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Thursday, October 24, 2013

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Charlie Manuel is in Detroit plugging for a new job.

Dom Brown continues to not understand how to deal with the dopey sector of Philly sports fans.

And here is a topic on game 1 advantage.

I don't usually crap on the new leaders here but there are some other things to talk about that are semi-Phillies related

Also forgot to mention the topic about the TV deal which appears to be on the horizon.

Kinda like when the Phillies won Game 1 on the road in 2009 and waltzed to a WS victory once they had home field advantage.

Also, at least home field is determined by the teams respective records rather than by some asinine non-sensical way like judging it on an exhibition game that doesnt really even involve the two teams playing...that'd be stupid.

I do think it is funny how people are like- This will really hurt an AL team by putting a guy on the bench. Couldn't you argue that having Napoli come off the bench mitigates the loss some of him in the line-up?

Look I understand that it is going to hurt going from 9 hitters to 8, but the move from NL parks to AL is way worse for NL teams than the inverse.

Napoli probably still vaguely remembers how to catch...they could always toss him behind the plate and keep his red-hot bat in the lineup that way.

Its not ideal defensively but I imagine he could still do it for a couple games.

Yeah that is true with Napoli as well.

Look at the 2009 World Series. We went to New York and Ben Francisco was our DH vs. Hideki Matsui.

Do we really have the Yankees come here and say "Now we got them- Hideki is on their bench." No. Ben Francisco still stank and Matsui is still a deadly hitter whether he gets 4 at bats or 1 strategic one in a game.

Its really amazing that the Yankees were able to shutdown BenFran like that...still shocks me when I think about it.

Ben Fran is 2 for 19 in his post season career. One of those hits was a monster home run that should've swept the Cardinals out of the 2011 NLDS had Cliff Lee been able to hold a freakin' 4 run lead.

If last night taught me anything its that its impossible for a LH Ace pitcher to hold a big lead against the Cardinals.

TTI: I'll be honest and say that while Cliff failing to hold the 4-run lead was a major, major sin (I personally think the {lack of} bullpen behind him forced Manuel's hand in running him out there when we at least had a tie and he was faltering), failing to muster a 4th hit in the entire game - especially with Chase walking 3 times and Pence twice - was the worse one for me.

Yes, yes, we don't get to that point if Lee wins the game... But Carpenter is not so good a pitcher that after getting knocked out in 3 (against Lee), we should give up a CGSHO to him.

Buster: I think our bullpen would've been fine but for me that game has always started and ended with Lee. I know some here will disagree because they worship at the altar of LaRussa but he out thought himself in that series. He ran Carpenter on short rest thinking if we can get it to 5 I'll have him. The Phillies offense jumped on Carpenter and gave their 1A ace a 4-0 lead. He blew it. To me he can't be left off the hook for that.

LaRussa clearly knew that Lee would blow a 4-0 lead.

Genius!!!

He also knew he had trained a squirrel to run around home plate and redneck Roy Oswalt would be so thrown by a squirrel that he would pitch like garbage (In a game where he was spotted a 2-0 lead in the first).

Perhaps Oswalt was consumed with thoughts of squirrel stew.

TTI: I honestly don't think LaRussa is nearly the managerial genius that many do. His weird fetish with constantly swapping BP pitchers makes all but a couple of them look good in the stat lines, but realistically doesn't seem like effective personnel management.

I agree, Lee should have been able to hold a lead of that size. However, even the best have days when they're not the best, and I didn't have nearly as much faith in our BP as you.

Also, we couldn't score a single run in 6 innings against the St. Louis BP. That's patently ridiculous.

"However, guys who throw left and bat right are close to non-existent in the majors. With the exception of Ricky Henderson, I think the only other guys I have seen do that were pitchers."

Cody Ross & Ryan Ludwick both bat right-handed & throw left-handed.

Yes, there are 3 current MLBers that do that between all 750 players.

So...that'd be 0.4% of MLBers that do it.

Lance Berkman was a lefthanded throwing, switch hitter. How many guys do that? I remember David Segui maybe. Can't really remember anyone else.

Even though I'm an NL guy, I'm pulling for the Sox in this WS. St. Louis is never the favorite to win anything, yet they seem to pop up in a lot of World Series in my lifetime. Have they struck a deal with the Devil?

Nick Swisher and Melky Cabrera both throw left and switch hit.

I seem to recall more than a little fuss being raised about Cliff Lee's hat for similar reasons.

Then, it turned out, it was just discolored because he didn't change his hats regularly.

Haven't been on the site in a while and maybe I messed it while scrolling through, but saw an item on cbs3 scrolling news that Phils expect to sign new TV deal in the next 30 days?

Several articles have said the same, but everything's from unnamed sources.

Silly...never use your glove. They check gloves. A smart pitcher uses his hat....

some text

Does anyone happen to know if WS caps are all new, or will MLB have the logo stitched onto the cap of a particularly superstitious player? Prob. meaningless, but I've been wondering about this for a few years now.

Let's hope the Phils are better at business metrics than baseball metrics

..as they value this deal

NEPP: I'll be eagerly awaiting the Joe Blanton statue outside CBP replete with "sweat" on the brim of his cap.

Shane: A famous Philadelphian once said "If it's worth having it's worth cheating for"

Name that Philadelphian:

I know my sweat often looks like pine tar...so I'm sure it was interesting.


Ben Franklin?

It'd be funnier, and quite sad, that if Comcast got them to sign for something like $40 million a year and mentioned Rube's lack of Production as the key reason why....

Not Benny

I doubt Ruben's the one in charge of negotiating the TV rights. He has a lot on his plate already (regardless of how good you think he is at dealing with it), and it's likely nearer and dearer to ownership interests than the guys on the field.

Yes well lets hope so. And let's hope they use modern financial valuation metrics, god knows they don't use modern baseball valuation metrics

Killi, that would be Mr. Fields.

***Does anyone happen to know if WS caps are all new, or will MLB have the logo stitched onto the cap of a particularly superstitious player? Prob. meaningless, but I've been wondering about this for a few years now.***

Depends on the player...some players want to keep their hat so they put the logo right on it. Wetteland in 1996 comes to mind as does Blanton in 2008. Most players change their hats often enough that its a moot point.

If r00b were in charge of media we'd be treated to such offerings as "Mike Adams Isn't Dead! ... Well, Not Clinically, Anyway: The 2013 Phillies Betamax Yearbook", which would also serve as the 2014 yearbook -- you know, because if you want a yearbook sometimes you have to go the extra year.

Then again, the sight of your 2013 Phillies Betamax Yearbook, unable to be played more than a handful of times yet still sitting on the shelf, will prove strangely reminiscent of the team it represents.

NEPP: Thanks. I'm afraid I'd most likely be one of the superstitious ones.

GTown: I'm not sure that analogy works though.

Betamax is significantly higher-fidelity than VHS. Sure, not many people can watch it, but you've got a better product there. That's like the mid-2000s Yankees - prohibitive to watch play (due to expense), but an above-average product on the field.

I think the 2013 yearbook is best presented via DivX. Equally-obscure format, literally degrades as you watch it, and generally can't be used anymore because your player has to connect to DivX-HQ to get permission... But DivX-HQ is down.

Make that DIVX. Not DivX.

There was a big deal made about Buchholz at the beginning of the year and the shiny stuff he had on his wrist...

http://larrybrownsports.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/clay-buchholz-forearm.jpg

These guys are amateurs. Just need to snort some jalapeno, get the juices running naturally.

B_A_P: "Cody Ross & Ryan Ludwick both bat right-handed & throw left-handed."

I recalled Ross after I posted. Those two are mentioned in the article I linked after the comment. 56 position players in MLB history threw right, batted left. I'm guessing there are 500 guys the opposite way but, SWAG.

I have no doubt that Bucholtz was doing that at the time and likely all season...and I highly doubt he's the only pitcher doctoring baseballs.

As for the header, you can call it losing Game 1 on the road (despite the assertion that it's not a series until the home team loses...), but I'm gonna guess that the loss that may have a bigger impact on the series is the Beltran injury. Even if he can play through, you're unlikely to get the .296/.339/.491 (128 OPS+) guy you got during the season.

But, yeah, losing a game they're supposed to lose (by HFA perspective anyway) positions STL in quite the "challenge." You keep believing that.

"56 position players in MLB history threw right, batted left."


Hugh, you got it backwards...

I think 56 players on the current Phillies throw right, bat left right now...

Or at least in our Org.

"I think 56 players on the current Phillies throw right, bat left right now..."

That's specifically why the Phillies signed them. Versatility.

I routinely got heat from TTI and others for criticizing the thread headers for what I thought were poor/lazy opinions over the last year or so. I even did it with JW when I felt disagreement.

That somehow turned into giving me heat for complaining about the topic of threader itself. And just a few days ago, TTI himself was smugly joking to place bets on who would be the first ingrate to crap on the thread.

So you can imagine my shock when today's first comment was from none other than thy holy TTI 'crapping' on the last 3 threads.

I did, awh, I did. Should just work instead of working wiht Beerleaguer open.

awh wins the boobie prize on his correct reference to the great WC Fields

Winter Leagues Prospects of note:

Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez have started playing in the Dominican, and Severino Gonzalez is now in Venezuela.

Rupp the only one getting consistent time in AFL, although doing pretty well so far (.825 OPS).

of a much lesser note:

Galvis and Lino in Venezuela as well.

An .825 OPS in the AFL is like a .625 OPS anywhere else. Its an extreme offensive league.

If our backup catcher can put up a .625 OPS regularly, and call a good game, I'd be ok with that.

nepp: true, but not so far this year. R/G has been in the high 5s last 3 years, but down to 4.8 so far in 2013.

Good point, lorecore...good point.

It does kind of hurt to see former Phillies 2009 draft pick C Andrew Susac (didnt sign) with the 3rd best OPS in the AFL so far at 1.128.

Even at the time, I really wanted them to pay him and they simply couldn't meet his pricetag. We paid Brody Colvin instead that year...oops.

To be fair though, I really wanted them to pay Colvin and Jake Stewart (the other hard-sign guy that year) too and both have sucked...my theory being that they should go balls deep in every draft moneywise like the BoSox always did before the current caps on spending.

I have no doubt that Bucholtz was doing that at the time and likely all season...and I highly doubt he's the only pitcher doctoring baseballs.

Posted by: NEPP | Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Agree with both points NEPP...And Tazawa was spotted doing the same thing shortly thereafter.

If you ain't cheating you ain't trying, right?

I suspect that a large majority of pitchers doctor the ball to a certain extent...especially on colder October nights when its tough to get a good grip on the ball.

"I routinely got heat from TTI and others for criticizing the thread headers for what I thought were poor/lazy opinions over the last year or so. I even did it with JW when I felt disagreement."

You got heat because you acted like a jacakss about it.
__________________________________________

"That somehow turned into giving me heat for complaining about the topic of threader itself. And just a few days ago, TTI himself was smugly joking to place bets on who would be the first ingrate to crap on the thread."

I'm a martyr and I can't believe people disagree with my opinions because I think they are infallible.

And how do you know I was smugly joking? We had a few straight threads where people dumped on the thread header so I made a joke about it. Didn't know joking about obvious things automatically made you smug
__________________________________________


"So you can imagine my shock when today's first comment was from none other than thy holy TTI 'crapping' on the last 3 threads."

I didn't crap on the threads. I didn't take the tact of calling them idiots, or invoking JW or anything like that like you did. I questioned why when there are Phillies stories out there this became a central focus.

I made comment on one thread too, not three.

So basically- another miss from lorecore.

well the answer to your joke was, you. congrats.

If the Phillies do indeed get their new TV deal in the next few weeks, the winter outlook is drastically changed. They would essentially have unlimited money to improve the club. Figure a conservative estimate is $150 million a year, that means they would have an additional $115 million to play with from a revenue standpoint. Add in the $50 million from the new national tv deal from Fox/TBS/ESPN and you're looking at a very conservative $200 million in television money starting in 2014.

Thus, they could sign 2-3 mid-level pitchers, a couple outfielders and bullpen help and still turn a profit. That might not make them a 97 win club like the RedSox retooling last winter but it might make them interesting enough to at least challenge for a 2nd WC spot (or crack 85 wins and keep us interested).

Thoughts on this development? Imagine if they were to sign Choo, Beltran, McCann and 2-3 SP.

Would that be enough make a difference even with all our dead money/aging vets?

Wow, two skunks in a pissing fight...

I've NEVER seen that on BeerLeaguer before.

Steel cage match?

NEPP: I thought that 2014's money is only an extra ~$27mm or so, with the amount to increase the subsequent year? Even so, yes, functionally unlimited funds... Assuming it's with Comcast and treated as an extension of their current deal.

If not, then they might not see the money until after 2015, when the new contract is slated to begin.

awh: and someone acting like they are above the fray is real original on here too.

***I thought that 2014's money is only an extra ~$27mm or so, with the amount to increase the subsequent year? Even so, yes, functionally unlimited funds... Assuming it's with Comcast and treated as an extension of their current deal***

I'm not sure on how it would work or if they could maybe take a very low-interest loan against future earnings at a minimum if there's a contract in place. The revenue being guaranteed would help significantly though because, at worst, they could selectively backload some of the contracts.

What 2 SPs would they be signing? Johnson? Kazmir? Feldman? Chen? Garza?

The only one who could be a legit upgrade on KK and doesn't come with serious injury concerns is Garza, and I don't really like him at all.

There just isn't much out there on the FA SP market...they could re-tool the bullpen pretty effectively, if you trust the vets on the market not to implode. But that's kind of always the concern with RPs, right?

Don't know that the Phils can spend themselves out of this predicament.

TTI is particularly touchy today, huh?

NEPP: I doubt they'd be able to get something with extremely low interest, given the current financial climate, but they could probably get an average-ish loan, that's true.

I'm also not super-sure I would want them to backload the contracts, since that makes them harder to move later on if we have to. Although I suppose ownership might be more willing to eat salary if they had so much excess revenue.

"I'm not sure on how it would work or if they could maybe take a very low-interest loan against future earnings..."


Why? They won't go over the luxury tax threshold, and the additional $27MM in 2014 will be plenty of money for them to sign anyone they want.

And I don't think this groupthink of traditionalist will EVER go over the luxury tax threshold, mostly because they look around MLB and see other teams with lesser payrolls making the postseason, so they don't think they have to do so...

...and they're right.

The problem is not how much money they're spending on players, the problem is HOW they're spending it.

That said, IMHO any additional monies that come in from new TV deals and MLB Advanced Media will probably be distributed to the partners, assuming they don't do a major upgrade to the ballpark.

No idea really, Chris...just throwing out a vague hypothetical to get the conversation past the pissing battle and on to a slightly more interesting topic.

Basically, if money is not an issue and the Phillies could easily afford a payroll in the $200 million range (comparable to the Dodgers/Yankees), what type of moves could we make and would those moves be enough to matter given our other restrictions/committments?

Difficulty: Rube is in charge of these moves.

Say the TV contract is massive...do the Phillies go over the luxury tax?

I say 100% No.

Chris: Not really. I was commenting on things and enjoying the discussion before lorecore decided to poke the bear through the cage. He didn't like the response either because he is a weasel and knows it.

But far be it from me to be upset at someone who feels the need to play martyr on a message board.

"I say 100% No.


I 100% agree.

"And I don't think this groupthink of traditionalist will EVER go over the luxury tax threshold, mostly because they look around MLB and see other teams with lesser payrolls making the postseason, so they don't think they have to do so...

...and they're right."

Sure. You don't have to. But obviously, given our current farm system and roster, it's probably the best method for this team to do so.

At least in the short term.

Actually, it also helps longer-term, because it allows them to sign FAs instead of trading their best prospects to get players who can make an impact now. There's a reason it's taken the Yankees farm system a long time to seriously fail, despite having poor picks for about 15-20 years running (and losing some of them to Type A/B signings).

The ownership group might just stash the extra money in their retirement accounts, but if they legitimately care about increasing profitability even more it wouldn't appear wise to balk too much a 20-30% increase in player salaries in the short term (especially when compared against a 70-100% increase in revenue during the same time frame).

"The problem is not how much money they're spending on players, the problem is HOW they're spending it."


Let me correct myself:


The problem is not how much money they're spending on scouts and talent evaluators, the problem is HOW they're spending it.

Chris in VT at 02.31 PM & awh™ at 02.38 PM are dead on. My feeling is the only people who have reason to get excited about the Phillies new TV deal are members of the ownership group & their heirs.

my crazy 'if i was GM' scheme for a big market club who was far away from contention:

Spend as much as ownership allows (i.e. luxury tax) on FAs.
Trade those FA to teams with less $$ to spend by eating large portions of their salary for prospects.

You'd be basically buying a farm system, which seems to be the one thing money can't buy with new draft rules (outside of the cuban defectors)

FWIW, I also agree that they'll never bust through the luxury tax and I doubt they'll even come close to it in 2014. Any revenue seen will simply be pocketed.

AWH~ I agree with you. It doesn't matter how much money they have. It's up to them whether they want to spend it. And if they deem there isn't someone available who can really help, they won't.

And they won't spend on mediocre talent anyway, or at least they shouldn't. Bottom line is that they have a lot to do to contend. And based on what we've seen the last 2 years, I highly doubt they'll do it.

And by that I don't necessiarly mean just spending money. They have to aquire some of the right pieces in trades. And they don't have the pharm system to make that happen.

I never thought I'd say this but its almost a shame that the NL doesnt use the DH given that we could seriously upgrade our offense if we could either sign a DH bat or move Howard there and sign a 1B bat like Napoli or Hart this off-season.

And I hate the DH but on an aging team like the Phillies, it'd make for a ton of flexibility.

You guys need a bat? You can have Mini Mac back!

The other consideration about payroll is the Phillies are on the verge of losing a lot of the casual fans who hopped aboard in the mid to late 2000s, if they haven't already, and aren't nearly as relevant nationally as they were even a year go. We all know how long it took for the Phillies to get to that level and how long it could take to get back.

Therefore, to me it would be really short sighted NOT to spend up to the luxury tax limit this offseason. The alternative saves $20-25M for the owners as well as a second-round pic, but it fuels a never-ending narrative about how the owners are just pocketing the TV-deal money, they don't care about winning, etc.

Runnerish: While I don't disagree about it being shortsighted not to overspend a little in the short term to help maintain long-term interest/income...

It actually didn't take very long for them to become relevant nationally. They won the division in '07, won the WS in '08, and they started getting major attention in mid-'09, which is also when their sell-out streak began.

Runnerish~ Middleton cares aboout winning but he's the only one. After the '09 WS wnated the Phils to get his beepling WS trophy back. And while they won a lot of games in '10 & '11 & made the playoffs, they suffered early exits. IMHO, they're not close to being at that level to get there again.

Now, I realize that spending money may get you top-rated players, but that doesn't mean you'll win. Just look at the Angels.

However, not bringing in the right players (or top ones) as with the Phils the last 2 years, given the stae of thie pharm system, means they weren't going anywhere. And they still may not be. But that remains to be seen.

A lot of the track for that 07-09 uptick was laid in the early to mid 2000s, though (and was pretty damn close to not working out in 2007 and 2008). But the bottom line to me is that's the only period of Phillies relevance in my lifetime.

David Cohen has a great post up at The Good Phight:

The Worst Phillies Hitters Ever in the History of All Time

Betcha can't guess who leads the list?

I'm gonna go way out on a super thin limb and say Mini Mart.

Runnerish: You can sort of claim that... But honestly, I don't buy it. The local uptick? Yes, I agree that a lot of that was built around the cult of personality of "The Core" (Rollins, Howard, Utley, Werth, Victorino, Burrell and, to a lesser extent, Thome), as well as some of the pitching staff (Hamels, Lidge, Moyer, Myers, Madson).

However, the sudden explosion of fans nationally? I'm reasonably convinced that was all due to winning. Maybe 'closeted' Phillies fans who felt it was suddenly ok to raise up their heads, or just people who wanted to say they rooted for a team that was ridiculously good for a sustained duration.

If the Phillies make it to another WS in the next 5 years, I'm fairly confident we'll see another major uptick in national fandom/attention. Unless it's book-ended by 4 terrible years on either side.

awh™: I don't even need to follow the link. I already know.

"Runnerish~ Middleton cares aboout winning but he's the only one. After the '09 WS wnated the Phils to get his beepling WS trophy back."

I've seen this from some fans, but where did it come from that Middleton was the owner who was behind spending more (Howard deal, getting Lee, Papelbon)? Was that widely reported that Middleton was the driving force behind spending more money on the players?

'buster nailed it. This team's prominence (and the sell out streak/$$$ that accompanied) had less to do with the actual very likable individuals on the team itself (though it's always easier to root for a "homegrown" team as opposed to one that's bought - unless it's the Cardinals) than it does for the fact that they were a very talented team that was winning games. There's something to be said about those bandwagon fans we all loathe...

All that aside, I think the Front Office truly believes that we (and I include those of us who follow the team along with those bandwagoners, moms of fans and random locals who like to be associated) are pulling for Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Chooch, Rollins, et al, when the reality is that we'd actually cheer for other guys if they gave us a better chance to win.

I honestly feel that this whole dynamic is what played into the Lee FA signing. Luckily and thankfully he still has the talent to help us win, so it works out for now. I'm fearful, however, that this is likely why we'll see runs at Doc and Chooch (and maybe even KK to an extent). I think that they think that we love these guys themselves more so than we like winning.

Then again, I'm probably giving them way too much credit and it's more likely that they really don't give a flying rat's a88 what the fans want/like and they march to the beat of their own drummer. But even then, I think they, themselves, feel more comfortable with these guys, the people, than they do making moves that result in jettisoning these guys to improve the team. That's a hard move to make from a personal standpoint, but any business leader will tell you that you have to check emotion at the door and nostalgia won't get you anywhere. There's nothing as quiet as the sound of yesterday's applause.

***I've seen this from some fans, but where did it come from that Middleton was the owner who was behind spending more (Howard deal, getting Lee, Papelbon)? Was that widely reported that Middleton was the driving force behind spending more money on the players?***

Two sources...there was a Philly Magazine article about 5-6 years ago on the "Mysterious ownership group of the Phillies" where its mentioned that Middleton basically said that he'd pay for Thome with his own money if the other owners didnt ante up...and there's those comments after the 09 WS loss about him wanting his trophy back.

Other than that, its just a bunch of conjecture that he is the only real fan on the group that is willing to spend money to win...if he were allowed to which, under the current ownership agreement, he is not.

As other fans on the other site pointed out, a few more plate appearances and John Vukovich would have topped the list of worst hitters in Phillies history. Good fielder, couldn't hit a lick.

Ok thanks NEPP. I wasn't sure where the Middleton thing originated.

http://www.phillymag.com/articles/the-phantom-five/8/

Article I referenced...May 2008 so I was pretty accurate on the timeframe at least.

NEPP~ I may be mistaken, but wasn't there talk some time ago about Middleton wanting to become the team's majority owner, but was rebuffed? I don't remember where it came from, but I'm almost certain I read that somewhere.

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