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Sunday, September 22, 2013


Well what a surprise.

I'm actually surprised a bit by this and the timing of it. Figured the Phils would have waited until the offseason in Oct to drum up a little more positive spin.

As for those quotes and what I read, it was exactly what you would expect a new manager and a GM to say at this kind of press conference. Cliches galore with no real interesting tidbits or eyebrow-raising comments.

Very nice for Ryne. Seems like a good guy and goodness knows, we all wish he had stayed a Phillie as a player.

But it's important to remember that this team stinks on ice. And the man who has accomplished the demolition of this franchise is still at the helm. So, there's that.

I love to see the young guys and the players who will be here next season play well. And I love to see Cliff and Cole pitch well. However, I want to see this team lose the rest of these meaningless games, which will have no carryover into next season. I want the highest protected draft pick possible and that means at worst the ninth worst record because the tenth might not do it, again. I want these guys to take ten for the team so they can be better next year if Rube decides a QO free agent is the difference between losing and keeping his job.

And I pray, even though I am an atheist, that every lousy player on the team is either cut loose or retires in the offseason, and is replaced with a marginally better player. That is all.

"It can be, yeah," Rollins said. "There are times, like, it's one of those cities ... I might catch some flack for saying this, but, you know, they're front-runners. When you're doing good, they're on your side. When you're doing bad, they're completely against you."

Hung in effigy when JRoll made that infamous comment in '08 but Rickie Ricardo couldn't even get a single person to call in after the loss last night to discuss the Phils and wrapped up early to move on to the Eagles.

Well, that was a terrible call on J-Roll. But the way this series has gone, horrible calls from the umps are to be expected.

I am curious is there any reason why we can't get a view of Franco?

Phils would probably even take some vitriol against the team right now. Phils have already dropped to 8th in MLB (4th in NL) this year in average MLB attendance at 37,100.

There is likely to be a real plunge in season ticket renewals this year too. Last offseason it was over 10% and closer to 15%.

Phils have had the 'halo' effect from the '11 season yet but you have had 2 mediocre/crummy years and there is little likelihood this team will have a splashy offseason or have a general perception among the fans that this team will be a playoff contender next year.

Going to be interesting to see what the Phils' TV ratings were this year and just how much they dropped. Unlike the 80s when this team had a pronounced attendance hangover effect from '76-'83 run, I think they will have a more pronounced dropoff at the gate.

Phils have spent a lot of money the last few years but they have priced their product as a luxury product with an average ticket price that is among the highest in the game (top 5).

Can't see the younger fans who came down to
CBP in droves in '09-'12 during the summertime happening next year unless the team is unexpectedly good. Also going to lose their share I bet of partial and Sunday season ticket holders again this year.

Question is how much does this translate into their projected payroll this offseason. Certainly going to be a bit lower but the question is how much. Last year it $159M on Opening Day. If I had to ballpark, I would check they will have a payroll around $145-$150M next year.

Not a huge drop but one that will make it really challenging for Amaro this offseason with the $120M he has committed already to just 7 players (Howard, Lee, Hamels, Utley, JRoll, Adams). If you include MAG, it is about $123-$124M.

So maybe $20-25M to fill out the remainder of the roster?

Franco would've required a roster move with regard to the 40-man in order to be called up. While I was certainly of the opinion that his season justified such a move and call-up, there're plenty of good reasons not to. He's barely able to legally drink in the States at present, so there's no hurry to develop him.

Also: Another Ruf PA whose defining feature was taking the first-pitch meatball. At least it wasn't a strikeout this time.

Yes, in true Rube fashion the last 8 - 10 players on the 2014 roster are destined to be absolute drek - vets happy to have a job, and youth who are not ML caliber.

MG- five years later, JRoll's comments are being proven true in a big way.

He was basically describing fans pretty much everywhere, but yeah, Philly is no different than anywhere else in that regard. People that complained about Rollins' comments were simply upset that he called them what they were. Haven't seen GM Carson, one of his most vocal critics, on here to comment on that in the last few months.

The right man for this team at this time. Couldn't be happier.

The Mets Brown would fit right in our OF.

Those are some big, bold quotation marks.

Sorry to hear that Ricardo couldn’t get any Phils fans to call last night. I like his show and listen when I stay up. One annoying consequence of this season has been the abandonment of all Phils conversation on talk radio. I’m not a caller, but listen to mega-hours of sports talk a week, mostly on days I work from home. It is depressing to not find any baseball talk.

MG, I’m wondering how the Phils define their target market(s). You describe the younger fans who come mostly for the social scene and also Sunday ticket holders. The team may need to figure out how to appeal to these more “fickle” fans, as those of us who follow anyway will still be here regardless. The problem is that when fans are used to winning, a bobblehead may not be enough, as it might be in smaller markets who already anticipate a mediocre season. (The increasing hoopla may annoy the rest of us, but it won’t keep us from following) I do wonder how our mix of casual/committed fans compares to that of other MLB teams.

In terms of television, I am positive that those still viewing are the SMALL handful of us who have watched all season. For that reason, I have no idea why some of the same commercials continue to run, because the sponsors are getting a very small reach with overkill on frequency (I’ve see that Citizen’s Bank commercial with the “team jacket” line more than 500 times, it seems. Same for the Toyota spots.) Ho hum.

Ted- Its going to be a very top-heavy roster and the question is what the Phils are going to get out of that $120M especially from Howard, Papelbon, and Adams.

This team does have some younger, cheaper players who will help them next year but not nearly enough on the mound despite this team's supposed emphasis on pitching/defense.

Asche has shown enough that he might be a capable starter at 3B next year (1-2 WAR player). Brown finally delivered this year although there are concerns about him defensively & his ability to stay healthy. Ruf has shown he can be a contributor at the MLB level. Galvis/C. Hernandez should be in the mix next year for bench spots and at least as good (possibly of a little more) than the marginal FA veteran dregs.

Ideally they would need a C, an OF (a RHP who can hit for some power), a solid middle rotation starter, and another bullpen arm.

Maybe will have money to address 1 of the 4 and have to go with stopgap/cheaper solutions.

can_of_corn - I like Ricardo too.
Listed occasionally to sports talk radio when there is someone I like on. It was ridiculous how much dead air time he was having to fill with random facts, etc since literally no one was calling.

Come'on Asche. No plan at that AB.

Your 2013 Phillies. 3 singles and a walk, 1 run.

seems to me Hernandez is doing a pretty good job at leadoff why is everyone here thinking bench?

Your 2013 Sandberg-era Phils, Ted. Uncle Cholly's bunch wouldn't have plated a run.

RK - Because he isn't a natural CF and he has struggled out there.

As much grief as I give Revere at times defensively, he is still an above average CF out there. C. Hernandez isn't.

Because there's no place to put him. While he has indeed thrived as the lead-off man, his CF defense is still a work-in-progress and his career MiLB hitting numbers are inferior to Ben Revere's. So it's highly unlikely he'll keep hitting as he has, and as Revere's the better defensive CF, it's silly not to use Revere instead of Hernandez once Revere's available again.

Of course, Hernandez is a natural 2B, but we've got a fan-icon and recent recipient of a sizable extension penciled in at 2B for the next few years. So it's the bench or luck into another option year for Hernandez.

That ball should have been caught. Worst OF defense I can remember by the Phils over the course of a season.

There's always the Sandberg option - trade Cesar somewhere where he can play 2B and hit .300 for someone for 10 years or so.

Our OF play is going to be a thing of beauty next year too.

Ted - Probably although it really depends on how the Phils might sign/trade for via FA.

Brown has improved this year defensively even if he still is below average but yeah an OF with Ruf/Brown in the corners is going to pretty crummy defensively if they are the starters.

Still think Amaro is going to make a run at a power bat at C or the OF (preferably RH or a Switch hitter).

Lee deserved better. He pitched really well and should have only been charged with 1 ER really because of that crummy OF defense.

MG - CF won't be pretty either. Speed helps cover up mistakes, but Revere can't go back well, gets poor reads, and has that rag arm. Cesar is inexperienced and apparently has a weak arm as well.

I don't think he should be in the outfield either but this is the great opportunity that of course I will get in trouble for. If indeed he is a good infielder who can hit why can't we deal one of our beloved oldsters. His OBP is superlative he is perfect as a leadoff.

RK - Rube can't deal Chase after just signing him. That's just the reality.

The problem isn't Utley and I don't understand why people would want to trade him for C. Hernandez.

The issue on the roster is the $45M in largely dead money tied up with Howard, Papelbon, and Adams.

No idea what Howard can really contribute next year and if he can get back to his '10-'11 numbers. Tend to doubt it although mabye a tad better than this year depending upon how much LHP he faces

Adams is a question mark to even pitch next year and Papelbon has looked like crap this month with his fastball struggling to hit 90 MPH and a hanging splitter.

All signs point to Larry Bowa becoming a member of Ryne Sandberg's 2014 coaching staff. This is something I predicted would happen a month or so ago.

Maybe Bowa can teach Jimmy how to play SS. Or Freddy. j/k

I'm OK with Bowa as long as he doesn't displace any other ex-Phillie, like Juan Samuel.

I'm at the game and am still irritated about Hernandez & Ruf both stopping short of going for the catch, and then Dom not only missing his catch but fumbling to puck up the damn ball to throw it. Then Lee is removed for Pete Orr? Ugh.

GBrett - it's just your bad fortune that the Phils instituted Operation Protected Draft Pick this weekend.

Duda with a brain fart there.

Not exactly how you'd've liked Ruf to drive in a run there, but I'll take it!

The more I see of Asche the less I worry about Franco being blocked at 3B.

Silver sombrero for Asche. Ouch.

.283 at CBP, .162 on the road vs Papelbon

Also was better on the road last year too although the difference wasn't quite as pronounced.

As I'm left watching the game on without the option to splice in the radio feed, today's been absolutely brutal with regard to the color commentary. As the Mets' telecast is even worse than the Phils'.

Which is saying something, as Fan Appreciation Day is when the Phils' broadcast tends to get most obnoxious.

Rollins' swing right there is an apt encapsulation of his entire season.

Ugly way to end the season at CBP. Game that they easily could have won today. Oh well.

Finish 43-38 at CBP this year and if you had told me before Opening Day I would have figured my 83.5 'over' bet was a really good bet.

Somehow a Rollins whiff for the 27th out with the tying run in scoring position, and a Met sweep, seems to be an appropriate way to end the home season.

Not to mention the winning run scoring due to a clusterfluck by our outfielders.

It's hard to hold that ball dropping against either Ruf or Hernandez. Ruf's a 1B who's playing corner outfield because he's the biggest bat in the order right now, and the only way he's going to see regular playing time next year is as a corner OF. Hernandez is also a displaced middle-infielder playing in the outfield due being blocked at their natural position, except that he's also apparently the best of the bench options to replace Revere.

I suspect there'll be a lot of continued grousing about outfield defense in 2014, because the default option at this point looks like Brown/Revere/Ruf. But given that Ruf's been good for a 130 OPS+, how're you going to get to replace that? As the options capable of putting up that kind of line and who're also defensive upgrades is very short given what's on the market.

Desperately could have used a HR today. Phils have 139 this year (8th in NL) but they were outhomered at CBP this year (84 to 92).

Didn't even get a game thread on Fan Appreciation Day.

I tend to find the Mets TV announcers pretty good and better than the Phillies.

I'm happy for Sandberg. But in reality if the GM doesn't improve this team, it won't matter who the manager is. There is some nice young talent on this team. But for 2 months we've seen a Minor League out there and that just doesn't cut it.

Add in a heaping helping of fury over the ridiculous call against Rollins in the 1st Inning, & my game experience mirrored GBrettfan's as outlined at 3.58PM. And I've still never won a damn thing at so-called "Fan Appreciation Day".

Was that you I heard yelling at CBP, GTown? (I'm totally BS'ing.)

Yes the call against Rollins was ridiculous. I was surprised there weren't more comments from the beat writers about it on Twitter. I guess he thought the ball hit Jimmy's leg? We had no idea what was going on without the TV monitor showing the replay, and even then it was just a guess based on what the hell else could it have been?

I wanted Sandberg to lose his temper enough to get tossed there. I always liked the "Charlie" chants when he'd argue and get thrown out. I was wondering what we'd chant. "Ryno", I guess? ("Ryne" doesn't work. "Sandberg" doesn't have the same ring to it.)

GBrettfan: It was ignorant to the extreme. Someone asked Sandberg about the play after the game, & he relayed Guccione's claim that he (Guccione) "heard something" hit Rollins' foot.

Yeah. Because that's how you call such a play. The ball was nowhere close to Jimmy's foot. I agree wholeheartedly w/ L.A.'s claim that umpires can't get out of their own way.

And for what it's worth, I kind of wanted to see Ryne get run as well. It'll be interesting to see which combination of events finally pushes him over the edge.

Notably absent from Sandberg's list of veteran leaders: Ryan Howard.

Wouldn't a ball off someone's foot have changed direction or slowed or something?

Our defense really gets me. I feel like communication needs to be worked on. Ruf and Hernandez out there - one of them needs to go for the ball while the other backs off. Maybe it still isn't caught, because it's not like we have Werth and Vic out there anymore, but at least go for it! Same with the foul ball that Asche and Brown both went for but each stopped. Talk to each other, people!

I saw speculation about the Phillies getting Doug Dascenzo -
"Dascenzo is currently working as the Braves’ minor-league base running and outfielding coordinator "

We definitely need that kind of help!

Here's the article on possible coaches for next year:

MG called Revere an above average CF?

Brb, bookmarking this thread...

"I don't think he should be in the outfield either but this is the great opportunity that of course I will get in trouble for. If indeed he is a good infielder who can hit why can't we deal one of our beloved oldsters. His OBP is superlative he is perfect as a leadoff."

The guy has barely had a cup of coffee and people like RK are putting Hernandez in the hall of fame. RK of course should be held to a different standard of stupidity, but this seems to be a common thought here now: that Hernandez's 100 MLB PA have proven he should bat leadoff and start in a position he's only been playing for about a month.

I want Amaro fired, but I'd rather have him in charge than the many laptop GMs that make definitive judgments on players after 25 starts.

ramsey - I don't think that was a casual omission either. The one thing about Sandberg that has surprised me a bit is how candid even critical he was of Howard when Howard went on the shelf for the year.

Sandberg basically called out Howard a bit for his lack of preparation/overall shape & fitness this spring and kind of challenged Howard to get in better shape this coming year.

Operative word of the day is "ecstatic."

I think the bullpen has come a long way with the young arms this year in a growing year where that bullpen could actually be a bright spot next year, which could be a big help.

Uh, really? Maybe, maybe Diekman has turned a corner. Have I missed somebody?

I have high hopes for Ethan Martin.

I have very low hope, if any at all, for Diekman and Rosenberg.

Lore, Martin is all projection at this point. I have high hopes too, but muted expectations.

Well, since they obviously won't be bringing in 6 new relievers, we might as well be hopeful that a few of the duds turn into pitchers over the winter.

@Ted, to quote Bullwinkle J. Moose, "This time for sure!"

How interesting is it that in the "very nice core of veteran players that will help lead the way" does not include Ryan Howard?

Whoops. I see, above, that y'all have already been discussing that.

I', thinking that if Ryan Howard wants to be remembered as more than a one hit wonder, he needs to make some adjustments.

MG: Sandberg appears to be squarely in the FO's corner when it comes to Howard, a position I find both uninformed & unfair. They have expected far too much, too soon in the aftermath of Ryan's Achilles tear, which likely led to the premature end of his '13 season. I wish Howard would take a cue from Chase Utley & seek his own treatment & reconditioning program, rather than continuing to place the remainder of his career in the hands of hacks.

I don't think Howard is cooked as a player entirely like some many do.

That does not mean I think he is still a 45+ home run hitter because clearly he isn't.

But he has battled lower leg injuries for a few years now. In 2011, they injected him with stuff that weakened the ligaments and he blew out. Then they rushed him back in 2012. Then he wasn't healthy for a large majority of this season- I would venture it was a trickle down effect.

The best thing they did was shut him down early this year and stop this charade of "He can help us at 75%." What they should do is invite him to get other opinions but have him work on dropping some weight. That won't effect his strength.

Then hopefully you kick off 2014 with a Howard who is the healthiest he has been in a few years and maybe by putting some pieces around him again you can develop a potent line-up again.

I don't think Howard is completely cooked, but if I were building a team, I would consider him as such. And then whatever he can give you, it'd be a nice bonus.

I would assume Ruf is going to be playing a lot of 1B and seek a strong bat in the corner OF. If Howard can come back and contribute, then Ruf now gives you a big bat off the bench and needed OF depth.

I don't think Howard is cooked as a player entirely like some many do.

Do you think he can be a cornerstone of a playoff team though? I don't.

Could a healthy 34 year old Ryan Howard in the best shape of his life be more than just a useful player? Maybe in a 120 start, sit vs. most LHP kind of way.

I'm hard pressed to think of a big-body, non-athletic** guy who had 2 lost years in his 30s who came back to his former self.

** Relatively speaking, of course. RH is a far, far better athlete than I ever was.

Lorecore/Edmundo: You guys are hitting on some important points.

Here's my thing. Let's say we sign a big corner outfield bat which moves Ruf into a 4th OF/1B back up/RH hitter off the bench role.

To me that allows you to put some thump around Howard in the line-up, and remove him from some spots or against lefties because you have the guy who can back him up nicely. That is important to me and it helps in creating the depth factor I have said they are missing.

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