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Monday, April 22, 2013



541: "For Neyer to claim he's rooting against a franchise because he doesn't respect their decisions is extremely unprofessional and quite amateurish."

I actually hate when people always whine that some writer is "anti-philly", since every single fan says the same thing about their team about the same person...

But ever since Ryan Howard was signed to that deal, an extremely large percentage of SABR-oriented analysts have been begging for a Phillies decline to use it as a "win" for SABR over old school.

For Neyer to admit a similar line of thought is just saying what every one of his peers already does.

Really hope that hit can propel Revere permanently out of his funk. In many respects they had no business winning that game last night but they hung tough and got the W. I still love that Durbin is being used in the situations he is being used in. I can't believe he K'd Adams. Maybe Adams just felt bad for him?

Burnett is an all-time 'hate' player for me. He was a complete wreck heading into the world series and literally flipped the whole thing to the Yanks advantage.

If they hit him/he melts down like what usually happened in 2009, the Phils have a 2-0 lead going back to Philly for 3-4-5.

Burnett is a classic example of how a pticher with great stuff, and only mediocre command, can last a long time in the majors.

Yeah when Burnett is on he is filthy. His 09 performance really angered me.

I think my problem with the D Young signing is a point that Jack's made several times. There is loads of evidence, as in his ENTIRE major league career, that he can't play defense at all. So what exactly is RAJ hoping to learn in a couple week's worth of games post surgery?

If it's that he can't play defense at an adequate level to be a viable NL regular, well you've wasted your money, because the data has been out there.

If he'll allow himself to be won over by those same handful of games that D Young can actually play the field competently, then he's weighting a disastrously small sample size against the preponderance of years of data that, once again, prove conclusively that D Young can't play the field.

So he's setting himself up for failure either way.

"What BAP is saying is incorrect, unsurprisingly. Every indication from the FO has been if he can't play the field, he won't start. Like, 100% of the indications."

And, equally unsurprisingly, Vexatious Troll has omitted some important details from his assertion -- such as, for instance, the following quote from RAJ, upon Delmon Young's acquisition:

"He's a much better right fielder. As he came through the system in Tampa Bay he played center and right. He was a plus defender in right and for whatever circumstances, he got away from that and started playing left in other organizations and he's much more suited for right field."

There is absolutely zero evidence to support RAJ's statement that Delmon Young is a much better right fielder than left fielder. In fact, there is a mountain of evidence to refute this view. Yet, the Phillies are so confident in Delmon Young's ability to play RF that they have anticipatorily moved their most natural right fielder to LF -- substantially weakening the overall defense in the process.

Burnett is captain of my all time punchable face team.

bap: i love the line "but for whatever reason" .

I hit .400 in little league 20 years ago, but for whatever reason, I wasn't drafted.

donc / awh - It's not about whether the Young move was good or bad. It's about the nature of Neyer's response and the animus.


The game tonight opened at +135/140 for the Phils and has been dropping like a rock. It's now at +105/110.

Why are people betting on the Phils all of a sudden? Does Pettibone have a secret underground following I am unaware of?

Fata: It's worse than that.

Ok, so let's even grant that maybe Rube has stumbled onto the scouting find of the century, and that Delmon Young actually *is* better in RF. Now, better only makes him, say, average to below-average defensively, but the point is he's playable. I don't think anyone thinks he'll be above-average, but let's say Amaro hits the lottery here, and Delmon actually isn't horrible in RF.

All that gets you is the opportunity to have his bat in the middle of your lineup. And what's that worth? Well, that bat produced a whopping .267/.299/.403 line the last two seasons combined. That's good for an 89 OPS+, a number identical to what Ben Revere produced last season.

So you're hope is that you beat the odds and that he's good enough (though still below-average, mind you) in the field to allow you to get another Ben Revere in the lineup. Just awesome.

I was having trouble sleeping last night so, around 2:00 a.m., I decided to go outside and catch some sun. Unfortunately, for whatever circumstances, the sun wasn't out so I went back to bed.

Repeat after me: Carrera.

If he was a good defensive player who could play all 3 OF positions, it would make the Young/Carrera comparison tougher on who provides more value.

Carerra isn't though.

Actually, I'm probably being unfair. The reasoning behind the move, I'm sure, is that not only might you get lucky with Young's defense magically being better in RF, but you might *also* get lucky and he re-creates the one good offensive season he had in 2010 (when he hit .298/.333/.493).

A smart person might say the odds of BOTH those longshot scenarios happening (passable defensively and good offensively) are really low, and that the much greater likelihood that you give him 80 games of playing time and he plays at a replacement-level like he has the last two seasons is a risk that strongly outweighs the miniscule chance of that reward.

But hey, if you want Production in this world, sometimes you have to take a risk. I get it.

MG, you're assuming that Delmon Young is coming up to replace Carrera. I don't know why you're making that assumption.

Yes, if D Young joins the team, Carrera is gone, but D Young will at least be given the opportunity to start if he's brought up, relegating Mayberry/Nix to the bench.

I don't think this is a "net positive" as TTI suggests.

I'd only view Young's inclusion on the team as a positive if he's relegated to the bench, and only used to PH against LHP, and get the ever so occasional start against LHP.

But here's the funny thing...we already have a guy like that in the minors. His name is Darin Ruf! So why not just put him on the team in the first replace, get rid of the malcontent Delmon Young, and probably get the exact same production out of Ruf.

BAP: So the first thing he says is what we hold Amaro too, not the stuff he has said since then?

Fata: No argument from me on Ruf.

I still say though- D. Young is essentially taking Carrera's roster spot. If you think Mayberry's numbers to start this season are him figuring things out then I see the value of holding him there. But if he regresses you are moving his bat to the bench where you now have power from both the left (Nix) and right (Mayberry) sides. You have a good contact hitter in Frandsen and a nice switch hit guy along with your back up catcher. That is not a bad bench.

If Mayberry stays hot then let him continue to start and you now have D. Young taking his bench role and bumping Carrera. Carrera brings nothing to the table. D. Young brings something.

Oddly enough, it's Nix that's been a pleasant surprise this season. For that reason alone, keep D Young toiling away in the minors as long as possible.

Though, I did find it odd that even the ESPN broadcast made a point in stating that while the Phillies have struggled offensively this season (1/2 their games scoring 2 or fewer runs) that it will be a different lineup when Chooch and D YOUNG are in the lineup. They obviously assume he'll be they guy soon, and I suspect that they had to get that assumption from somewhere...

Fat - That's true if D. Young becomes the everyday starter in RF and hits 5th.

If JMJ continues to hit though and Nix produces in spots, I don't know if that is a foregone conclusion.

I could actually see the Phils souring on D. Brown first if he continues to stink it up at the plate and in the field.

Fans really got on Brown last night. He had the 'Bronx cheer' for catching a routine fly ball after he misjudged that one ball where he got booed pretty loudily. Normally I don't think a crowd reaction to a player would rather but with Brown I do wonder if it doesn't in a minor way start to get to him a bit.

While it actually makes the most sense to use him in a bench role for his offense late in a game, I don't see Young on the roster and NOT starting.

Coincidentally, the day that they announced the Young signing, my very first thought was "oh good, another Randall Simon." Pretty much sums up my expectations for the guy.

Is there a link to the Neyer comments? I must have missed it.

TTI: "I still say though- D. Young is essentially taking Carrera's roster spot. If you think Mayberry's numbers to start this season are him figuring things out then I see the value of holding him there. But if he regresses you are moving his bat to the bench where you now have power from both the left (Nix) and right (Mayberry) sides. You have a good contact hitter in Frandsen and a nice switch hit guy along with your back up catcher. That is not a bad bench."

So you say Young is taking Carrera's spot, but then you just put him into the starting lineup. Which is it?

Nix is in the role he should be in right now - a bat off the bench.

Utley needs to start focusing too. He is making way too many mental errors. St. Utley will never get criticized on here but he has had several glaring mental mistakes this season so far.

Isn't the nixberry platoon doing better than what we could ever possibly hope for from delmon young anyway? If and When Delmon is ready and at that time, the platoon isn't working, then fine, give it a shot. But if it's not broke...

Nix should be starting against every RHP. Mayberry is a .238/.309/.391 career hitter against righties. Nix is a good defender and can hit righties much better than JMJ. Really silly.

Troll: Pretty obvious how I framed what i was saying, but you are trying to disagree with him on something out of hand again i see because my name is attached.

There are 5 outfielders on the roster- Revere, Brown, Mayberry, Nix, Carrera.

When Young is healthy, Carrera will go which is Young taking his roster spot. Which is clearly something I said.

When, where, and how much he plays I then show is dependent on how the other guys are hitting. If Brown still stinks it may be him with Brown going to the bench. If Mayberry regresses it may be him. But it still holds that the 5 outfield spots then will be: Revere, Brown, Mayberry, Nix, D. Young.

Not that hard to comprehend.

Sneed: Sure, Delmon might be a clubhouse cancer, but when you have Production like his, who cares, right?

TTI: "BAP: So the first thing he says is what we hold Amaro too, not the stuff he has said since then?"

Your are so missing the point. Because of Delmon Young's anticipated arrival, and his anticipated role as our starting right-fielder, Domonic Brown has been moved to LF, even though he has, by far, the strongest throwing arm of all our outfielders. This move, alone, has already led to a few runs that shouldn't have been allowed. Meanwhile, Delmon Young is on a minor league rehab assignment, so that RAJ can get a 2-week sample size of his ability to play RF. And yet . . . we already KNOW that Delmon Young can't play RF. We know because he can't play LF and, if you can't move or catch fly balls in LF, it isn't going to get any better in RF.

Now, maybe D. Young will prove so embarrassingly bad over even a small, 2-week sample, as to make all of this moot. But, chances are, he'll manage to put together a gaffe-free week -- as almost any outfielder would be able to do from time to time -- at which point RAJ will implement the plan as he announced it from Day 1: Delmon Young as our starting right fielder.

There's nothing per se wrong with signing a guy to a $750K contract. But there IS something per se wrong with signing a guy who you should already know is terrible, giving him a chance to show that he can be better-than-terrible over a miniscule sample size, and then, based on that miniscule sample size, making him the starting right fielder. All evidence is that this is exactly what RAJ is laying the groundwork to do. Otherwise, Dom wouldn't be playing LF right now.

Jack: The Sixers signed Michael Olowokandi today, too.

This move, alone, has already led to a few runs that shouldn't have been allowed.


BAP: Even if I go along with the rest of your argument, how can we be certain those runs would not have scored even with Brown in right field?

"If he can produce some offense, we can [substitute] for him in the outfield late in the game," Manuel said. "It's not like we want to embarrass him. But if he can help us offensively, then that part will stand out. More than likely, we'll give him a chance."

We'll be seeing D. Young, & sooner rather than later.

"St. Utley will never get criticized on here but he has had several glaring mental mistakes this season so far."

This meme that Utley doesn't get criticized when he screws up is utterly at odds with the facts. There must have been like 20 immediate comments after his gaffe yesterday -- and another 20 the day before.

Nixberry, season-to-date:

.286/.375/.514, 20 H, 7 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 1 SB, 1 CS, 8 BB, 23 K.

When was the last time the Pirates came into CBP at this point in season with a better record than the Phils?

TTI: Well, of course. Everyone knows Carrera will be the one to go when D. Young is activated.

The question is what role he will play. If Young is the 5th OF, only used as a righty pinch-hitter in good spots, no one will care. We've all said as much.

If, instead, he's installed as a starter in the OF, then the chances are that his terrible defense and offense will hurt the team.

Which do you think is more likely?

TTI: Of course we can't be certain of what would have happened in an alternate reality. But we can be certain that 3 or 4 runs have scored on terrible throws from RF, and we can be certain that the outfielder with the strongest throwing arm on our team is playing LF.

Anyway, you're being awh-ish. You're isolating on a passing tangent in my post and ignoring the overall point. And that point is: all signs are that the Phillies are anticipating the arrival of D. Young as their starting right fielder.

"Nix should be starting against every RHP. Mayberry is a .238/.309/.391 career hitter against righties. Nix is a good defender and can hit righties much better than JMJ. Really silly."

Ahhhh, yes, Sophist, but Charlie has been seduced by RFD's SSS performance against RHP so far this season:

.323/.417/.581, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 36 PA, 5 BB, 11 K

Even if you can't "prove" that those runs wouldn't have scored with Brown in RF, why do you need to?

Isn't it self-evident enough that the OF with the best arm should be playing in RF?

So all of your cyber keyboard wizards and day wage stiffs doubt my abilities?

Delmon Young is coming to Philly and is to show you what is up.

BAP: No i get your point. My original question was about it and then I disagreed with an aspect of your original post and asked on that.

Troll: A.) I'm not in the front office so I have no idea what they will do. Furthermore, I've stated my opinion on it already as to what could happen.

B.) You 2:48 is completely laughable. No one is questioning the idea your best arm should be in right. Absolutely no one. But it is foolish to build your argument around an outcome that you don't know would've happened. That's why you need to prove it. You can't use a hypothetical as a rationale and then expect someone to not question it. Besides BAP can argue his battles here and I respect him.

Can someone please explain this to me:

The Cardinals are scoring 5.17 RPG.

The Phillies are scoring 3.68 RPG.

The Cardinals slash line: .242/.299/.379/.678

The Phillies slash line: .253/.301/.386/.687

I realize we're only 20 games into the season, but something seems terribly out-of-kilter.

RAJ on with Mike Missanelli later this afternoon.

Re: No-DYoung:

I'm wondering, do the 10 games the Phillies still have to play in AL ballparks factor into RAJ's desire to have him on the team? he could DH, no?

awh: As the ESPN announcers talked about last night, the Cardinals have been insanely good with RISP.

The timing and sequencing of hits skews runs scored. They've gotten ridiculously good timing with their hits. Obviously, if they continue to hit .242/.299/.379, they don't keep scoring 5.17 RPG, and will come down closer to the Phils' numbers.

Missanelli should ask him whether RAJ can see a connection between the Phils' .301 OBP, the fourth lowest in the NL, and the teams RPG of 3.68, the fifth lowest in the NL.

Wilton Lopez has been terrible. So there's that.

Nevermind. I just found out the answer.

Cards are hitting .368/.423/.514 with RISP, and .321/.378/.488 with men on.

I doubt they can sustain that.

Any chance that Nixberry becomes Brownberry and Nix is our bat off the bench, once"no D" Young is here?

I agree that Young will be the starting RF, unless he really fails miserably in his rehab stint. At least for a good while. If provides some pop, his leash in RF will be longer.


Despite their overall .253/.301/.386 slash line, Phils are hitting .287/.354/.497 with RISP, and .286/.342/.441 with men on base.

"St. Utley will never get criticized on here but he has had several glaring mental mistakes this season so far."

Utley has been so bad mentally this year that I've demoted him from St. Utley to Altar Boy Utley.

His concentration is wavering this year. At times he looks like the Utley of old, taking the extra base, great ABs, but other times, whoo. Something's off.

" all signs are that the Phillies are anticipating the arrival of D. Young as their starting right fielder."

Other than everything that Amaro has said re: Young being the starter in RF, this is entirely correct.

Iceman - It has also been reported that the Phillies/Amaro consider Kyle Drabek "untouchable."

Some very interesting stats buried deep in BR's splits page. For all the griping about not being able to score early, somehow the Phillies have a 125 sOPS+ (relative to league average of 100) in innings 1-3, compared to 57 and 80 sOPS+ in innings 3-6 and 6-9 respectively. Phillies are also at 123 sOPS+ in high-leverage situations (136 PA), which is also counterintuitive. Finally, they've absolutely come around with RISP--they're sitting at .850 OPS (129 sOPS+).

fumphis, that's not surprising to me at all. The Phillies were going through an "early innings" slump recently, but those games coincided with the games where they just didn't score early or late.

It seems that when they have scored bunches of runs, it has been in the early innings.

Brown's arm may have helped with some of those plays in RF, but his glove/routes may have create just as many, if not more.

We all agree Brown gets really bad reads off the bat. Mayberry's may be only marginally better, but they are better, and he's faster at running on grass (baserunning seems to elude both of them, so...). Nix, meanwhile, gets seemingly much better reads, but his inability to get some of the balls negatively impact the utility of that skill.

Even so, those throws to the plate would have to not just be hard, but accurate which is also something Brown struggles with from time to time.

I wouldn't be surprised if Brown's lack of starting in RF has more to do with his terrible fielding IQ than reserving that space for DYoung. Remember, he actually spent more time in LF than RF in ST also.

True enough, Fat, especially with the Halladay game. But see if Wheels remembers that next time he complains about not being able to score early.

How about we all just call a truce, and admit, together, that the Phillies have a pretty awful OF situation right now.

Geez, my grammar/punctuation apparently toads the wet sprocket today.

When you feel it necessary to send your utility infielder out to start in Left Field, You might just have a problem.

You "Little Brains" just don't get it. This is all part of Amaro's clever "Thome Plan" which is to DH Delmon in a handful of AL games then trade him to Baltimore for mediocre, minor-league pitching help. The man is a genius.

WOW,what a bonus,get to see D. Young tonight.First look at Franco.Since I'm not on the Asche bandwagon,already expect to like what I see from Franco.

Well, if it's one thing RAJ knows, it's mediocre relief pitching.

Kyle Simon isn't off to a bad start at Reading but Robles is dominating.

You know the talent in the Reading pen is a little thing when they promote JC Ramirez (org filler at this point).

Am I alone in thinking that Utley didn't really think that ball was gone last night. He was either

a) trying to sell a home run much like how he sells HBPs
b) just running through the bag at 2nd as to not just slam on the brakes with the idea that he would just double back to the bag anyway

MG: I am NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, brimming with excitement about J.C. Ramirez. But he was, at one time, a well-regarded prospect & I still have trouble wrapping my head around the idea that a prospect can go from well-regarded to too-old at the ripe old age of 24.

I really don't think it was either of those. I think he figured the ball would drop in - which it would have, had the outfielder been playing a little deeper.

It was a bad read on the ball, and Utley's an aggressive baserunner. These things happen.

BAP, I think it has little to do with age, and much more to do with crappy performance across all levels.

Speaking of, whatever happened to Juan Perez?

Yeah I probably read too much into it Philli but I don't think he flat out thought it was gone. The guys on the broadcast were acting like he was braindead for rounding 2nd. I know he made the mistake in the first but man they really thought Utley was going to end the night in a mental institution.

MG: I'm pretty sure they promoted JC Ramirez to Triple-A based on need for a few days precisely *because* he's org filler.

You don't move around the guys whose development you are focused on because of a short-term need. That's why you have org filler guys.

Joe: As much as people here dislike the TMac, Wheels and Sarge (with an emphasis on the former and latter), I'd rather watch them any day of the week than the ESPN Sunday night crew.

They had a few mildly insightful moments, and they didn't call it "no doubles, don't hit it over my head," but other than that it was like playing a game in MLB The Show without the added benefit of interactivity. They just kept hammering at the same points (replete with plenty of Yadier knob-slobbing: "it must feel great as a pitcher, having complete confidence in your catcher like the Cardinals staff does!"), and predicting the exact same outcomes every time.

Only by introducing Matt Vasgersian could it have been worse.

Well, if it's one thing RAJ knows, it's mediocre relief pitching.

Wasn't some guy named Ed a mentor of RAJ?

I actually really like Orel Hershiser. I think his pitching insight is among the best of any color man out there today. I enjoyed all his points last night but I just didn't get the overreaction to the ground-rule double.

Jack - Possibly but he had the best numbers at Reading and was the only reliever besides Robles who had pitched well early on.

I actually thought the ESPN crew was pretty good. Much better than it has been in past years.

And a) Yadier Molina *is* a really good player, and b) national TV announcers normally talk about Chooch in the same way, only Chooch wasn't there this time because he got himself suspended.

I think all the reaction to the "slobbering" over Molina was due to the fact that in that game, he was THE superstar player.

It's sometimes hard for me to think of him in that sense, but given his last couple seasons, he is really a superstar.

ESPN broadcasting crew last night was a clear step above Morgan/Miller and yeah they are better than Sarge/TMac or Sarge/Jackson.

I actually made the comment aloud, to no one in particular, about how I'm surprised that Hershiser isn't at least a pitching coach in MLB. His insight is pretty cool (outside of answering the dumb leading questions from Schulman - "How important is it to have a catcher you can trust?...").

I suppose that an ESPN gig probably pays as well or better, with better work schedules than an MLB coach, though.

"Kyle Simon isn't off to a bad start at Reading but Robles is dominating."

Glad to hear it. Simon is my "sleeper" pick for 2013.

Well, simple litmus test - how many BLer's turned on the TBag/Sarge radio feed, rather than the ESPN broadcast?

Personally, just to prevent an accidental mistake, I rounded up all radios within a 3 mile radius, ran them over with my car, then set fire to them, before putting said fire out with hydrochloric acid.

Now I gotta get a new radio before the start of tonight's game...

Jack: They talk positively about Chooch (or did last year, due to his torrid streak), but it's always in the back-handed compliment manner.

The old standby: "You know [insert talking head here], nobody ever mentions his name when they're talking about the best catchers in baseball, but Carlos Ruiz really handles that staff of great starting pitchers well. He may not be in the discussion for MVP or the batting title, but he's really important to this Phillies team."

Yadier's good, great even, but they literally (maybe exaggerating, but not by much) never mentioned his name any context without some sort of superlative coming earlier or later in the sentence.

They even made mention of the two Platinum Gloves as evidence of Molina's awesomeness - neglecting to mention that Adrian Beltre was the winner of the other two, and that it's decided completely by fan vote.

All that said, I agree that last night's commentary was better than last year's... But that's an exceedingly low bar.

"BAP, I think it has little to do with age, and much more to do with crappy performance across all levels."

Oh, I don't disagree. My disagreement is perhaps more a matter of semantics. I think of "organizational filler" as guys like Derrick Mitchell, Tyler Henson, and Bob Stumpo. They are here, quite literally, because we need to fill out daily lineup cards, and have ready backups, at all levels of the minors. A guy like J.C. Ramirez, who is on the 40-man roster, is a little more than that. He is here because the Phillie still hold out hope -- however faint it might be -- that he can find the command to match his stuff & be a useful major league reliever.

Hahaha WP, that's great. I actually caught the top of the 1st in my car and said to my wife "Oh cool, T-Mac gets to murder the radio broadcast tonight because it is a nationally televised game."

Honestly, I probably would have watched the CSN broadcast, but being in Baltimore, the ESPN was the only one I could get.

MLB.TV blacks out Sunday Night Baseball games, since they're always "local."

"... (replete with plenty of Yadier knob-slobbing: "it must feel great as a pitcher, having complete confidence in your catcher like the Cardinals staff does!")..."

buster, except, as I pointed out on the last thread, Molina was the one who called the inside FB to Kratz in the 8th. Go to and look at the video.

Molina sets up inside and Boggs pitch was right at the glove, which didn't move until Kratz crushed it.

That HR was as much on Molina as it was Boggs. Poor pitch selection by the catcher.

AWH: I'm not saying that Molina is the illegitimate love child of Mike Piazza and Bill Dickey. You'll notice the ESPN crew didn't say anything about Molina's "mistake" there, however.

buster, I wasn't disagreeing with you. I was just demonstrating that despite the slobbering Molina DOES actually make mistakes.

awh: "Glad to hear it. Simon is my "sleeper" pick for 2013."

Not Colton Murray? Or do you have 2 sleeper picks?

Oh, no, I believe that. I actually thought he made more than one questionable pitch selection... Although he glances into the dugout so often, I have to wonder how much of the calling is him, and how much is from the bench.

Ok, so I don't really have to wonder that, but there's no way a non-TLR manager is that much of a micro-manager, is there?

Return of the "winning lineup."

1) Jimmy Rollins, SS
2) John Mayberry, RF
3) Chase Utley, 2B
4) Ryan Howard, 1B
5) Michael Young, 3B
6) Domonic Brown, LF
7) Ben Revere, CF
8) Erik Kratz, C
9) Jonathan Pettibone, P

And here I thought they were going lefty-heavy...

bap, Murray is my "breakout" pick. But, so far, the only thing he's breaking out are the tweezers to pull the splinters that will be in his butt by the end of the season because he'll be on the pine.

Hasn't pitched well so far.

Yeah, I thought we'd see Nix tonight, but I guess he's been relegated to the "bat off the bench" role, in the spirit of Greg Dobbs. Cholly's "guy" must know more than I do.


buster, excellent observation. I noticed it from time-to-time also - the looking over to the dugout.

Did it have to do with pitch selection or with defensive alignment? Or, have they found a way to signal in tendencies of batters (i.e. they take the SABR approach to a new level that would baffle the Phillies' FO) and then let Molina use the info to call the pitch and location?

awh: I'd have thought it mostly related to throw-overs (especially given Molina's penchant for throwing behind after the pitch), but he was doing it with the bases empty too.

Honestly, I was pretty surprised, since I figured they did trust him to call a good game. If they've got pitch selection down to the minutia via calls from the dugout, I'd expect their bullpen to be a lot better than it is.

Pirates at -115? Yes please.

Wow, starting Mayberry against Burnett. In the 2-hole, no less.

What else can be said about Charlie's incompetence?

Well, again with the ESPN broadcast, but in the midst of their Molina Slurp Fest, they did mention how he controls the defensive positioning for virtually every fielder, either directly or indirectly. Now, I'm sure he's a smart guy with a great memory, but it sure can't hurt to have someone in the dugout reminding you of batters' tendencies, spray charts, etc.

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