro the benefit of the doubt there, and simply attack the more solid aspects of the transaction - which in my opinion are plenty enough to criticize the move itself.

BTW, the above illustrates my big problem with Rube--he neglects what my social studies instructors used to call "the systemic view;" he doesn't think of how a move is going to affect the other pieces in the system; half his moves, good and bad, seem to be made as reactions to popular sentiment. Signing Lee as a FA was an obvious response to the continuing criticism of the Lee trade, while acquiring Pence was a result of the constant (and correct) harping on our need for a RH outfield bat. Similarly, I'm convinced he wasn't planning on extending Hamels until public sentiment got so strong in favor of it; for the same reason, he dumped Pence for a lousy return because everyone in the media was saying it was time for the Phillies to sell and citing Pence as the team's most marketable asset.

Btw, I didn't mean look at the babip for one game. I meant for the season.

AT: "The decision to extend Hamels changed Rube's plans and had him scrambling to get under the luxury tax; it was fairly obvious that Rube wasn't even thinking of a Hamels extension back in 2011."

As i said before, i truly hope that wasn't the case. Our worst fears are true if so...we have a GM who can't think further than 1 year into the future.

I can't think that is even remotely true regarding Hamels. What evidence is there to support that line of thinking?

lorecore - Pence's OPS+ was 120 thru 2011. Since 2012 it is 103. That is a sizable difference. .828 OPS to .745 OPS.

Rube didn't expect to extend Hamels? I have a hard time believing that even Rube is that stupid. And I credit him with a lot of stupid.

I think that what happened to him is the same thing that happened to me. I hadn't seen a whole lot of Hunter Pence. When he got to Philly, and I saw his actual game, it was pretty weak. His approach is not just unorthodox, it's unsustainable. And his fielding is worse than anyone could have reasonable hoped. Also, his baserunning is poor for a guy with speed.

It seems Rube never actually watched the guy play. And while it's acceptable that we don't watch a lot of Astro's baseball, it's unacceptable that Rube doesn't. Or that his scouts are that lame.

If Pence were a great player, I think Rube would have been able to justify his salary and Hamels' extension. But after seeing Pence's actual game, he was as horrified as we were.

That's not what you want out of a GM.

Has the 'Escalona Express' been renamed the 'Savery Shuttle?'

And it is true that Pence was riding a wave in 2011 for a career year, but he was also 28 so there would be some reason to believe he'd be hitting his stride for 2-3 seasons while locked up with the Phils.

It is odd that Amaro traded him last season knowing we'd have a mess in the OF. That's why I think he was adapting to what he had and removing Pence while he still had value (at a time when that value would be at its peak -- the trade deadline). He was fine paying *someone* $13M to play RF this year (you can't say it's about the Hamels deal because he made offers to Hamilton and BJ Upton that would have involved big commitments), he just didn't want Pence in the OF anymore.

aksmith - Completely agree with that post. I think the weakness here isn't poor financial planning. It think it's either poor scouting or just the risks of sudden talent attrition. And Brown's lack of development can't be forgotten either. If he turns into an everyday player in 2011, Phils don't make that trade. Not sure that's really Amaro's fault.

Pence is vastly overrated. Lously defensive player, dumb baserunner, and terrible swing mechanics. He's going to age very poorly & I'm not sad that Amaro dumped him and reallocated that money to other needs.

For an organization that supposedly emphasises scouting so much, what the hell did the scouts see in Pence when they traded for him? Exactly the kind of player that traditional scouting should send up a gigantic red flag on especially on his ability to hit better pitching.

Werth departs after 2010. Time for Brown to step up (Francisco is some backup OF), and Brown breaks his hand in the first week of the season. Isn't that the timeline?

Why is it poor scouting? Because it makes Amaro look worse. That is an incredibly silly line of logic being given which is as silly as "He didn't know he'd have to extend Hamels."

It is pretty obvious to anyone with a working brain what happened. Amaro made a deal for Pence thinking he would be the corner outfielder for 2011 and 2012. In 2012 the Phillies faltered and were sellers at the deadline and Pence was an attractive piece for teams, especially a team that needed a corner outfielder like the Giants, so they traded him and got back some pieces. Nothing more, nothing less. Between July of 2011 and July of 2012 the Phillies situation changed so their plans for Pence changed.

TTI - It is poor scouting because I am sure the scouts would have knocked the multiple defencies that Pence had both from a mental perspective (his foolish approach at the plate to swing as hard on almost every pitch regardless of the count or situation) and physical ones (awkward routes, poor jumps, terrible plate mechanics).

Pence is exactly the kind of guy where Amaro looks at his 'production' and would even override all of the limitations I am sure the scouts pointed out in his game.

TTI - Yeah, but the FO had to know they'd have a gaping hole in the OF in 2013 and Pence was still arb-eligible. Unless Amaro was in full rebuild and didn't care about the 2013 OF, he had no real need to deal Pence at the deadline last year. In fact, a solid OF (AS in his peak years) for less than $15M on a one-year deal is exactly what any team would want. If Pence were that player, I think he'd still be a Phillie unless Amaro really is just a short-term thinker and had no concern for his 2013 OF at last year's deadline.

I think it's more likely that he realized Pence wasn't the player he thought he acquired, and Amaro had no interest in paying him $13M this year. So he dealt him. Maybe you're right, though. Maybe he saw an opportunity to get some pieces and figured he'd solve the OF puzzle in the offseason.

One thing I actually like about Amaro is that he isn't rigid to one strategy. The two Pence deals, the two Lee deals. I think there's some credence to TTI's point on that front. Amaro is flexible and makes deals when he sees an opportunity. Of course, whether any of us like his execution is a different story.

Sophist: Another possibility is that r00b had already decided he wanted to re-sign Hamels, but knew he had to work w/in the constraints of forever staying below the luxury tax. This meant he'd need to dump salary, & also that he had no real intention of signing anyone readily capable of replacing Vic or Pence, let alone both of them. Replacing $26 million worth of CF/RF starters for around $3 million of assorted crap is not a recipe for success. Of course I have no sympathy for r00b in the budget constraint scenario, either. He's the one who ran the Phillies up against the tax threshold in the first place w/ idiot moves like signing Papelbon. In any event, it all goes back to money, & Ruben has not spent his wisely.

Sophist: I agree. Like I said before, there's a balancing act between having a plan and being flexible. I don't know what the balance is, but ultimately, the proof is in the pudding, right?

Pence is actually the best case where Amaro valued 'production' (especially RBIs) over both what traditonal scouting & sabermetrics would have pointed out as key limitations.

MG: There is a subtle difference between what you are saying and what aksmith is saying. In your version it could be that scouts looked at Pence and said, "He has faults but there is a lot of talent there" (which is the case with him). He's not a bad player- but is very awkward. And yes he swings hard at every pitch but he was a 117 OPS+, 16.1 WAR player in 5 seasons with Houston. I mean let's not pretend that a guy who puts up a slash line of .290/.339/.479/.818 is a bad player.

Sophist: I think it amounted to Amaro looking at his team and thinking he had multiple holes- needed to have the money to do that as opposed to the one bat. Pence got 13.8 million this year. The Phillies are paying Mike Adams, Michael Young, Ben Revere, and John Lannan 15 million. I know it is probably a little unfair to do a quick and dirty analysis like that but the phillies filled 4 holes (one they created) with the money Pence would've got.

TTI - Bad player no but a guy who would struggle against better pitching and wasn't worth paying a king's ransom for either.

The one key to everything though this year and last year was Halladay becoming mortal. If he was still pitching at a very high level, then Amaro's high-risk strategy of investing a ton of money in top-flight starting pitching would have been seen as pretty sound.

If you wanted to fault Amaro, I would say it has been his zeal at jumping into the FA market & really overpaying years/dollars and his ability to secondary/tertiary moves to find enough complementary talent to surround the high-priced talent. It was an issue in '11 that was just largely covered up by such a dominant starting staff. It was an issue last year & this year.

TTI: Right. Not a bad player. No one's arguing Pence is a bad player.

What everyone is asking, and asked at the time, is whether, when you were already the best team in baseball in 2011, he was worth paying your top 2, and 3 of your top 10, prospects for, plus $12-15 million a year after that.

Savery from AAA to MLB. J.C. Ramirez from AA to AAA.

Minaya and Amaro comparison is shaping up to be eeirly similiar and play out in a very familiar fashion sans the ownership financial crisis.

It was an issue in '11 that was just largely covered up by such a dominant starting staff. It was an issue last year & this year.

Agreed. In '11 the starting staff remained mostly healthy, & both starting & relief pitchers put up historically good numbers, which helped to camouflage a thoroughly average offense. Not surprisingly the pitching staff was unable to replicate their performance in '12, & a still thoroughly average offense had nowhere to hide. Both the pitching & offense are even worse in '13 ... it's easy to see where this is going.

Pray for rain

Sophist: your 120/103 OPS+ comparison factors in unrelated events.

Amaro acquired a player with a 117 career OPS+.
The player then puts up a 125 OPS+ in a Phillies uniform. Specifically in 2012, he had a 108 OPS+ as a Phillie.

If you and others want to state the theory that Pence was traded because Amaro thought that Pence ended up being a different player than he originally thought - then we have identified the problem:

Amaro was wrong to think what he was getting in the first place.

MG: aksmith is basically saying Pence was a bad player before we signed him.

Even if you are hell bent on thinking that Amaro should have gone after Pence for 2012-13, it's pretty hard to not admit that he should have waited until after the 2011 season, since, again, there was zero need for Pence to be on the 2011 squad, and if he had waited longer, he could have paid less in both terms of salary and prospects for Pence.

TTI - What I'm saying is that Pence was probably a better than average player, who has serious flaws in his game that would lead anyone scouting him to say he has serious downside going forward.

If all one did was look at his traditional stats, he would have looked like a much better player than he was. If Rube was fixated on "production" as he seems to be, this is a mistake he would have overpaid for. he thought he was getting a star player and paid up like he was. But what he got was what we saw, a good player with holes in his game that became more apparent with every game.

To some extent it was unfair to load Pence up with high expectations. But to be realistic, the Astros got a haul for him that was worth more than what Rube acquired.

Re the Pence trade(s), if Tommy Joseph turns out to be better than the rest of the prospects involved getting/trading Pence, it will render all this moot. Not that that justifies Amaro's logic.

Even if you are hell bent on thinking that Amaro should have gone after Pence for 2012-13, it's pretty hard to not admit that he should have waited until after the 2011 season, since, again, there was zero need for Pence to be on the 2011 squad, and if he had waited longer, he could have paid less in both terms of salary and prospects for Pence.

Posted by: Fatalotti | Friday, April 19, 2013 at 01:08 PM


This. And a ton of posters said that exact thing at the time.

One wonders in 2011 what a package of Singleton, Cosart, Santana and Brown might have fetched.

2011 starting staff was extra strength Fabreze. It was enough to cover up the odor enamating from a pretty overall average team (offense, defense, bullpen).

I know he isn't hitting for power right now but I tend to believe that will come yet. However, it needs to be pointed out that Howard is 10 for his last 31, and has raised his OPS 160 points from last week.

Progress

The starting pitching is part of the team. So if that is historically good, I'm not sure how you can say the team was 'average.'

2011 defense was good. Polly, Jroll, Chase, Ruiz, Victorino were all above average. Ibanez Pence and Howard were weaker, but all at the least premium positions.

And Valdez was good as well in the field, who racked up almost as many defensive innings as Utley that year.

" it needs to be pointed out that Howard is 10 for his last 31"

I would be a little more reassured by this sampling if I didn't see his first two "hits" yesterday. Joke MLB scoring is a joke.

Iceman - Go look at where that team ranked and where indivdual players ranked.

The starting staff was very good and they even had a bit of luck & exceded their FIP/xFIP numbers.

I was massively wrong on the '11 team RA projection going into the season largely because I didn't think the starting staff could improve that much from '10 (which was pretty good too).

Fat: "The argument that it was OK to give up Singleton/Cosart BECAUSE you were getting a pre-FA player for 2+ years is washed away when you realize that they would have been paying him like a FA player."

There's definitely some validity to that point. But here's why I disagree: having $12M in extra money to play with does not necessarily translate to reeling in a player who is worth $12M. It's easy to say, in hindsight, that the FAs that year included guys like Josh Willingham and Cody Ross, who both out-performed Pence last year and for less money. But there was no guarantee we could have landed either of them, even if we had wanted to. There is also no guarantee that RAJ would have been prescient enough to go after them.

So long as a player is worth something reasonably close to what he's getting, I'd usually rather have the player than the cash to spend. Cash is worthless if the store is out of the item you're shopping for -- as it very often is in the FA market.

Hugh: The first one maybe but the idea of an error is a routine play being turned into a baserunner by muffing a play. that second ball was anything but routine. Howard laced that one.

The first hit I think they have trouble scoring because a second baseman in right field ranging to his right and throwing back to first is not technically routine either.

Pence at $14 million increasingly appears to be a tremendous bargain when compared to Howard at $20 million.

Howard is slugging .387. With about 2/3 less ABs Galvis is slugging .550.

Ha! I was just looking over the summary of Howard's contract. The bad news is the Phillies will still owe him a minimum of $85 million after this season ends. The funny part is the clause which gives Howard the "right" to purchase up to 8 Season Tickets for Phillies home games. I'll bet the FO is practically begging him to do so. Some perk that turned out to be.

So you think Galvis will continue to out slug Howard?

Still so very early in the "marathon" that is a MLB season, but I've not seen too much out of this team that would give me much optimism that they'll be closer to the 1st place team in the division than the 4th place team (as was posited in Spring Training). Yeah, they have a ton of time to make that up, but they sure gave everyone in front of them a hell of a head start.

"It's good to be home."

tti: agreed about the idea of an error, but we all know that if you made the best diving stop the world has ever seen, and then shorthop the throw to first and it isn't picked out of the dirt - it's an error.

As opposed to a slower hit ball right at you that you need to charge and flip...if you don't make the flip in time, its a hit 9 out of 10 times.

I think both should have been errors. The second one should have been fielded by the closer fielder, who inexplicably let it go past him when he shouldn't have.

The second was absolutely roped, but it was hit right at a major league infielder. Major league infielder are supposed to be able to make difficult plays, especially if it's hit right at them. I don't think errors should be limited to plays that could be made by even horrible fielders. I think if you are a major league infielder, you should be held to a high standard, and if you screw up a play that's hit right at you, it should be charged an error.

No I don't think that Red but it just speaks to the sad state of affairs. Basically at no time should Galvis be outslugging Howard.

That second ball was a hit. No way could Carpenter make a play on that unless he had a glove on his neck. In an instance like that where the ball is completely roped and takes a ridiculously hard hop rendering the fielder pretty much hopeless you have to give the hitter a hit.

GTown Dave - You think Monty is trying to convince Howard it would be a brilliant tax writeoff as a charitable deduction if he buys 50 seats in RF bleachers for a 'Howard's Homeys' section next year? Win, win for the Phils and for Howard.

Also, the idea of Howard recording an infield hit is so far beyond the scope of what a rational person should consider possible, that I would have charged them an error just on general principle.

Typically I'd agree with you Fata but when said infield hit involves a guy taking a ball off his adam's apple and having it go 10 feet in front of him then I think a hit is just.

Joe D, it's also important to note that if Carpenter hadn't taken if off his collarbone, but instead taken it off his chest, he would have had more than enough time to recover and get the tortoise-slow Howard out at 1B. Howard was only safe there because Carpenter gave up on the play (because he was in obvious pain).

Again, I'd expect a major league infielder to be able to handle a really hard hit ball. Not to say that he should field that one 100% of the time, but when he doesn't, it should be charged an error.

Pat Gallen: "Heavy rain/T-storms in the forecast tonight. If you're coming to the game bring a poncho. If you're coming to the game ..."

Normally I'd ask Big Piece if he had any extras, but I think I'll sit this one out.

MG: Howard's fan section should be located where his batted balls have the best chance of landing. Unfortunately, that would require building bleachers between 1B & 2B a few feet beyond the INF dirt.

Giving Howard a fan section where he hands out the tix might be the only way you see anyone actually cheering when he's announced as a batter come next season.

Just for clarity, Howard gets $25 million in '14, '15 and '16, with a $10 million buyout for '17, his age 37 season.

That contract was the first sign that we were back to the days of the Phillies overpaying for their own players to prevent them from going to free agency. If I recall correctly, that's the sort of front-office ignorance that led to losing seasons in 15 of 16 years.

Manuel does not have the skill to manage a mediocre-or-worse team like this one, so he has to go. But I think Amaro has to go, too, or we're looking at another decade in the desert.

I think that until a couple of years ago Amaro assumed he could buy what he needed on the FA market. Now that the market is evaporating and draft-bonus rules have been changed, rich teams can't simply buy their way to contention -- they have to find the best players the honest way.

These are perfect conditions to expose the Phillies' poor drafting, poor Latin American scouting and poor in-game strategies (playing hunches instead of strict platooning, for example).

Won't happen, but the best thing for this franchise would be to flush the toilet now on the front office/field management level.

Alby: "If I recall correctly, that's the sort of front-office ignorance that led to losing seasons in 15 of 16 years."

Wtf are you talking about?! The Phillies let all of their talent go because they considered themselves "small market" in the 90's. Schilling and Rolen are prime examples.

lorecore: Those players demanded trades not because the Phillies were unwilling to pay them, but because the Phillies were unwilling to both pay them AND pay for other talented players.

gtown: yeah yeah, call it whatever you want...but it 100% certainly isn't:

"back to the days of the Phillies overpaying for their own players to prevent them from going to free agency."

I get why RAJ got Pence. It was a "go all in" move for the 2011 season, at expense of prospects. Pence did help the team that year, and played very well. It even seemed justified until you saw what the Braves gave up for Bourn....

I recall Rolen wanting a guarantee from the FO that they'd actually spend to put a competitive team around him and they wouldn't do it so he refused to sign the extension they offered him.

lorecore: True. Even so, they tried, & failed, & were forced to trade those stars as a result. But really, wasn't it all worth it for the sheer joy of watching Travis Lee play the game?

Looks like my memory works...

Rolen considered signing a longterm contract with the Phillies before the 2001 season. But tired of losing, he wanted the team to make a commitment to winning. Rolen figured a higher payroll would be a step in that direction, and wanted a clause in his contract that guaranteed Philadelphia would be among the top teams in that department.

Talks broke down, but the Phillies -- despite having the seventh-lowest payroll in the majors on opening day last season -- nearly won the division, finishing just two games behind Atlanta in the NL East.

Playing on a winning team for the first time in his career wasn't enough to keep Rolen smiling, however. He had words with Bowa after the manager criticized his offensive production, and was stung hard by harsh words from Dallas Green, senior adviser to Wade.

Rolen was upset when the Phillies revealed their $140 million offer, and explained his decision by questioning management's commitment to winning, sparking a volatile spring.

Source: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/news/2002/07/29/rolen_trade_ap/

FWIW, Rolen took 8/90 from STL after declining 10/140 from Philly.

$11.25 Million AAV (Cards) vs. $14 Million AAV (Phillies)

Those truly were the dark times for Phillies baseball.

The fact that it "needs to be said" that Howard has raised his OPS to .690 by hitting two infield singles last night tells you all you need to know about that.

There's a lot of Alby's comment I find accurate... ie Latin American players/the lack of supply in the free agent market/etc, however, you lost me on the whole premise of spending TOO much money on players. I think you may be confusing the Phillies with the Sixers, who have chronic issues when it comes to bad contracts for their own players.

If anything the past failures had more to do with extreme penny pinching at all levels. Yes the Phils seems to have some issues where they will rely on the legacy guy rather than fresh blood, but this seems to have more to do with organizational people and not much to do with salaries and player contracts.

Fatalotti: "it's also important to note that if Carpenter hadn't taken if off his collarbone, but instead taken it off his chest, he would have had more than enough time to recover and get the tortoise-slow Howard out at 1B."

I find your comment to be libelous. And just to prove it, I ran 1,000 simulated computer races between Ryan Howard and the Hare. The Hare won all 1,000.

I think Fatalotti has actually stumbled onto a valid criticism of Amaro (unlike the screechy hysterical posts of NEPP and GTown Dave).

The moves Amaro made to keep the Phillies contending 10 YEARS INTO THE FUTURE are the ones that flopped.

No, I said Amaro was a terrible judge of talent too.

Fata: The ball crushed Carpenter. He's a major league infielder but a man hits a one hop missile to you that you take off the collarbone that is a hit. That is like the complete opposite of a routine play.

Alby: The Phillies overpaid for their homegrown talent in the 90's? I've been watching the Phillies since like '82, when I was a mini TTI, and I never recall the Phillies overpaying anyone.

He's right in that they tried to overpay Rolen and Schilling but neither was willing...so he's half-right.

I guess.

It seems that we may have stumbled on the one thing that Clout, Ice, TTI, Lore, NEPP, GTown, MG, BAP, Jack, Fat, Joe D, Willard and the rest of the posters of BL, one either side of the chasm (and some right smack dab in the middle of it) can finally agree on:

Alby's assertion that the Phils lack of winning seasons in the 80's and 90's had to do with spending too much money IS ABSURD.

Yes, the Phils have suffered theoretically ever since the theoretical overpayment of Rolen and Schilling.

2 players who went on to win a combined 3 titles with 3 different teams not long after.

Oh, and I apologize now to anyone who wasn't named specifically in my post. Don't want to bruise any egos.

The comments to this entry are closed.

EST. 2005

Top Stories

HardballTalk

Rotoworld News

SHOP CSN


Advertisements


Follow on Twitter

Follow on Facebook

Contact Weitzel

CSG