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Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Who will be the first to crap on the thread header?

Place your bets

Phillies current deal pays them $35M a season, which amongest the bottom half (~18th i believe) of the league despite ranking in the top 5 mlb audiences over the last decade.

If they get a 200-220M/yr deal, that would be a very good haul i think. I'm assuming a contract in the 20 year range, so you're looking at a $4-4.5B deal.

My first reaction is to say this is stupid to sign early and not let FS1 in on the bidding, but I see three things that probably overcompensate waiting for a bidding war:

#1. Their last decade of numbers is likely a TV peak for them and they can't afford to let it slide over the next year or two

#2. The feared "bubble" of TV contracts. These billion dollar deals make a lot of sense right now, but hardly are guaranteed to remain that way. The world of TV vs online content is very volatile.

#3. Speculation on my part, but I'm sure Phillies and Comcast have a nice little behind the scenes business going on that won't show up on the deal. Anywhere from equity stake % and other unrelated revenue partnerships.

LorecorE - As you probably know, 34% of every team's TV revenue goes into one of two MLB revenue-sharing pools. Excluded in that calculation are the equity stakes and other revenue streams to which you refer. It's in the Phils best interests to structure the deal to minimize MLB's revenue share by taking less direct TV revenue and more equity as well as more "other" revenue.

derek: good point.

Here's a pretty timely article:

Phillies rank 9th, with the following quote:

"Of the 10 teams valued at $1 billion or more, only the Philadelphia Phillies don’t have equity stake in a regional sports network."

Just wanted to note a post at the end of the last thread positing that Ruf is not a good platoon candidate against lefties because his splits were poor that way last year. His road numbers were bad, too, so maybe he should only hit against righties at home.

Seriously, we all know who can't hit lefties - Ryan Howard. Of course Ruf is best used in a platoon role to minimize the hole Howard leaves in the lineup against southpaws.

Now, I want to hear how the Phillies are going to spend those Dodger Dollars.

We don't need DODGERS DOLLARS. Now we have Phillies Pesos.

Name not official yet.

lorecore: "If the Phils non-tender KK, he'll easily get $10M per year."

I think KK gets tendered, so we'll never know for sure, but clout, as usual, is wrong about baseball financials."

Actually we will know, pretty close. Generally, free agents are paid above what they would've gotten in arbitration. KK is arb eligible and we'll see what figures are exchanged.

What do you think he'll be paid?

Correction: the Bob Marley tune is "Three Little Birds"

clout: He'll get just under $7M in arb. I don't think he'd make 10M/year in FA. Below are the last 10 FA SP who have made at least 10M/yr:

E Jackson
CJ Wilson

What makes you think KK has anything in common with those names?

Well, there is a "K" in "Kuroda"...

In re: the SoE article linked in header past... I wasn't aware that team sources had said Revere was a LF-or-bust candidate.

This situation w/ Mattingly & the Dodgers is rather ugly. One gets the feeling L.A.'s FO wanted him to fail, & now wants him to quit.

I have an unusual fondness for Mattingly. I remember one Halloween where I dressed up as his baseball card (since my father was a Yankees fan), complete with Ron Burgandy-esque moustache.

The 2009 series (and Pedro, unfortunately) did wonders for Matsui's SLG. Pretty cool that Utley stands atop that list. Here's hoping he gets to add to it before his career is over.

On the new TV deal: Be prepared for less. Between the debacle in Huston and the poor scheduling of the WS this year, advertisers will take note of the poor viewership of baseball games. Fox is very unlikely to break even on the WS this year.

***think we can all agree that the contract for Lincecum is way too high. That said, what do resident geniuses BAP, NEPP and the others think it would take to sign a quality free agent starting pitcher and what would they be willing to pay?***

So you think a 72 ERA+ over his last two seasons means he's a "quality free agent starting pitcher"?

That said, would you be offering KK 2 years, $60 million given that his ERA+ for that same time period was 91?

Though, to be fair to Timmy, he did improve his bWAR from -1.7 in 2012 to -0.6 in 2013.

So, if everything breaks right, there's a solid chance that he brings it up to replacement level in 2014.

Halladay had a 77 ERA+ and a bWAR of 0.0 over the past two seasons. He's clearly worth 2 years/$50 Million given this new precedent.

Shane: I think that $180mm/year is plenty conservative, and still almost 6 times what we're getting now. 220 may be a bit high, but I'm willing to wager that networks remember how high the viewership numbers got in their prime.

The thing is, when the negotiations take place, there's a bit of projection going on for both sides. Yes, "you didn't pull in nearly as many viewers this year as 2 years ago" is a valid concern. However, the Phillies can come back with "with the increased revenue this deal will give us, we can afford to field another top-tier, competitive team, which will drive up ratings again."

Shane- ratings nationally are different than ratings locally. The Astros problems in Houston as well run deeper than just ratings.

I don't think it will make much practical difference how big the TV deal happens to be. The Phillies have generally tied payroll to projected ticket revenue, & even if the team decided to spend above whatever that threshold happens to be in a given year, I cannot imagine this particular group ever incurring the luxury tax.

In any event, the Phillies' biggest problem isn't going to be money, but the person or persons in charge of spending said money. If the club gave a rat's ass updating their scouting & development, & abandoned their "we want him in a Phillies uniform until the end of his career" nonsense, they could field a contending team for tens of millions less than they've been shelling out.

GTown: In the past, the TV deals have never remotely resembled the gate revenue. If we legitimately get to the super-$200MM range this year, it might even exceed ticket revenue (projected or otherwise).

Additionally, the national broadcast infusion will help as well.

Also, pre-arbitration, we're sitting around $120MM this year. Maybe tack on $15-20MM more to cover arb and/or bringing back guys (KK, Chooch) on short, middling AAV deals, that still leaves the Phillies with about $40MM to throw around before nudging up on the CBT threshold.

Phillibuster: I was speaking (writing) broadly. Again, it's not the money, but who's throwing it, & where. The window having closed, I want the Phillies to reinvest in their system, not play FA roulette. In that sense some tightfistedness on the part of ownership wouldn't be a bad thing.

***Additionally, the national broadcast infusion will help as well.***

Given that that money is uniform across the league, all that will lead to is inflation across the board for all player contracts. If anything, it might hurt big spending clubs as it'll make it easier for mid-market/2nd tier clubs to start pushing up against the luxury tax too.

"Just wanted to note a post at the end of the last thread positing that Ruf is not a good platoon candidate against lefties because his splits were poor that way last year."

I know you're being facetious but the guy who originally posted that same idea was NOT being facetious. Hence, it's worth pointing out that Ruf absolutely killed LHP in the minor leagues. In the majors, he has had all of 85 career ABs against LHP. The notion that he hits RHP better than LHP is absurd.

GTown: Isn't the word that the Phillies finally are updating their scouting and development? Are the Phillies the only team left that does not use the advanced scouting that is common now?

GTown, I really don't care how they spend the money as long as it improves the team going forward and they can be competitive every year.

Therefore, I have no problem with an FA signing as long as it helps the team win.

An example is the Thome signing, which was designed to fill a huge void at 1B and signal to the fans that the team was serious about winning going forward. The certainly didn't expect to win it all the first year he was here, but the hope was that over the life of the contract the Phillies would make the playoffs again, and he would be a big piece (pun intended) of that. His FA contract with the Phillies ran through 2009, which would have placed him squarely on two WS teams (assuming they would have made it with him instead of Howard).

But my point is: I have no problem with them spending money on an FA, as long as the contract doesn't handcuff the franchise.

You say you want them to build from within? Like the Cardinals? Well, even the Cardinals signed Matt Holliday to a large contract to retain his services as he was entering free agency, and he's a key piece of that team. Also, the originally TRADED for him, so he's not "home grown".

Yes, most of the roster is home grown, but two of the most important pieces of that team - Holliday and Beltran (FA signing) - came from the outside.

In today's marketplace, to be competitive year-in year-out, it probably takes a GM and org who are adept at all three: 1) drafting and developing, 2) trading, 3) selective FA signings.


Question: Who are two pitchers the Phils shouldn't sign this season under any circumstance?

Answer: Halladay and Lincecum

GTown, I'll add a fourth: 4) selective international signings.

NEPP: Yes, in the long term, that will only cause inflation.

However, in the short term, the CBT threshold has not increased enough that it's going to catch up for at least half a decade. This overwhelmingly benefits teams that need to sign FAs for the next 2-5-year period.

Which happens to describe the Phillies quite nicely.

MG, Lincecum is off the table.

I'd bring Halladay back to see if he really does recover, but it would have to be a Lannan type base with upside if he does recover.

For two reasons, I don't think Halladay will sign anywhere until sometime in January or right before P&Cs report. One, teams will want to see him throw to see if he really has regained velocity, and two, he stands a better chance of getting a lucrative contract if he waits and does recover.

Personally, I'll be very surprised if he signs anywhere before the New Year, and it wouldn't shock me if he waits until February.

Buster and NEPP, you're both smart guys, so why do you care about salary inflation in MLB if teams can afford to pay it?

Why do you care what players make? Shouldn't you just care whether your team wins?

If the Phillies are winning and are fun to watch every year, I don't care whether their payroll is $60MM or $260MM. If they can afford to pay players more because they have more revenue - let tham. I don't see any of it so IDGAS.

MG, here's the list of FA SP from MLBTR:

Alfredo Aceves (31)
Bronson Arroyo (37)
Scott Baker (32)
Erik Bedard (35)
A.J. Burnett (37)
Chris Capuano (35) - $8MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout
Chris Carpenter (39)
Bruce Chen (37)
Bartolo Colon (41)
Scott Feldman (30)
Gavin Floyd (31)
Jeff Francis (33)
Freddy Garcia (37)
Jon Garland (34)
Matt Garza (30)
Chad Gaudin (31)
Roy Halladay (37)
Jason Hammel (31)
Aaron Harang (36) - $7MM+ mutual option with a $2MM buyout
Dan Haren (33)
Roberto Hernandez (33)
Tim Hudson (38)
Phil Hughes (28)
Philip Humber (31)
Ubaldo Jimenez (30) - may void $8MM option for 2014
Josh Johnson (30)
Jeff Karstens (31)
Scott Kazmir (30)
Hiroki Kuroda (39)
John Lannan (29)
Wade LeBlanc (29)
Jon Lester (30) - $13MM club option with a $250K buyout
Colby Lewis (34)
Ted Lilly (38)
Tim Lincecum (30)
Paul Maholm (32)
Shaun Marcum (32)
Jason Marquis (35)
Daisuke Matsuzaka (33)
Randy Messenger (32)
Ricky Nolasco (31)
Sean O'Sullivan (26)
Roy Oswalt (35)
Mike Pelfrey (30)
Wandy Rodriguez (35) - $13MM player option with a $2.5MM buyout
Ervin Santana (31)
Johan Santana (34) - $25MM club option with a $5.5MM buyout
Joe Saunders (33) - mutual option
James Shields (32) - $12MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Masahiro Tanaka (25) - right to sign will be acquired via posting system for Japanese players
Jason Vargas (31)
Ryan Vogelsong (36) - $6.5MM club option with a $300K buyout
Edinson Volquez (30)
Tsuyoshi Wada (33) - $5MM club option
P.J. Walters (29)
Jake Westbrook (36) -- $9.5MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout
Chien-Ming Wang (34)
Suk-Min Yoon (27)
Barry Zito (36) - $18MM club option with a $7MM buyout

Somewhere on that list is a guy who can help the team. The question is: Can they fit him into the payroll?

awh - Going to be slim pickings especially if they use their money to address offensive deficiencies through FA and sign a moderately expensive C or OF.

awh: My point was more in regards to what the spending will be able to get them, not how much they spend on it.

If we assume that every team will get an additional ~$26MM/year, that would seemingly level the playing field (i.e.: we can ignore the increase, because all the players will be able to extract that much more from the teams, and they know it).

However, in real dollar terms that won't catch up for several years. In the meantime, teams that need/want to spend that money on FA signings/extensions will be able to extract more value from it because the current salaries of players will be used as the jumping-off points for negotiations.

The only possible area I could see it instantly becoming equal is in paying posting fees, since everybody will have the extra cash to drop immediately. Even there, though, some teams have areas of need that SE Asian players can fill, and some don't.

***Buster and NEPP, you're both smart guys, so why do you care about salary inflation in MLB if teams can afford to pay it?***

I dont care at all...I was just pointing out that giving every team $50 million per year from the national TV deal isn't any sort of advantage and in some cases might actually hurt a club like the Phillies that use the luxury tax as a self-imposed hard salary cap given that the teams that were previously in the $120-$130 million range might feel comfortable spending as much or more than the Phillies currently do. Thus, referencing the "national tv money" as an advantage isn't really true.

Make sense?

"Somewhere on that list is a guy who can help the team. The question is: Can they fit him into the payroll?"

I have no doubt that there are guys on that list who can help the team. But, if the Phillies have even the slightest chance of contending in 2014, a starting rotation of Lee, Hamels, and your typical 3, 4, and 5 starters is not going to be nearly good enough to lift the dreadful offense. They need Lee, Hamels, a couple of 2-ish starters, and a respectable No. 4-5. Basically, they need almost as good a rotation as they had in 2011, plus a whole lot of things to break right with the offense & bullpen.

I actually like several guys on that list as potential 'bargains' but the problem is that the floor even on bargain rate starters is basically $4-$5M/year if you look at the last 2 years.

If a guy is healthy and coming off even a subpar year that gets bumped up closer to $8M/year.

BAP: If they don't address anything else, the rotation you describe could put them in WC contention. Luck would be necessary, as you said, but if that was literally the only thing (plus a catcher, possibly, but not necessarily an offensively-minded one), they could conceivably contend.

If they address one corner outfield bat (especially RF, with a near-average or better-than-average glove), and 1-2 bullpen arms (2-3 if Adams can't return), I think they can probably get by adequately with one 2.5-style SP, and fairly standard 4-4.5 types for the back end.

I do agree that they can't afford to have a real "number 5 type" as their number 5. Even if he's young, cost-controlled, and has good upside.

Philli: Yeah, the way I see it, there simply isn't much flexibility to improve the offense. We might get SOME improvement if: (1) we bring in a decent corner outfielder; (2) Howard & others stay healthy; (3) Howard bounces back somewhat, & sits for Ruf against a lot of LHP; and (4) Asche takes a step forward or Franco comes up & makes an instant impact. But that's a lot of ifs and, even if they all happened, the offense would still probably be no better than average.

The starting pitching, on the other hand, starts with 2 ace pitchers and an intriguing, though totally unknown, third (MAG). After that, it's basically 2 vacancies as it stands right now. Those two vacancies represent the Phillies' best (if not only) opportunity to field a competitive team in 2014. Unfortunately, RAJ seems inclined to fill the vacancies with KK & Halladay. Because, after all, that plan worked out so swimmingly last year.

Was Pettibone ever actually declared healthy from his rotator cuff/biceps tendinitis?

The last thing I saw on him was a few weeks ago and that he is still just long-tossing in the Instructional League and still hadn't thrown off a mound since he had been shut down.

Originally the Phils said he was just going to be shut down for a month & back after Labor Day. Then he was shutdown for the season. Now it is going on 2 1/2 months and he still isn't throwing off a mound.

I'm shocked. A couple of dozen posts, and no lame gay trolls? Maybe the guy hasn't gotten bailed out of jail yet?

BAP: I don't think Amaro's really inclined to do that, though. Yes, sure, he said he likes Doc, and would be willing to make an offer to him... But I think a lot of the interest in him (as stated by posters here, anyway) is imagined interest, and stems from their belief that Amaro's a buffoon.

Buffoon he may be, at times anyway, but I don't think he's indicated nearly as much interest as some here attribute to him - sarcastically or otherwise.

As to KK... If he's our 5th starter, that's honestly ok (assuming he's healthy) with me. He typifies the 3.5-4.5 style of starter that teams would generally like to have as their worst starter. As an added bonus, if someone in the minors steps up (or we make a trade), he's an above-average long reliever, so he can get moved to the bullpen.

“The Bombers, as we all know, are trying to get under the $189MM luxury tax threshold and they could be vying with the Rangers, Cubs, Astros, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, and the incumbent Reds.’

Sounds like they’re at least taking a look at Choo.

MG, good post at 2:04.

Funny how you mentioned $8MM for a healthy guy coming off a subpar year.

the first guy I thought of was KK. I expect he'll get 7 - 8MM, even in arb. The Lincecum deal and some of the others last year raised the bar a bit.

BTW, I expect that Lester, Vogelsong, Schields will have their options picked up, so cross them off the list.

The Cards might actually consider Westbrook's option even with their younger arms, because they could trade him to a team that's looking for cost certainty.

Wandy will probably exercise his player option so he can get paid to rebuild his value, and Houston has to pay a good chunk so the Bucs may not mind.

So guys will get re-signed by their clubs, so the list will shorted , IMHO.

"Some" guys will get re-signed...

<"Some" guys will get re-signed...>

Depends on their photographic skills, bro...

I didn't know that in 2012, no World Series game even cracked the top 50 most televised sporting events of the year. I realize the Olympics skewed that some, but even if you remove the Olympics and all televised NFL games, Game 4 of the World Series was not even in the top 10 (it was 11).

Did I miss something where Amaro gave a huge tell about being in on Halladay?

awh: MLBTR, which has a scary-accurate arbitration-calculator, predicted KK would get about $6.6MM in arb.

I imagine Amaro will be trying to get him at somewhere around a 2/$10-11 deal, for minor savings plus cost certainty for next year. It'd also improve his trade value, should that become useful.

Some talked of Beltran in the past few weeks (I was one of them). MLBTR thinks he might be able to get 2 years, 30 million.

The question regarding him is- would the potential offensive upgrade outweigh the limited defensive upgrade? His defense has downgraded the past few years and his OBP is dropping as well, and you have to hope his split this year against lefties was an aberration.

'buster, I'll take the "over" on the $6.6MM.

He may not get 8, but I think he'll get at least 7.

I'll take that Over as well & guess Kendrick gets around $7.5 million.

I'd bet that Rube does something silly like extend KK on a 2 year deal with a 3rd year option and avoids arbitration with him altogether.

Choo is fantastic against RHP but he is just spectacularly awful against LHP. How many guys like that can you have in your starting lineup? The Phillies already have 4 (Howard, Dom, Rollins, Asche). And that doesn't even count Utley, who isn't bad against LHP but certainly isn't great.

Yeah but Choo hit a HR off a LHP in the playoffs.

Game Set Match, Beyotch!!!!

TTI- no you didn't miss anything. BAP & GTown have been slamming Halladay since the day he got here and their punching bag is on his way out the door. They're acting as if Amaro has said he's going to sign him to some megadeal to get a few more swings in before he's gone for good.

Prediction: when he signs elsewhere (or goes unsigned), they will both take grave offense to being called out for whining for 2-3 months about something that never happened.

At the absolute minimum I want to see the Phillies get a good right-fielder, a solid #3 starter and a dependable, veteran bullpen piece. That's "at minimum" to be a more competitive team with, perhaps, a shot at a wild card. They will need more than that to be a post-season contender. Time's yours, Rube.

Brown had a .724 OPS against LHP this year (.775 in games started by a LHP). Not sure any sane person would call that 'spectacularly awful.'

But Iceman - that doesn't fit the narrative. Stop posting stuff like that.

I can't speak for b_a_p, but if Halladay signs elsewhere I'll be so happy I won't even give half a damn that I was wrong. Regardless, r00b has made it clear that he intends to make Doc an offer. That he won't reject the idea outright is worthy of concern.

On Choo's LHP performance, I think saying he's "spectacularly awful" against LHP is overblown. In 2013, Choo was good for a .217/.340/.265 line against LHP; for his career, he's been good for a .243/.340/.341 slash line.

So yes, Choo has a platoon split and one that is rather pronounced. Unlike most platoon splits, however, he's still rather productive at the plate. (Or, as is the meme, Unproductive™.) So if you're bringing in Choo to be first-and-foremost a table-setter who job is to get on-base, the splits aren't that terribly concerning, because he still gets on base at an above-average clip against LHP. If you're signing him to be a power threat who also just happens to get on base a lot, then the splits are rather more concerning.

For what it's worth, I still think Choo's the only position player who'll be worth giving up a draft pick for. (At least position players who are not asking for 10yr/$305MM deals.) On-base skills tend to age well and this team remains in desperate need of an on-base guy in general. That's Choo's skill-set is an exceptional fit for the two-hole on the Phils' squad is just gravy.

Reading that FA SP list above, I can't believe Bruce Chen is only 37.

BAP: Choo has poor ISO and below-average BA against LHP, but his OBP really isn't that bad. It's not spectacular like against righties, but for his career he's got a .340 against LHP, and it was .347 in 2013.

As a statistical quirk, he does notably better against LHSP than LHRP for his career (.746 OPS vs. a .680 against LHP overall).

If you could go Revere, Choo, Ruf/Chooch/Hernandez, you'd probably score some runs against LHP.

Another good article on additional value of a baseball club:

"To place this in perspective, launched in 2000, was funded by the clubs in an agreement that had them each investing $1 million a year over four years. The cost was targeted at $120 million. To the joy of the owners and MLB, the website started generating excess revenue in only the second year of its existence, allowing them to invest only $70-$75 million before beginning to see a return on their investment.
While each club does not see $110 million annually in cash, MLBAM and the overall explosion in television media rights shows why when owners sell clubs they reap incredible rewards over what they initially purchased clubs for. The equity value of MLB Advanced Media is just one reason why when you hear, “We can’t afford to spend on player payroll at competitive levels,” it needs to be taken with a grain of salt."

MG: Considering the payroll disparity across teams which qualified for the Postseason, it's probably time to reexamine what spending at a "competitive level" really means.

GTown: I don't think Amaro has made that clear at all. In fact, I think he left himself a PR "out" to avoid doing that when he made the comment about "not making an offer that is offensive" or whatever.

In the end, he can always say that: "There wasn't a deal we could offer that would both make sense for the team while also not offending him as a guy who was, very recently, the best pitcher in all baseball. Roy is a guy with a lot of integrity, and he certainly wouldn't want to make it look like we were paying him off or buying him out instead of giving him a chance to go somewhere that he felt gave him a better a chance to win a World Series."

GTown Dave - MLB addressed that issue really with putting more bite into the luxury tax payroll and slotting the domestic draft.

The biggest problem has and continues to be in MLB the owners who are allowed to spend pitiful amounts of money on their payroll while rebuilding and make a nice profit even before Opening Day the like the Astros did this year.

Every time the owners books have been audited by an external firm or entity formally or leaked to external sources, the owners have been found to be massive liars on stating their overall annual profitability and margins.

Last article I saw on TV ratings updates. What has been the dominant trend in MLB is how pitiful the ratings are nationally yet how strong they remain in market when a team is in the playoffs.

"Every time the owners books have been audited by an external firm or entity formally or leaked to external sources, the owners have been found to be massive liars on stating their overall annual profitability and margins."

Which is precisely why there is NO shortage of billion/millionairres who want to own a major league baseball team.

MG, you and I have disagreed on this before, but it's also precisely why I don't think the Phillies ownership group has any intention of selling.

Phillibuster: That's certainly possible, although I'd feel a lot better if he had said as much from the outset. As I've mentioned before, the GM usually doesn't bother saying anything unless he means it. We'll for sure know soon enough. *shrug*

MG: I'm giving the Astros new ownership a pass for a couple of seasons. Prior ownership absolutely leveled that team, & forcing Houston to accept a move to the AL was in no way a positive for the franchise.

However, my point was that the idea a team needs to spend Yankee (or Dodger) dollars to contend hasn't proven true. There's a lot of middle ground between "cheap" & "lavish". Postseason expansion has a definite influence, as well.

*know for sure

Good I talk.

GTown: Amaro never said "I'm going to offer Roy Halladay a contract." That's my point. He's said:

"I try not to think in absolutes with him. If we think he’s going to be a viable possibility for us, we’d like to try to bring him back. I’d like to think it’s not the last we’ll see of Doc."

The equivocation there is important. He's been much more direct about, say, Kendrick.

The team will offer pitcher Kyle Kendrick a contract for 2014.

“Yes,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said when asked the question Saturday evening. “I don’t know why people are asking about that. We will.”

As for the competitiveness of MLB, that has been addressed too now with 5 clubs (10 total) making the playoffs. It didn't get great reaction but I think it was a nice balance to give greater preference back to division winners again.

I wouldn't be surprised if MLB adds a 6th playoff team in shortly which I wouldn't be in favor of though.

awh - Reasons I think the Phils sell are:

1. Age of some of the limited partners including Montgomery and Giles
2. Valuation of the team
3. TV contracts for content are at a high-water mark and soon cable providers will recognize the folly of some the deals they made to pay for original content which doesn't have a huge built in audience & for a sport that isn't on the upswing in terms of viewership or general interest.

I admit I don't know the dynamics of the cable/TV industry that well at all nor have I read enough on it to get a good sense on business, legislative, and technology trends.

new thread.

When pressed further, Amaro said: "Yes, we absolutely will bring back Michael at least once during the year! We have so much fun watching the guys on Beerleaguer heads explode when this happens! It's one of the few simple pleasures I have!"

@Hugh Mulchay, I was the person who posted that Ruf's not a good option to platoon with Howard due to his inability to LHP. Facts are stubborn things, but now you want to go further by making the ridiculous comment that Ruf should only play home games too, because he doesn't hit on the road. All you do when you make a comment like that is expose another of Ruf's weaknesses. He can't lefties (.188), can't hit on the road (.194), can't hit with RISP (.150) and strikes out more often than Howard - at home and on the road on a per PA basis. Yea, he's a great option to platoon. To be fair Ruf did hit .188 against LHP whereas Howard only hit .173. That's your argument for a platoon while disregarding all the other numbers?

It's all moot anyway because if Howard's healthy he's not going to be platooned. The Phils aren't spending $25 mil a year on a platoon player. That's an opinion, not a fact like the numbers are, but I'd make book on it.

As the season progressed what did we see from Ruf? His numbers regressed as teams made adjustments and Ruf didn't. Again these are the numbers, not my opinion.

After 10 games .333/436/.636 14K's
After 30 games .272/.375/.515 36K's
After 50 games .269/.371/.509 62K's
After 73 Games .247/.348./.458 91K's

The numbers don't lie.

Dic* Eat*** wanted Shane gone now you's praise him. LOl!

The writer must have selective memory about Shane Victorino as I recall a lousy WS in 2009 in the field(not taking easy out at 2B against Pettite who was standing on 1B) and at bat. I also remember his at bat against Madison Bumgartner in 2010 after he walked the bases loaded and hit the first pitch back for a game killing double play. In 2011 he did not show up again as we lost to the Cardinals. The AL will figure him out next year and he will struggle. I like Shane but the author is giving him way too much credit.

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