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Friday, December 27, 2013


Cole will win 27 games next season accounting for almost half the team wins.

Why are we using CY (voting) wins and All Star (subjective selection process) appearances to evaluate players?

That's so old school it should be in a Will Ferrell movie...

"Why are we using CY (voting) wins and All Star (subjective selection process) appearances to evaluate players?"

Was thinking the same thing. Same goes for being the best pitcher on the team. Is Hamels' value somehow diminished because he has had the good fortune to pitch on the same team as Roy Halladay & Cliff Lee?

Hamels has been in the league for 7 full years. He has finished in the top 10 in ERA 4 times, IP 4 times; pitcher's WAR 5 times; WHIP 4 times; and K/BB ratio 7 times. There can't be more than a very small handful of pitchers who can boast that kind of 7-year record of accomplishment.

Hamels doesn't have to garner any top 5 Cy Young Awards or be the best pitcher on his team in any one year to be worth his contract. He just has to keep doing what he has done so far. That is a tall order in and of itself.

Cole Hamels remains a tremendous asset even with his extension. If he goes down to an injury that ruins his career in the future, there's nothing you can really do about it. It's a liability that all pitchers come with, regardless of skill level or contract status.

How about offense score 4 runs a few times. Cole will be fine. He's a gamer

The Wizzer and Corrrrreyyyy blasting us with the one two punch of Comcastic knowledge.

I am expecting a poll on whether or not Bowa will hang out with Jimmy in the dugout.

Since his first full season, Hamels has very quietly averaged almost exactly 4 Wins per year (fWAR) and will likely continue to do that as long as he stays healthy. That's who he is as a pitcher. He's never been lower than 3.5 Wins or higher than 4.6 Wins in that span of 7 full seasons.

Since Cole was quoted something to the effect that "...I just want it to be over...", re: the '09 season - during the World Series - I've always questioned his "toughness". To the eternal delight of some posters here (ya'll know who you are).

Regardless, wouldn't you know it? Mr. Hamels signed what might just be a really team-friendly deal, and recently said some really 'ballsy' things about the state of this sorry team.

Ich bin ein Hamels fan. Like, forever. I hope his numbers blow Kershaw, et. al away in '14 and Cole forever establishes his top-tier starters cred. You get 'em, Cole - win 25 and put Kershaw and his ilk forever in their place.

Until this team truly retools, you need to root for very small victories.

The Phillies were shocked to discover Hamels is only 30, & are attempting to find a way to send him back to MiLB. Youngsters do NOT belong on the roster of the big club.

R.I.P. Paul Blair. He played in the only WS game I ever attended, in Baltimore. I'm not a fan of WAR, but I see he was the 2nd highest OF of defensive WAR ever. (Andreu? Jones 1st, Willie Mays 3rd.)

I grew up in Harrisburg during that Orioles heyday. Phils sucked then, so the O's got the bulk of the media coverage. Somehow I became a Phils fan anyway. But I can recite O's and Phils details from that era with equal lucidity. Blair was a great fit on that roster.

Paul Blair was a GREAT center fielder. One of the best ever. Played shallow, and went back on balls as well as anyone including Willie.

God bless him.

Not sure whether I enjoy watching 'Full Tilt' Lee when he is locating his fastball with deadly precision on the corners in particular and mowing down hitters or Hamels when he is really on locating his fastball well along feeling his change up on one of those ridiculous nights when his approach more 50% swing and miss on it.

Bonehead: That was a bus trip from Reading. Had the people behind us convinced we were from Cincy. It was the only game the Reds won.

Give Hamels alot of credit too after the '09 season too to really work on improving his craft too including changing his mechanics a bit too add 1-2 MPH on his fastball and adding the cutter. Made him a more complete starter and he has been remarkably consistent since then.

After last year when he got out to a tough start I think in large part due to working through the shoulder stiffness he reported in Feb, he had a good season and clauses strong despite terrible defense behind him and modest run support.

If he ever is going to have a Cy Young caliber season, he needs to either improve a bit on a 3rd pitch. Curve wasn't as good last year especially early on and his feel fof it seemed to come and most starts.

The key pitch though with Hamels going ahead forward is his cutter. Used it more lady year and I would be surprised as he transitions into his 30s that he uses it more again this season a bit too than he historically has.

Still not a very good pitch and I would bet the numbers show Hamels gives up a disproportionate share of HRs allowed on it especially vs LHB.

My biggest concern about Hamels going ahead forward besides the long-standing back issues is whether he can master a 3rd pitch to become an above average pitch consistently and how his fastball velocity holds up including whether he is consistently at 91-93 or if it dips down a bit to where it was when he first came up at 89-91. If it does, he will likely have to transition to that cutter a bit more.

I'm not sure anyone is better to watch than when Lee has it going 'full tilt.' When Hamels' change-up is on, it's a joy to watch to be sure. But it doesn't match Lee.

Even Halladay's dominance wasn't as fun to watch as Lee when he was 'on.' Doc's mastery of all his pitches and ability to out-think hitters make him the better pitcher, but knowing Lee will have the 5-6 outings where he's locating his pitches, painting the inside corner, freezing guys on third-strike cutters and dropping in his spiked curve in the late innings to keep them off-balance will be enough to get excited to watch the team this year. Sort of.

That 10-inning peformance in SF, Lee had a change-up as good as I've seen Hamels have in any single performance. Not sure I've ever seen a more exciting, dominant performance than that one, no matter the outcome.

Geez, wins aren't important? Being considered among the best at your craft is subjective? Oh, but some fictitious stat like WAR is sacred? Personally, I don't think Hamels has lived up to his high priced salary. I root for him and I enjoy it when he does well, but I think that he has been disappointing since signing that big bucks contract.

Lee vs Doc is a tough one in terms of who was the 'best to watch' during one of their dominant performances. Just two awesome pitchers with even more awesome mound presence.

I preferred the angry mentality that Doc had on the mound. When you pair that attitude and body language with the velocity and bite he had on best best days, it was like watching a boxer relentlessly pummel an opponent into the corner. He makes it feel like getting a hit off him is just going to make him destroy you even harder for the rest of your career, so you almost don't even want to get a hit off him anyway.

When Lee is dealing, he comes off as this arrogant prick who just knows he's better than the opposition and is generally bothered by their attempt to compete. I can picture Lee in my head right now striking out some poor chump on 3 pitches, and holding his glove out towards chooch to hurry up and throw the ball back so he can embarrass the next guy as soon as possible. G1 WS09 speaks for itself.

Lake Fred: While Hamels extension technically covered 2012, I'm assuming you are referring to his post-mega contract performance as 2013.

It certainly wasn't his best, especially after that terrible start to the season, but I think he finished very strong. Lots to like and lots to look forward to in my book.

Do you think his 2014 will fall short of expectation too, or strictly stating that you thought he underperformed in 2013?

I think that Cole has been one of the top 10-15 starters in baseball for the last few years.

By my definition, Cole easily has been a No.1, but not an ace, except for 2011 (prior to his DL stint) and post-season 2008.

I define a No. 1 simply as one of the top 30 starters; a No. 2 as a starter who ranks between 31-60; a No. 3 as a starter who ranks between 61-90; etc.

I define an ace as a guy who consistently shuts down the opposition, pitches deep into games, strikes out a lot of batters and gives up few hits and homers. In any season, there are usually maybe six to ten starters who deserve to be called an ace. I think most people define an ace and a No. 1 as the same; I don't, but it's just a matter of semantics.

To me, the main reason that Cole usually has not been an ace is that he's given up too many homers over his career, averaging one per nine innings. He consistently gives up 20 or more homers every season. If Cole could get his annual number down to the 12-15 range, he would be an ace.

(Many of you will recall that, in 2011, Cole had given up only ten homers prior to going on the DL in mid-August [for a HR/9 of @.5]; when he came back, he gave up nine more homers in the month of September and spoiled somewhat an otherwise great season.)

In my personal nomenclature, derek, I call those top 6-10 "0"'s.
Assign a number to each of the five starters on a team...sum the numbers...see which team has the lower sum (therefore, presumably, the better rotation.

Phils have: 1+1+4+5+6=17.
Dodgers have: 0+1+2+4+4=11.

Derek, I like your methodology, but I disagree with your math.

The Phillies are 0+1+4+5+6=16

In a best of all possible worlds, which means it's highly unlikely... highly unlikely, the Phillies could be


The two "0's" are Lee and Hamels, the "2" is Faunandez repeating his 2007 season, the "3" is KK pitching for an entire year the way he did in the first half of 2013, and the "6" is Pettibone (I expect MAG in the bullpen).

That's the difference between LAD and PHI. The Phillies need everything to go right with their rotation to equal what the Dodgers would do in an average year.

Also, if that happened, the Phillies could contend assuming they score some runs, but the fact that BOTH of those things need to occur at the same time shows how (un)likely it is that the Phillies contend in 2014, despite r00b's assurances that the Phillies are "built to win".

Oops, I meant Bonehead in my response above.

Also, while Kershaw is the best pitcher in MLB IMHO, Lee and Hamels are both better than Greinke. It's the back end of the rotation that makes the big difference.

two things:

#1. Carmona repeating his 2007 isn't unlikely, its impossible.

#2. If the impossible did happen, then how in the world do you come up with a "2" valuation? He was a clear cut top 10 pitcher that year.

Hamels better than Greinke?


Greinke: 135 ERA+, 3.23 FIP, 3.45 xFIP
Hamels: 106 ERA+, 3.26 FIP, 3.44 xFIP


Greinke: 115 ERA+, 3.10 FIP, 3.22 xFIP
Hamels: 132 ERA+, 3.30 FIP, 3.23 xFIP


Greinke: 103 ERA+, 2.98 FIP, 2.56 xFIP
Hamels: 133 ERA+, 3.05 FIP, 3.02 xFIP


Greinke: 100 ERA+, 3.34 FIP, 3.60 xFIP
Hamels: 137 ERA+, 3.67 FIP, 3.28 xFIP


Greinke: 205 ERA+, 2.33 FIP, 3.09 xFIP
Hamels: 97 ERA+, 3.72 FIP, 3.63 xFIP

Hard to say that one guy is better than the other. The peripherals say they're pretty damn close to even. The ERA says that Hamels has been a little more consistent, but Greinke has had the much higher peak.

Hamels only has 99 wins. Greinke has 106. Case closed.


GTown: Excellent point. Apologies for my shoddy analysis.

Who would you rather have going ahead forward:

Hamels (13-18) $19.5M and then $22.5M
Cain (13-17) $20M
Greinke (13-18) $26M or $25M

I can't honestly say. Cain has the more extensive arsenal of pitchers including 2 plus offspeed pitches (slider, change) along with a curve, 4-seamer, and a cutter. Also has had less injury issues than Hamels. Cain though is already starting to migrate more and more away from his 4-seamer to using his cutter a bit more.

Greinke also has 2 plus offspeed pitches (a very good slider and a good curve). Also has a changeup. He also has started to move away a bit more from his 4-seamer as it has gradually started to lose a bit of velocity and throws more cutters and 2-seamers.

Greinke had the highest peak of all 3, Cain has had the most consistent career, and Hamels has been the best pitcher of the 3 the last 4 years.

I guess Cain only because his contract is a bit cheaper and he is only signed through '17 but all 3 are very good pitchers who are likely on slight declines and in transition a bit as they start to use less 4-seamers and more cutters/2-seamers.

Greinke might be the best off going ahead though because he has a good non 4-seam fastball variation (2-seamer) which Cain/Hamels don't have right now. Greinke also has that slider which is a very good pitch.

GTown makes an excellent point. Hamels simply can't match Greinke's Production™...

Hamels lifetime ERA is 3.38. His lifetime WHIP is 1.141. Granted these are only two stats in a world of stats, but they're pretty basic statistics in measuring a pitcher's effectiveness. The only pitcher with at least 150 starts that's better in both stats is Clayton Kershaw.

I obviously know the AL has a DH that skews pitchers stats higher, but there's very few that are even close to Hamels in ERA & WHIP. Jared Weaver is the closest in the AL at 3.24 and 1.143, just missing on the WHIP. Felix Hernandez is 3.20 & 1.203 and Justin Verlander is 3.41 + 1.191. All in all pretty impressive no matter how you look at it.

Is Hamels worth what he's paid? We need a couple more years to answer that question.

Lake Fred: "Geez, wins aren't important?... but some fictitious stat like WAR is sacred?"

If you've been paying attention to posters here for the last few years, especially Lorecore, you know that's absolutely true. A win is the most meaningless thing in baseball. WAR is the most important thing. My statistic, the "Looked Good," is just now gaining a toehold in the sabermetric community. If I can get Billy Beane to endorse it, expect to see it included on

TheMick: No doubt Greinke's stats were affected by pitching in the AL. But he also pitched in one of the most extreme pitchers parks in baseball (KC) while Hamels has spent his career in one of the most friendly parks to hitters. Does that offset the AL factor?

bap, nice rundown. I looked at those stats too.

Except for one absolutely fantastic year, which I consider to be an outlier, Greinke's career has not been as good. Before his CY year, Greinke had an ERA+ of 105. Since 2010, after his great year, Greinke's ERA+ is 111. Hamels' career ERA+ of 123 is higher than either of those, and has been 126 since 2010.

I also looked at BB/9, K/9, K/BB, career ERA+, and others.

You have your opinion, I have mine.
except for one fantastic season that Geinke had, Hamels has been the better pitcher, and even including that fantastic season, Hamels has better career numbers overall.

Paul Blair was a selfish player and wouldn't sign my yearbook .

Clout: I didn't zero in on Greinke, just making a broad statement that AL pitchers numbers tend to skew a little higher with a 9th bat in the lineup. There's hitters parks and pitchers parks in both leagues, hence ERA+. My overall point is that Hamels has pitched very well in his career as measured by ERA & WHIP...two stats I think are very indicative of how a pitcher performs.

One more thing, just because only Kershaw has done better in both categories than Hamels doesn't mean I think Hamels is the 2nd best SP in baseball. I'd say he's somewhere around 10-15 imo.

Another factor: Cole has pitched have his games at a plus-HR ballpark. If he pitched half his games in the Ravine his numbers would be even better.

You can have 4 "aces" pitching for this team and with this grandfatherly lineup they can all pitch to a 2 ERA and lose 80 games.

have=half, d'oh

Dodgers are now the supposed favorites for Tanaka? Ugh.

Just another reason to root against them.

Saw the article on today that Amaro appears set and content with this team and likely won't even take a flyer on Tanaka.

It won't surprise me if the Phils are picked to finish 4th behind the Mets even at this point who did upgrade their biggest needs (power and OF production, another starter to replace Harvey).

Dodgers are now the supposed favorites for Tanaka? Ugh.


40 year old Bartolo Colon will 'replace Matt Harvey' about as much as Marlon Byrd will provide the sorely needed RH power bat the Phils were looking for.

Players that are left in FA that will come cheap and would upgrade the Phils:

Torres - Likely doesn't have much left in the tank is arguably a better defender and baserunner than Mayberry. Doesn't have power but he takes more BBs and still is a respectable hitter vs LHP.

Better fit for this team than Mayberry as a bench OF who can play CF and gives them a LH bat and PH off the bench late in games.

5th starter/swing man

There are a couple of veteran pitchers out there that would be an upgrade at the No. 5 spot who are likely going to be looking for a starting job even into late Jan including Capuano, S. Baker, and J. Williams. Maybe J. Hammel although he will likely get a moderate 1-year deal from somebody.

I would be happy if the Phils sign anyone of those guys to a 1-yr incentive-laden deal at a moderate base because they really don't have a slated 5th starter going into camp and one of the few areas where they could improve from last year is the horrendous starts they collectively go from Lannan, Halladay, Martin, and Cloyd.

It is the one area that I hope if the Phils have some bucks and are going to sign a player for more than $2M that they spend them. This team simply doesn't have any starting pitching organizational depth and another competent veteran arm couldn't hurt. Worst-case he stinks and best-case he is adequate for a moderate investment.

Sadly, I bet the Phils get a guy like Francis or Harang on a minor-league deal/major league deal and let him compete in spring training for the 5th starter spot or a long-man role out of the pen.

Veteran reliever

Amaro supposedly said upgrading the pen was a major priority yet again this offseason and so far he has acquired Lincoln.

There are a ton of names out there yet but unlike last year at this time not a bunch of guys I like and will be available on a 1-year deal.

Still like F. Francisco on a 1-year deal if he is healthy enough to pass a physical or Neshek who would give the Phils another veteran RHP reliever who is tough on RHB. Nobody really jumps out to be here though that is RHP and will be available on a 1-year deal at moderate dollars.

Iceman - They needed another starter to fill for Harvey in '14 and Colon has been solid. Better fit for where they are right now than say signing Garza at 4 years.

Mets also have Syndergaard who will be almost certainly be called up in '14 too by the 2nd half. Also have Montero too.

Gone are the days I could hate a NY team and garner satisfaction. They suck as much as the Phillies and that keeps us on top.

MG: Cain was terrible last year, though. His peripherals were right in line with career norms, but Cain's a guy who has made a career out of out-performing his peripherals so it doesn't give me much comfort that his FIP and xFIP were normal. I still think he's a good bet to bounce back in 2014 but I'd certainly rank him behind Hamels & Greinke as someone I'd want to bet on going forward.

MG: Torres sucks vs. RHP, although not as badly as Mayberry, which is not saying much. His defense, however, would certainly be an upgrade.

clout: "If you've been paying attention to posters here for the last few years, especially Lorecore, you know that's absolutely true. A win is the most meaningless thing in baseball. WAR is the most important thing."

Would you actually like to debate whether Wins or WAR is better measure of a pitcher's performance, or would you just like me to consider your comment as the usual desperate attempt for interaction?

There is no reason on earth that the Phillies shouldn't be the highest bidder on Tanaka. There is literally no team in baseball whose system is more bereft of starting pitching. Rube was willing to seriously overpay MAG before his health came into question. Maybe a little of the money he saved would help defray the money for Tanaka.

My guess? Rube will offer 6/90 for Tanaka and be nowhere near what teams interested in winning offer. Then he'll say he gave it his best shot and just couldn't justify the cost, as he signs every pitcher whose career comp is Jeff Manship to a minor league contract, hoping to polish one of these turds to diamond-like brilliance.

I actually went onto the Phillies website to buy my little granddaughter a baseball cap the other day, then I stopped. I couldn't bring myself to pay the Phillies for destroying my enjoyment of baseball. They can do that for free. I bought her a generic red baseball cap on Amazon instead. She doesn't even know the difference.

asksmith: i know it's none of my business but since you chose to tell us, i think you are mistaken to take out your anger on your grandaughter. you could have given her this lovely hat on sale and helped make a new little fan. i think you give her too little credit. in less she's only 5. then, nevermind.

sorry for my dyslexia. i meant aksmith. i have read it as asksmith so long it's stuck in my head. ;)

So aksmith is a d!ck to his grand daughter to get back at the Phillies? Awesome!!

Controversial opinion- the Phillies should not spend on Tanaka.

Ruben can save face and maybe snatch Tanaka from the Yankees or a West Coast team if he just unleashes the creative juices. Firstly, he must sit down with Howard's agent and renegotiate Ryan's contract, extending it at least another three years. Money shines even more brightly than the Buddha of Immeasurable Light.

Secondly, assuming RAJ had planted Special Op mole Ed Wade in Japan last summer and never really fired Charlie last August but had him working Massahiro's ancestors as the famed baseball star Aka Oni, the groundwork has been laid for Tanaka to accept the godzillion multi-year contract to come to the Phillies. Nothing will grow if these seeds were not sown.

"Listen, kid, I know you like the team. But the GM is awful and I hate him. Oh what, you don't know what a GM is? Don't worry, you'll thank me later. Enjoy this $5 hat with no logo. Merry Christmas."

It will be sad to see in the coming decades this lost generation of Phillies fans wearing the Logo-less Red Cap.

'A Lost Generation' is a real stretch but it is really hard to see this team being competitive this year or next.

After this season, they are going to have to fire Rube, acknowledge that they need to change a bit and actually do so, continue to work there way through some of the large and bad contracts (Howard, Papelbon), and hope some of the younger talent at Reading pans out this year and that the more higher-ceiling talent at the lower levels shows real progress and is ready to come up by end '15 and early '16.

First of all - My granddaughter is 9 months old. Secondly, thanks for the suggestion Bullitt, but I think if she winds up with a date because she's wearing the hat, like in the description, I'd find it worrisome. Maybe a play date?

She doesn't know she's a Phillies fan. So, since we live in Vegas, maybe I'll allow her to be a fan of a team that wants to win, rather than promote the ne'er-do-well children of rich owners and former players who do not care about winning.

I think Tanaka represents a dividing line for me. Much as Aroldis Chapman, Yu Darvish, Yoenis Cespedes, Jorge Soler and so many others represented wasted opportunity seized upon by clubs with some vision. Tanaka is the last straw for me. MAG was a good start, done with little apparent thought to his health. Amaro was lucky the guy failed his physical and bailed him out of a steep dollar overpay. I don't know how good or how healthy MAG is going to be. But Tanaka is the real deal. Watch some video of him and tell me he's anything less than an outstanding number 2. I think he may be nearly as good as Hamels already. Consider Hamels' insanely good numbers in the minors. If Japan is only as good as AAA, this guy is Hamels-like at the very least. But if Japan is AAAA, he turn out to be better. Different kind of pitcher. But this guy is a stud and he is not even in his prime.

If you factor in that Japan uses a juiced ball and the league is chock full of contact hitters who work counts like Kevin Youkilis in his prime, I think he's likely to be a huge strikeout/very low ERA pitcher over here.

I would to see families going to AC Moore and other places like that and either making their own fake hats or just wear a blank red hat as some form of protest. Why not give your kid a marker and a bunch of Hanes t-shirts to make their own jersey?
People will all be in the same boat, all doing the same thing. Maybe throw in those Guy Fawkes masks (only because we don't know what AK's face looks like).

Would like I mean

Anyone else think that the Yankees are hanging onto Ichiro in the hopes that the idea of playing with a Japanese legend might entice Tanaka to accept the Yankees bid?

I predict that if Tanaka signs with anyone other than the Yankees, Ichiro will be dealt within the next two weeks. My only hope is that this happens and that Amaro has already worked out a Papelbon/Ichiro trade. Wouldn't shock me to see Ruf or Mayberry included in such a deal.

Papelbon for Ichiro ok, but including Ruf is crazy. They'll also have no use for JMJ.

I was more thinking of Ruf's inclusion as a way to get the Yankees to eat all of Pap's contract.

No one has any use for JMJ.

ha, im cracking up thinking about a schoolbus driving by with a ton of kids all wearing plain red hats for the next 20 years because of all the bitter parents.

I am already tearing the "P" thread out of the $35 hat I bought for my son, just to get on the bandwagon.

I love the thought of some loser 'boycott' of team merchandise, like, three years removed from the best 5-year stretch in 100+ years of Phillies baseball. aksmith is exactly the guy I would choose to start such a movement.

You gotta admit a sea of blank red hats puts the New Orleans paper bag heads to shame.

I always figured aksmith was a youngen who happened to become a fan on the last day of the 2007 regular season. His sense of entitlement as an older fan is truly mind boggling. But then again his no gray area stance on RAJ is geezer like.

If it becomes a bidding war between the Dodgers and Yankees, only the tinkle team on this site could possibly find fault with the Phils not signing Tanaka.

That's right, Iceman. It's a loser boycott.

They're boycotting a loser.

Do you blame them, really?

Antiwhite Will cannot be serious. One losing season in the last 11 years equates to a "loser"? Typical of a person who feels entitled to everything after mommy and daddy paid for their overpriced college bills.

Will, that's an interesting theory, but I think the bottom line will be money, and the Yankees have more of that than anyone else.

Once they decide that they're not going to worry about the lux tax threshold, they'll do anything they want.

They have the cash flow, and as this article makes pretty clear, they have a greater need for a Tanaka type pitcher than just about any team:

    ...No one has any use for JMJ.

    Posted by: Will Schweitzer | Sunday, December 29, 2013 at 03:59 PM

The Phillies might... especially if Mayberry hits a HR to tie, and a walk-off salami for the win. As a bench bat, inserted after the 6th? 7th? inning. You could look it up.

All this Mayberry hate is puzzling. It's not as if RFD is blocking Mike flippin' Trout. A multi-position player with 15 -18 HR potential is a good thing. Especially, if Ryne Sandberg limits Mayberry's play against RHP.

Whatever. I cringe at the inevitability of another breakout Mayberry season if he's traded.

Will- I don't know. When I see a kid crying at the store because his mom won't buy him a candy bar, I guess I can't really blame him, either. The difference is aksmith is supposedly a grown man.

LorecorE: Straw man much?

One man's opinion on the offseason that teams have had from the perspective of upgrading their defenses.

The Phillies:

"Phillies: Many scoffed at the Marlon Byrd contract, but he represents a huge defensive upgrade for the Phillies in right field. The transition from John Mayberry Jr., Delmon Young, Darin Ruf and Laynce Nix to Byrd represents a swing of 31 Runs Saved (the four combined for negative-19 Runs Saved; Byrd rated among the best with 12).

The Phillies still have a lot of defensive issues, though. First baseman Ryan Howard has minimal range. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins may still pass the eye test but has rated poorly three years running (negative-30 Runs Saved in that span). Their third-base combo rated almost as badly as right field. And primary center fielder Ben Revere had all sorts of issues with balls hit over his head last season. There is a lot of potential trouble brewing for 2014."

I'm not saying that refusing to buy your kid a ballcap is a move that makes a lot of sense, but after watching Amaro destroy this team with reckless abandon, I'm certainly going to spend more of my entertainment budget elsewhere.

Nice dinner and a movie out with my wife or a drive down to the ballpark (to see Fausto Carmona and the Wheeze Kids)? That's a lot easier of a decision to make than it was five years ago, or even ten years ago.

Who the hell is this new guy Danno with the Antiwhite Will comment. What's the origin of your reference?

Clout: solid attempt to avoid answering a question. Your ton of experience in dodging questions shows.

Your nonresponse actually answers my question quite well. You have no intent on debating the validity of pitcher wins vs better metrics. Your act has grown more stale than the csnphilly interns attempt to run this blog.

This team has so many holes any improvements in the atrocious defense this year or next will be entirely serendipitous.

Entitlement? I have suffered through more losing seasons than most of the people on this board. I believe I've written before that 1964 was my first season as a serious baseball fan.

I have appreciated the recent success of the Phillies. However, a team as profitable as this one, having only a decade ago gotten a nice subsidy from the city and state for a brand new ballpark and about to get a new, huge TV contract suddenly decides that its previous profligate spending must now constrain its ability to compete for top talent? I don't think so.

Not to mention that the current ownership group bought the team for a relative pittance and it is currently one of the most valuable franchises on the planet? Existing in the largest city in the country that doesn't have to share its baseball market with another team?

Pardon me if I don't feel like blowing an extra ten bucks to fill the Phillies' owners' coffers for a cap that my granddaughter won't understand for half a dozen years at least. But I have to tell Iceman and those who think it's entitlement. Watch a team make believe it's a small market team for most of your life, then tell me you'll run out to buy your grandchildren team merchandise. I had the misfortune of being born in Philly. There is no requirement that I must subsidize a team that no longer appears interested in or capable of winning.

Should they make a serious bid on Tanaka, I will re-evaluate. In the meantime, I don't think they'll miss my small purchase. But it made me feel better to not buy it.

"I had the misfortune of being born"

'nuff said

Wow, the conversation on this board has mirrored the decline in the team in question. Be proud, Hughie.

With all this grandkid talk, this site should be renamed Metamucil-Leaguer.

Just an existential comment, ak. Nothing personal.

my apologies to aksmith for be being such a scold, with inadequate information. i'm sure he is a great grandpa.

Will: the anti white comment comes from you being a racist.

Lorecore(n): your act is stale too. You come on here and say idiotic vogue things and then cry and moan when you get questioned on things. And it was douchey to take a shot at the guys writing in the process of criticizing. How about if things bother you so much you do us all a favor and leave?

Aksmith: you are an a$$ because whatever your personal feelings are on the team why would you drag your grand kid into that? How about you grow up and act your age instead of being a whiny b!tch?!?!

Idiotic vague things are what lorecore says

~pokes site with stick~

He's dead, Jim.

I'll be happy with a "Phillies might be the mystery team" rumor in the Tanaka sweepstakes.

JMJ served up a key homer in Yankee Stadium during 2009 season, I believe?

Maybe they remember that.

Think they'd prefer a LH pinch hitter though.

Is the next post 'Will Howard rebound in '14?'

I dont know, was that exact story recently posted on CSN Philly? If so, yes, it likely will be.

"...having only a decade ago gotten a nice subsidy from the city and state for a brand new ballpark and about to get a new, huge TV contract suddenly decides that its previous profligate spending must now constrain its ability to compete for top talent?"

OK, boys and girls, say what you want about Smitty's petulant attitude (Smitty, it is, just a little) toward spending dollars on the Phillies, but he's absolutely correct about the above.

I'm starting to think that the onlt way municipalities should subsidize future stadiums and complexes is if they get written commitments from the owners that certain steps will always be taken to put a competitive roster on the field.

The fact that Loria and the guys in Pittsburgh, among others, got away with banking money the way they did for so many years (and Loria gutting his team and cashing in, in 2013) after getting public subsidies for their ballparks is nothing short of immoral, despite the fact that it may not violate any criminal statutes.

Look, the Phillies FO (r00b and the FOols) went "all-in" in 2010/11 to try to win another WS. But they haven't done a very good job the last couple of years plugging the holes, and especially haven't done a very good job of anticipating in-season problems (injuries) and DL trips. Also, I wonder how culpable they are in the Halladay situation - that is, did they know about his back, etc. and still let him go out there instead of protecting their investment (and the guy's career) and shut him down early in 2012?

Anyway, hindsight is 20-20.

It's going forward that concerns me, and based on the last two seasons of talent evaluation, I'm not sure r00b and the FOols are a group that can get this team back on top.

I'm starting to think that the onlt way municipalities should subsidize future stadiums and complexes is if they get written commitments from the owners that certain steps will always be taken to put a competitive roster on the field.

That's entirely insufficient in my view. Municipalities should never give away money to private entertainment entities. Instead, they should work together towards divesting private interests of their ownership in what should be publicly owned (or player-owned, at minimum) enterprises.

Eminent domain would do the trick. Be messy, but in the end well worth it.

Prediction: The next time the Phils are "back on top," every single member of the 2013 Phillies will be long gone. Aksmith's grandchild will have a driving license, and I will have lost mine.

Gotta love the "Will S is racist" stuff because he simply shows some care about people other than the lily white English speakers of the MLB. After the crazy ass stuff I have seen as a lurker here for years I suspect Danno is either Whitey or another knuckle head who popped out whenever Latino guys like Raul's Grandpa posted to talk trash about him .

I am a young white college grad and must say there is a big difference being an anti-white racist, and being a slightly more caring person (like Will and others here). The name Schweitzer also doesn't ring Junior Black Mafia or Black Panther to me.

Superb idea - encourage local government to finance, build and operate sport stadiums. What could go wrong?

It's the holidays guys. Beerleaguer has always lulled during the holidays.

I am a queer.

"Superb idea - encourage local government to finance, build and operate sport stadiums. What could go wrong?"

I can see it now: a 35% sales tax to pay for Masahiro Tanaka.

I predict that Tanaka will be closer to DiceK than Darvish.

Actually, he'll probably be another Kuroda as his ultimate upside given his skillset and pitch selection. Paying him $17-18 million a year is probably his market value if that's the case. I'd happily pay him 6/$110 million (approx. $18 M AAV) if that would get him signed. I suspect he'll end up getting closer to $120 million though...maybe more given the bidding war that is going to ignite with LAD and NYY involved.

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