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Sunday, August 04, 2013

Comments

Who cares...

When is someone going to be held accountable for this mess?! Besides Susdorf, of course.

0-4 4 Ks. Cut d.young plz.

I do wonder how bad the attitude & chemistry in the clubhouse is right now.

Amaro is going to regret not making a move at the deadline and keeping this group together in the 2nd half with no changes.

Upsides from the game:
1) Darin Ruf continues to demonstrates that he belongs with the big club, including notching a hit off one of the most shutdown relievers in the NL.

2) Michael Young made no defensive misplays at 3B.

3) Delmon Young continued to be yakkiest yak in all of Philadelphia, hopefully hastening an end to that particular experiment.

...unfortunately, that's all I've got.

The bullpen had a respectable series against the Braves. While Diekman surrendered the winning run on Saturday, the bullpen gave the offense plenty of chances for a walk off win, and kept the Braves in check on Friday and Sunday. Just luck, or has there been some improvement?

I still can't believe we couldn't get someone in a trade for Mini Mart last Wednesday.

Do you think that the Phillies come to the park prepared to lose, or do they ever expect to win anymore? I would think it would be easy to fall into a losing mindset these days....

D. Young isn't very good but I haven't questioned his effort this year.

Understand why the fans booed Papelbon though even if I wouldn't have tonight when he came into the game.

Even Jake left the game early tonight.

Cubs/Phils this week at the Bank...

Man, where do I get tickets? Those are two of the most exciting teams in baseball doing battle to see who sucks less. Charlie Manual matching wits with Dale Svuem! Come watch Michael Young and the Phils take on Darwin Barney and the Cubs! Live and in HD! And Sarge can wax poetically in the middle innings for 3 straight days about his days playing for BOTH teams! Ohh, the memories!

The Phanatic better be on his A game to keep people from nodding off this week.

If this continues to go the next 50 games like I think it might...I wonder how safe Amaro actually is for next year? He is being universely panned throughout baseball for what he didn't do at the deadline and his lack of awareness with other clubs is puzzling. At some point he has to take a big hit for what is going on, doesn't he? Or maybe not?

Dennis Deitch ‏@DennisDeitch 27m
Charlie on JMJ:“The more you see a playing making the same mistakes over & over & over, that might tell you what kind of a player they are.”

What's Charlie talking about? Mayberry is a great 4th OF and deserves no criticism for anything he does. All he does is make the team better. In fact, I don't see any drop-off defensively, offensively or on the basepaths from Revere to Mayberry.

Contending teams would kill to have a guy like Mayberry.

Sad, very sad indeed. The G.M. who steered the course for this baseball version of the Titanic has got to go.

@GBrettfan: The same might be said for a manager, too.

Whoo Hoo!, while there's no question in my mind that Amaro is completely inept, I think it's pretty obvious he's doing exactly what ownership wants him to do. You're right though, if things continue the way they have been, you gotta wonder how long it'll take before ownership throws their yes-man under the bus.

Here's hoping the media continues publicly shaming Rube.

why doesn't giles get more opprobrium? seems like he is the deadest of the deadwood that clog this enterprise. i'm sure middleton would buy his 10% in a heartbeat.

I didn't watch much of the games this weekend. Sort of knew what was going to happen. Although, I did tune in to see Ethan Martin and he didn't disappoint. A kid with a big arm who looks like he hasn't learned a thing since he was shipped out of LA's farm system.

The Phillie organization is rotten from top to bottom. It looks like it's going to be a long, cold Winter. Sad for us.

Oh, and sitting Asche seems to have done the trick. Team looked much better. I was thinking about Frank Luchessi (sp?) this weekend. If he's shown the patience that Rube and Charlie have with Susdorf and Asche, I wonder what would have happened after the early seventies. Neither is the type of talent that Bowa and Schmidt, etc. were. But they're what you've got. Gotta run them out there and give 'em some learnin'. Not bench them for players who aren't going to be around in a few months.

it's time to break out the black jerseys. not for juju, as i suggested last week. but for mourning. smth has died.

His first major league start sealed Ethan Martin's fate for aksmith.

THE WINDOW IS CLOSED!

Phillies now have a worse run differential than the Marlins.

By that measure, we are the worst team in the National League.

Remember, Rube thinks we should do this same thing again next year. It's his job to make us a contender every year.

There were lots of complaints about the deadbeat ownership back in 2005/2006 when the phillies were going on +10 years of not making the playoffs. Clearly 2007-2011 quieted all that. But now that the team is bad again, and could be for at least another year, we're realizing that most of that same old ownership is still in place.

Initially I was going to hope for a total freefall for these next 50 games, which could possibly hasten Amaro's exit. However, after reminding myself that the same ownership group is still involved, it probably won't matter what the team does.

This mornings note. WIP morning show, and there callers make my brain hurt.

CS, when it comes to WIP in the morning, channel your inner Nancy Reagan and just say no.

Obviously came back to early from the trade deadline... I mean, "stiff neck".

A fish rots from the head.

When this happens the Phillies usually start firing and laying off their employees to save money.

I feel the worst for the regular folk who make their living from the numbers and moods of people visiting CBP...the folks who tote the beer up and down the aisles, the program sellers, the saxaphone player outside the gates, etc.

I still think there is a fan base to be salvaged by bringing up more kids, let them have at it, and in the meantime get a better sense of major-league potential. Guarantee them a spot through September so as not to mess with their heads, and enjoy having new motivation to do well and new people to root for.

This should be a good wakeup call...the Marlins are just 6.5 games back of 4th place.

And we're now 16.5 games back of the Braves.

@can_of_corn

Agreed on the sad effect a losing team has on the little guy at the margins, the water bottle hockers etc.

But what are these "kids" you speak of? Galvis and Hernandez are really the only ones left in AAA. We're pretty thin at the upper levels of the minors. That's why we started Delmon, JMJ, and Frandsen last night.

At what point do we take Darin Ruf seriously? He still has <100 PA. His line is:

.299 .413 .494 .907

He has 6 doubles and 3 HRs. If he can get into the 1 HR every 20-25 PAs, he becomes a nice problem going into 2014. He doesn't really have a position, but he has walked 12 times and is the only phillie who cares about patience it seems and it is refreshing to watch.

He has accumulated more WAR (.7) in 23 games then Ryan Howard did in 80 games (and triple the PAs)(.4). That is unfathomable if you ask me. I almost fell out of my chair when I looked that up.

I have to say, I never imagined the decline would be this precipitous. This was the best team in baseball 2 years ago. Last year was middling, but that could be attributed to a lot of injuries and they had a great 2nd half run. This is just a bad baseball team in every facet of the game.

It's time to stop the madness. The first step is to stop Ruben from signing Utley for 3 more years. The second step is playing anyone who might contribute next year, and benching the ones who won't be. The third step is hand the reins to Sandberg and see if he can get anything out of this team. Of course the real first step is fire Ruben, but that aint happening.

noname --

I think Ruf should start at first base against every lefty starter we face next year, and I anticipate he will start against a lot of righties to.

I have to say, I never imagined the decline would be this precipitous.

Posted by: jbird | Monday, August 05, 2013 at 09:12 AM

Me neither.

I think we legitimately have been a bit unlucky about injuries, though this is obviously a risk when you have an old team. But what has been truly shocking is Amaro's complete inability to fill the holes in the roster as they appear, whether in season or in the offseason.

We're more aware of our injuries, but I doubt they're significantly worse than everyone elses. The Braves, for example, have lost a ton of pitching again this year, plus the usual array of other injuries.

The problem isn't injuries. It's depth. Braves have a ton. Phillies have none.

Would just like to remind everyone that since we end the season with a 4 game series in Atlanta, we technically only need to be 4 games back of them to still have a chance to clinch.

Yes...people actually said that.

I like John Mayberry and agree that any contender would love having him come off the bench, but he's got a .732 OPS vs. RHP this season and .695 career. He's simply not an everyday player for a good team.

He doesn't really have a position, but he has walked 12 times and is the only phillie who cares about patience it seems and it is refreshing to watch.

He has accumulated more WAR (.7) in 23 games then Ryan Howard did in 80 games (and triple the PAs)(.4). That is unfathomable if you ask me. I almost fell out of my chair when I looked that up.

Posted by: nonamePHame

--

If Howard is going to be on the DL for 100 games/year for the remainder of his contract it won't be a problem.

Frandsen with HBP: .724 OPS
Frandsen without: .658 OPS

I like John Mayberry and agree that any contender would love having him come off the bench, but he's got a .732 OPS vs. RHP this season and .695 career. He's simply not an everyday player for a good team.

Posted by: clout | Monday, August 05, 2013 at 09:41 AM

I don't think anyone believes he's a starter at this point. I certainly don't. But some people are saying we should cut him, which I think is crazy.

***The problem isn't injuries. It's depth. Braves have a ton. Phillies have none.***

This...100% THIS.

We needed pretty much everything to go right and have almost no major injuries this year to have a chance. That, obviously, did not happen.

***we technically only need to be 4 games back of them to still have a chance to clinch.***

At this point, we'll be lucky to be 24 games back by that series, not 4.

The only thing I can figure, with MacDonald, Martinez and Nix (oh, my!), is that they all pay Rube kick backs from their salaries.

At this point, knowing what they can do, who wouldn't want to substitute, at least, Fields for MacDonald. Bring Susdorf back up for Nix maybe.

Leave Martinez up, if you have to (so Galvis can play every day). (But clearly even "No hit" Freddy is a much better hitter, fielder and baserunner than Mini-Mart.

They stink because they have no depth. #1. But also #2: they stink worse because they don't even use the best players available to them.

The single season record for % of times reaching base safely via a beanball is 19.8% by the Expos' Ron Hunt in 1971 (for qualified batters). 50 of Hunt's 253 times on base were a result of being plunked.

Kevin Frandsen is currently at 19.2% (10/52).

Things keep going the way they are now, we'll be lucky to be ahead of the Marlins by year's end, let alone the Mets.

***But also #2: they stink worse because they don't even use the best players available to them.***

I agree but even if we had Tony LaRussa and perfect in-game management, we're probably a 75 win team as currently constructed as opposed to a 65 win team.

We have 51 games remaining. If we somehow play at a .500 pace down the stretch, we get 75 wins. If we play at our current .450 pace, we're a 73 win team. If we drop to a .400 pace down the stretch (or worse given the recent swoon), that's 70 wins.

Anyone want to take bets on the over/under for our win total at the end of the season?

Rollins (walking into clubhouse) - Yo, Yak; what you doing?

DYoung - Taping on pennies.

Rollins - You can't do that. It don't work.

MYoung - (entering room) What's he doing?

Rollins - He's taping money on it.

MYoung - Gosh. It's pretty embarrassing to have my name sake making a rookie mistake like that.

DYoung - What you mean? It's money right? Ain't money legal tender?

MYoung - Sure. But you can't tape it to stuff. Especially pennies.

Rollins - Let me see them. I haven't held a penny since 2007...

DYoung - What am I gonna use then? I mean...what do y'all do?

MYoung - Go see Chooch.

DYoung - Chooch?

Rollins - Yeah. He's been letting everyone use it.

Dyoung - Use what?

MYoung - Pitney-Bowes, man. He's got a Pitney-Bowes machine.

Rollins - If you're gonna mail it in, you might as well mail it in with style.

look at the NL Standings. How the hell was there a lack of "sellers"? The playoffs are almost locks already. PIT STL ATL LAD CIN have this thing plenty in hand.

Arizona is a healthy 5 games back of the wildcard/West, and they're the only team even worth mentioning.

NEPP - I would hazard to guess that Fields would generate a higher WAR (like, maybe a zero?) than MacDonald. So that change alone might make them a 67 win team instead of 65.

What is amazing to me is that Amaro went into the season knowing he had an old team, with some major pieces having recent injury issues (Halladay, Howard, Utley, even Mike Adams had offseason surgery) and he still had no real backup plans. Remember, Amaro had all offseason to address things, and still went into the season with a platoon of Nix and Mayberry.

I'm not sure Amaro's approach is just him being stubborn, or if it's just flat out arrogance. But to me it sort of reeks of Andy Ried's last days in Philadelphia. They had their moment, couldn't recreate it, and stubbornly refused to adapt when everyone with two eyes and a brain could have seen that things needed to be done differently. After several good seasons, both the Eagles and Phillies had years where they barely had a .500 record, and the next year fell off the cliff. Banner and Reid are gone, Manuel will be gone, and now what will be of Amaro?

Sorry to throw in a football reference, but the parallels were too much to resist.

I watched a little of the ESPN telecast last night before heading to a bar to watch the rest. The one bit I recall was John Kruk talking about the team, saying he spent a lot of time over the weekend with the Phils front office. He said something like "they really believe that they can have another year or two with this roster where they compete. They believe Howard can come back, that htey can get Halladay back. And, if that's what you believe, then signing Utley for another 2-3 years is a good idea." What he really meant was, "they're delusional and are going to royally suck as a result."

At least, that's what I thought he meant.

Mulcahy - What about the part where the FO told Kruk they'd ride into the ballpark on unicorns?

TTI - Now, that's just silly. I haven't said anything about Martin going forward. My comment was entirely directed at the Phillies' minor league development team. They don't teach pitches and they don't develop position players. I imagine, however, that they do collect paychecks.

I don't think you're stupid. So, I have to assume you were intentionally missing my point.

http://www.phillydailynews.com/sports/20130805_Phillies_Notebook__Domonic_could_wind_up_in_rightfield.html?authenticate=y

A month ago Manuel sounded reluctant to move Brown from leftfield to right. But would he consider it now? "I would consider anything," Manuel said with a laugh yesterday afternoon.

* * *

Brown is down with a move, but hasn't been told anything about a potential shift. "It really doesn't matter [to me where I play]," Brown said.

If Brown saw time in right to make room for Ruf in left - and Michael Young at first, with Asche at third - Delmon Young would be the odd man out of the regular lineup.

Make it so, Cholly. I don't have any illusions that the reconfigured lineup makes us a good team, but at least management can stop wishcasting and see what we really have in house for next year.

Amaro's not trying to field a playoff contender (he can't). He just wants a team that's decent enough to fill seats until the big payday comes at the end of 2015.

DOM in RF longterm would be the best bet for this team moving forward. He is far from a strong fielder, but he's made much improvement from his first few calls up years ago, where he looked completely lost. Would make much better use of that arm in RF, and traditionally, its easier to plug in players in LF - much like what they're trying to do with Ruf.

"I think Ruf should start at first base against every lefty starter we face next year, and I anticipate he will start against a lot of righties to."

Howard makes too much money to be a bat off the bench. If the $125M man isn't hurt, he'll be playing first. Ruf will be an outfielder whether he's suited for it or not.

Howard makes too much money to be a bat off the bench. If the $125M man isn't hurt, he'll be playing first. Ruf will be an outfielder whether he's suited for it or not.

Posted by: RT | Monday, August 05, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Manuel platooned Howard a bit before he got hurt, so I think that's not out of the question. Then you factor in Howard's likelihood of injury, and I'd say Ruf will start a fair bit at first over the next few years.

So, riddle me this, fellow Beerleaguers:

The Pharm has, in recent years, been rather ineffective at developing positional prospects. It is a farm system that failed to experiment with Darin Ruf at anywhere other than 1B, presumably because it was thought that he could not competently play any other position. And now, as the big club has dire need of any kind of bat, the Pharm managed to conduct the LF experiment with Ruf with some fairly impressive success, appearing to have taught Ruf enough to be a bad (but minimally competent) MLB LF.

Does the Pharm deserve credit for having conducted the LF experiment with any kind of success, or do they deserve demerits for not trying it sooner? (Though I suspect that, even in the event that they do deserve credit, they shouldn't get any, as the LF experiment not ending in disaster is probably attributable to Ruf's work ethic rather than the Pharm.)

Then again, we could see the Jim Thome saga play out all over again. Sure was nice of the Phillies to pay him to hit dingers for Chicago all those years.

The ballpark is going to be a morgue next season. The fans aren't that stupid.

How can these FO clowns look at what Howard, Halladay, Rollins, Ruiz and Utley have done these past 2 years and imagine this group can ever again contend. They are either delusional or think we fans are.

"The ballpark is going to be a morgue next season. The fans aren't that stupid."

I forsee a sharp increase in giveaways, fireworks, and dollar dog nights next season.

Ruf was the best hitter on this team in the two weeks he was here last September and he's been the best hitter on this team for the month he's been here this year.

He has a good approach, sees pitches and gets on base. And because of his approach, the XBH's will come.

Ruf can hit. There is no doubt about that (sorry Baseball Jorge). He and Asche are literally two of the only interesting things left about this season.

Asche at least is consistent. He has always looked bad early after a promotion. Nothing has changed. He'll figure it out and he'll hit too. And he needs to be allowed to play against some LHP too. This isn't Laynce Nix.

Ruf's hitting seems unaffected by where they play him on defense.

Agreed. Any day Asche and Ruf are not in the lineup is another Cholly fail. But then again (to use Cholly speak) Cholly doesn't really care about next year.

"But then again (to use Cholly speak) Cholly doesn't really care about next year."

Which is why it's time to hand the reins to Sandberg.

"do they deserve demerits for not trying it sooner?"

No, Ruf was a pretty run of the mill guy up until 2012. Advanced college hitter with no real position on the field, and no outstanding tool to project much. Then his power erupted and now it makes all of his other good avg/obp skills look a ton better.

Phils flipped him to LF immediately after 2012 finished, so def can't ding them for not trying to make him fit.

2013 Record through this point 50-61
2012 Record through this point 50-61

2013 Times home attendance was under 40K - 33
2012 Times home attendance was under 40K - 0

I realize they will continue to make money even at this dropoff in attendance, but if this doesn't get the FO's attention, I'm not sure what will.

Charlie is a big Ruf fan. He gave him every opportunity last September, during ST, and since he's been up this time. He has consistently said that he thinks the guy can hit.

WSJ - I'm sure it will get their attention. Will it change their course of action? Probably not.

I wouldn't lose a lot of sleep over whether Ruf gets a clean shot at a starting job next year. I'd rather have legitimate depth on the roster. The Braves' logjam in front of Evan Gattis at C/1B/LF isn't seen as a big problem for them - it's an asset, and that depth is a big reason they're running away with the division.


They definitely are only one or two trades from contention next year!

The same with the Cardinals with OF/1B types. It must be tough for them to have to try and find playing time for Matt Adams and his 130 OPS+.

I dont think there is a single position on the diamond at which the Phillies have true depth...maybe 1B with Darin Ruf and M. Young stepping in for Howard but that's it. Even that is iffy as both those guys are playing other positions at the moment.

WSJ: Believe me, the FO knows about the attendance shortfall. The problem is that they don't know what to do about it. Plan A was that the current veterans would hopefully bridge the gap and stay in WC contention until the farm system provided another batch like the home-grown core that yielded a WFC in '08. Now that plan A has failed spectacularly, they're left scrambling for a plan B.

I agree with whomever it was that suggested laying a boatload of cash at Andrew Friedman's feet. The team needs a GM that can construct a playable, flexible roster and identify undervalued talent, particularly on the bench and in the bullpen. Friedman's probably the best in the business at all of those things. I'd love to see what he could do with a budget three times what he has in Tampa Bay.

I wonder how much advice Ed Wade is giving right now...given that they're basically following his/Drayton McLane's game plan in Houston right now to keep propping up an aging core of players before it completely implodes.

Are we going to be a 50 win team for a couple years as a result of this scenario?

If they don't extend Utley after failing to cash in on his value at the deadline, that will officially be the dumbest move of Amaro's tenure, and it's not even close.

Whether or not you agree with extending him is irrelevant now. They picked a lane by not trading him, and now they have to stay in that lane and sign him, or screw the pooch and get nothing for him.

I think the Phillies are only going to improve next year if they write off Howard as a sunk cost and then allow themselves to be pleasantly surprised if he comes back even moderately healthy & productive. Otherwise, there's serious risk that should Howard get hurt again, the team has a black hole at what should be a bat first, power position which cripples the lineup again. If Howard is healthy, Ruf can be the Phillies Gattis, like ColononelTom suggested. But the Phillies simply cannot rely on Howard being the 1b and #4 hitter next year if they want to compete, Just like they shouldn't pickup Halladay's option and hope he's a #1 still.

Remember when I and other BL posters suggested Kelly Johnson, who signed with the Rays last offseason around the same time we were signing Durbin and _elm_n?

Salary: $2.45M
86 G, 317 PA, .254/.322/.461, 118 OPS+
starts: LF 44, 2B 10, 3B 9, 1B 2, DH 10
WAR: 1.9 (B-R), 2.0 (FanGraphs)

Gee, do you think he would have been useful on the 2013 Phils?

I wanted Kelly Johnson for 3rd base.

If they don't extend Utley after failing to cash in on his value at the deadline, that will officially be the dumbest move of Amaro's tenure, and it's not even close.

Whether or not you agree with extending him is irrelevant now. They picked a lane by not trading him, and now they have to stay in that lane and sign him, or screw the pooch and get nothing for him.

Posted by: Iceman | Monday, August 05, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Well they will get draft compensation for him. There is that...

"If they don't extend Utley after failing to cash in on his value at the deadline, that will officially be the dumbest move of Amaro's tenure, and it's not even close."

They keep getting dumber. Right now, refusing to trade Michael Young for Tommy Kahnle sits atop the list.

Considering they probably could have nabbed a Top 50-75 guy plus others from a team like the Dodgers, I doubt that draft pick compensation would really come close to that return.

aksmith: Just figured I'd return the favor from the other day as far as intentionally diluting the other's point.

jbird is dead-on accurate on Howard. You don't have to get rid of him, but you absolutely cannot depend on him when you construct the roster. Same goes for Doc. I'd have no problem bringing him back on an incentive-laden deal if he looks healthy in September, but you have to construct the rest of the roster as if he's not going to contribute.

Failing to commit another $40 million to another aging vet wouldn't even be in the top 5 of bad Rube moves. Failing to trade him at the deadline is probably close to top 5 though.

If you're the Dodgers and you see that Utley is rumored to be looking at a 2/26 deal from the Phillies, would you not unofficially let his agent know that you'd be willing to go 3/45 if not higher?

If you're Utley, that'd have to be pretty tempting regardless of team loyalty. I'd imagine a similar offer would be tempting from his off-season home of SF but they've got Scutaro under contract through 2015 so I doubt they're looking to sign another 2B.

Maybe Utley has already quietly agreed to accept a QO? Uts on a 1 year deal @ $14 (13?) sounds pretty good to me...

BAP: I'm still willing to wait and see what happens with Michael Young the rest of the year. Remember, the Biogenesis suspensions are coming down this week, so a few teams may have significantly greater needs than they did at the deadline. While some of those teams made moves in anticipation of the suspensions, the Rangers and Yankees didn't, and since they're both firmly in contention a week into August, they may now be willing to part with something more meaningful than Kahnle in a trade.

"Failing to commit another $40 million to another aging vet wouldn't even be in the top 5 of bad Rube moves. Failing to trade him at the deadline is probably close to top 5 though."

It would be the combination of the 2 that made this so uniquely horrendous. They didn't trade Utley because they plan (rightly or wrongly) to extend him. If they follow up by failing to extend him, the all-around display of incompetence increases exponentially.

Of course, Michael Young was so happy not to be traded, he's promptly gone on a 1 for 15 tear in 4 games.

If ESPN is to be believed, Rube didn't refuse to trade M.Young because Kahnle was a bad return. He simply didn't even engage in trade talks.

I really wonder what value Delmon Young will have after 3 o'clock today. The same goes with Michael Young as well. I am only repeating what the guy said above me but there are still three other players we don't know about that are going to be suspended today.

The difference between 2-$26m and 3-$45m is $19m. I usually hate to see guys chase the last dollar over team loyalty, but I don't think I'd have a problem with Utley saying, "to h8ll with team loyalty" for $19,000,000. $19m is equal to 22% of Utley's to date career earnings as he has been underpaid for a while now, and this could be his last contract.

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