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Thursday, January 09, 2014



Was just coming on to post that Ligde says he isn’t available now, but GTown beat me to the punch in the last forum. I’m actually surprised that Lidge’s name was out there. Typically if speculation appears in the media about a person being considered for a job, the person has at least been contacted once by the potential employer.

Count me among those who liked Wheels best of the trio. He prepared well and often added new insight, even if the delivery wasn’t always agreeable. TBag, on the other hand, was nauseating with his glee at the Phanatic hats and endless chatter. At least Wheels’ chatter was based on good baseball facts and experience.

Sarge was ridiculous with his lack of preparedness.

What I don’t understand is keeping Murph. His mindless sidebars during games are even worse than Sarge’s ramblings.

(Wheels was also much more effective on the radio when his grin didn’t get in the way, and when his dialogue filled dead air instead of getting in the way of the game visuals)

In terms of most-discussed replacements:
Ricky Bo (MG?) It seems he tries to be bombastic for the sake of stirring the pot, not because he really believes in what he is saying. In other words, he is part schtick, and that doesn’t work for 9 innings

Chris Coste, Ben Davis: The opposite of Ricky Bo. Both seem a bit too agreeable for the job. They are nice guys who seem to be best at not insulting anyone. They may be people to bounce dialogue off, but not conversation leaders.

However, I assume Beerleaguers watch more Phillies games than the average fan, so our perception of broadcast quality may be quite different, and also different from what Comcast hopes will lure more viewers to the broadcasts. Regardless of the commentary, we all would probably still tune in to 100+ games a season, while the objective of Comcast may be to get the casual "on the fence" fan to up the viewing from, say 10 to 20 games a season.

Well, if COC is going to repost so am I:

Maybe what they ought to do (though I believe they've dismissed the idea already) is have a reality show during the 2014 season:

A Search for Real Color: Who Will Be The Phillies In-Game Commentator?

They could narrow the field down to 4 guys and have each one of them do about 40 games. Set the whole thing up like American Idol where fans text or call in votes after every game for the guys they like, and keep a running tally during the season.

They could have an weekly program devoted to it on CSNPhilly, with an audience that got to ask or submit questions and ask the contestants about their baseball and Phillies history knowledge.

If Comcast, which is not a very well liked corporation (their customer service rankings are abysmal) wants to build some community goodwill, what better way than to let the fans participate - over the course of a season - in the selection of the new color commentator?

Actually, what I would love to see in a reality TV show is...

a steel cage match between Ricky Bo and Mitchiepoo, fighting it out for the color man job.

No gloves, no shoes, no protection, no rules.

How about Todd Kalas, Harry's son !!

awh TM- It would also generate more viewers in the "reality tv" kind of genre. To me it would detract from the game, but if the idea is get more viewership, then the concept is a good one. And it might even result in the best person getting the job...who knows. It would also be a relatively risk-free way to try out lesser known but perhaps better choices. (Anyone here want to take a shot at commenting? I've always felt many of you BLers would bring a lot to the broadcast table!)

Somehow I'm worried that between all the personnel moves, the Xfinity center, and the increasing crazy entertainment at CBP, baseball is becoming less about the game and more about the extras (or as marketers say, more about the sizzle and less about the steak.) Oh well, I'm in for the long haul regardless.

Baseball Writers' Association of America really come off as a bunch of pretentious doucheb@gs.

It's a damn HOF for an American professional sport. They aren't voting for something that profoundly matters like a Supreme Court nominee in the Senate.

Shame about Lidge but I kind of figured as much given the age of his children & pursuing the archaeology degree.

Gave him a fair share of grief on here as a pitcher his last 2 years and his continued public insistence in '09 that we 'was completely healthy' repeatedly through out the season that year.

As a speaker, he always was willing to answer the tough questions from reporters and did so in a thoughtful manner.

Bottalico and TMac would be worse than Wheels and TMac too.

Prefer Davis or Coste as a more mild-manner personality who hopefully provide a bit of counterbalance to TMac's broadcasting style.

If the Phils/Comcast were going to hold a game show, they should just make it a Japanese-style game show where the contestants compete in completely ridiculous and nonsensical events that have nothing to do with baseball or broadcasting.

I, for one, is estatic that Wheeler is gone...his inferiority complex caused my mute button to wear as his incessant regurgitating the obvious over and over and over again was maddening. When it came to critiquing situations, he obviously took the players side and condemned the fans. He was fearful he'd lose his information pipeline with the players. Remember, his arrangement with Vucevich(sp)to give him the signs so he could look and sign as if he knew what he was saying. For me, HAPPY DAYS....

Comcast better hold auditions tonight to be ready for the Tanaka appearance.

I'm with GTown, Glanville is the guy. But even then, with TBag still around, you're just putting pefume on a turd.

With and AtBat, I always opt for Franzke and LA anyway (the worst is a national broadcast when they move TBag to the radio booth for whatever f'ing reason).

At any rate, it's not like the replacement for Wheeler/Sarge is going to single handedly make this new TV contract look good or bad. People are going to tune in, or not tune in ,largely based on the success of the on-field product (most BL posters excluded - we're sick loyalists). In that spirit, Comcast needs to flex their muscle to do more than nudge some has-beens out of the broadcast booth, and they need to compel the Front Office to put together some semblance of a plan to win soon, and ensure some sustainability.

RIP clout

epicurean wins the thread.

MG the HOF is now the Hall of WGAS. There are a lot of guys missing from the HOF who should be in an da lot of guys in who don't belong there.

Really. The voting process has become so corrupt and flawed that I really don't care anymore.

Also, all of the self-indulgent, sanctimonious blather that members publish online about "this is who I voted for and why" has gotten to the point of being outright offensive.

I really don't care how individual voters fill out their ballots, I don't care who gets in anymore because the process is corrupt, and I DGAS who Buster Olney, Jason Stark or anyone else vote for.

Enough already.

epicurean may just have won for every thread the rest of the year. Wow!

If the person getting hired for the TV broadcasting position is going to be a CSN employee and not a Phillies employee, it is more likely that the person will have better credentials than simply having played Major League ball. I think that they will go for a professional broadcaster with a track record of quality to improve the chances of financial success with their $2.5 billion investment.

One does not spend that kind of money then hire a mediocre personality to present the product.

MG: can you name a dozen supreme court justices? Half a dozen? Most Americans can't name 1.

How many Hall of Famers can you name?

The professional broadcaster in the booth is invariably someone who went to the Connecticut School of Mediocre Broadcasting. TMac is that guy, no matter where he actually went to school. The analyst, other than Wheeler, is almost always a former player of some sort.

What I would have loved is to have Bowa in the booth. That would be a hoot, watching him and listening to his head explode every five minutes, or in the case of the current team, every two minutes. That would be much more fun that watching what is going to happen to him on the field this season. I completely expect him to step down midseason due to disappointment, ulcers, seizures and advanced brain fog caused by awful baseball.

Scalia, Scalito, Black Scalia, Swing Scalia, Chief Justice Gay Scalia, and four more pot smoking, socialist loving guys and gals.

That's a start for you, MG.

Taney, Marshall, White, Warren...

Oh, you meant current Justices..

Dave Justice?

Oh, and Learned Hand, maybe the best name for a justice every.

Bad taste, fellers - I learned more about the creepy underside of the Phillies FO; a few things about the brilliant Ruly Carpenter teams of the '70s; and quite a bit about baseball as populated by human beings and not the god-like creatures MLB wanted us to believe in from the brilliant baseball writer Bill Conlin.

His personal misfortune was no business of mine - hopefully, he made peace with his accusers; his Creator and himself.

RIP, indeed. If only clout could bring a story like Conlin in his heyday.

Oh s8it, Kent Dorfman is a totally lousy pseudonym for the passing of Bill Conlin. In case anyone cares the Dorfman post was me.

Why are we talking about a child molester? Did he finally die?

Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Ginsberg, Sotomayor, Kagan, Kennedy, Breyer, Alito (last one a big Phillies fan)

Isnt Scalia a Phillies fan too? I thought two of them were Phillies fans...not just Alito.

Judge Thomas especially enjoyed the treatment of Curt Flood. It's only fair to a conservative.

Okay looked it up:

Alito: Phillies
Scalia: Yankees
Sotomayer: Yankees
Breyer: RedSox
Stevens (retired): Cubs

Not only was John Jay, a justice, he still tours with Steppenwolf and owns a college. All true.

AK: you forgot Chief Bender Scalia.

"Oh, and Learned Hand, maybe the best name for a justice every."

Not to get too nit-picky but Learned Hand was a justice on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal, not the U.S. Supreme Court.

best quote ever from another thread this week-

I'd prefer to go outside and pick my @$$ of all its dingleberries in the freezing cold then tie up significant money in any of this year's crop of free agents. We have learned that top talent gets locked up early so that by the tine they reach FA status they are past their primes.

Ruin it Tomorrow needs to blow it up and rebuild with solid drafting and low risk signings which do not boggle you down in the future.

the best sport voice in philly is merril reese and give him someone like pete rose or johnny bench they can tell great stories like ashburn-

I wouldn't be surprised to see Wheels move to radio. 3 innings of him would be better than 3 innings of Jim Jackson.

this is an interesting article about what is supposedly ben davis' claim to fame.

i didn't know he tried to come back as a pitcher. i like him even more now.

Joe Buck was just hired by the Phils.

>> Not only was John Jay, a justice, he still tours with Steppenwolf
>> and owns a college. All true.
>> Posted by: Harry Callous

And he's a Cardinals fan.

How 'bout Morgan Freeman in the booth ... at least every game will sound like it might be the very last one.

I see where, predictably, Dan Le Batard has been barred from future HOF voting.

The baseball writers continue to hurtle down the road to their own irrelevancy. No institution was more responsible for the proliferation of PEDs in baseball (with the exception of the MLB itself, of course) than the corporate media, with very few individual exceptions. NOW they want to protect the integrity of the game? Where were they when it could have made a difference?

Which members of the BBWoA quit, or even spoke out, when their editors wouldn't allow them to write stories about PEDs in the 1990s? Where was the outcry form the profession?

I feel great revulsion for them as a group. I mean, does anyone CARE that Albert Belle wasn't nice to sportswriters? Who cares? How self-important do you have to be to think that the fact that Albert Belle didn't like to talk to you should affect his HOF credentials? By ignoring his candidacy along with that of all-time greats like Bonds and Clemens, the BBWoA is consigning itself to the ranks of the petty, illegitimate, and backward.

Their days as HOF arbiter are numbered.

I vote for that guy that busted his nose making the catch in the OF..Yea that guy. He maybe too young for the position and RAJ will somehow mess it up and sign him too a 3/30 million deal as a player...

i just watched the rowand catch again. no player should be require to jeopardize his career (was he ever the same after that?) on such an unsafely designed wall. it was on that short section that is thickly padded on just the bottom ~4'. then it bevels back to a wire screen that provides the bullpen with a view of the game. the same wire screening that covers the RF scoreboard. the too short padding pivoted him right into the wire, face first. he went on to be listed as the most overpaid center fielder in baseball just a few years later.

the good thing is that revere plays shallow and seldom has time to get to any part of the CF wall.

Lost in all the LeBetard "look at me" hoopla is, why does he even have a vote? And Bob Costas does not? That sums up the BBWAA for me. That and the fact they've never retracted their statement regarding Conlin.

Bill Conlin....Which family members show up for that wake/funeral?

No way Albert Belle belongs in the HOF.

I understand the BBWAA members wanting to keep out the steroid freaks, but it's impossible to draw the line...too many gray areas, too many cheaters (according to today's standards) already in (methamphetamines anyone?).

Put an asterisk/explanation on the steroid users' plaques and move on. You can't just act like the 90's and early 2000's didn't happen...That doesn't tell the story of baseball, which should be the primary objective of a museum like the HOF.

How about Jason Weitzel as the new color guy in the booth? He already works for Comcast, so he won't lose his medical plan. The big plus is that BLers like him.

When I heard Wheeler and Sarge were shown the door, the first thing I thought of was I wonder what Conlin's take would have been?
Changing of the guard this week with all 3-- Conlins a lot more permanent.

Maybe they can get ZWR to do the color commentary, superimposing a giant macrame penguin over his body when they cut to the booth or something.

Then they could choose how often one of them didn't have the right shirt on after the game already began.

Chris, I think the issue of cheating is a complex one. Simply breaking rules intentionally isn't sufficient for a determination of cheating. Offensive lineman in football aren't said to be cheating when they learn how to hold defensive lineman mor effectively without detection (that is, to break the rules). What they've done is better learn their craft.

In baseball during the 1990s and early 2000s, where PED usage was ordinary and widespread though never universal, I can't call users cheaters since the game's prescriptive atmosphere permitted their use. Some were scoundrels, liars, and other not-nice things, but they weren't cheaters (at least, not cheaters simply due to PED use).

If Mark McGwire is a cheater, then obviously and unquestionably Tony Larussa is too. Will he be kept out of the HOF?

How 'bout Bill Beeelichick?

Funny, my above post was much longer but I deleted the section on Belichick.

He's a cheater, if what he did is in fact not accepted as fair play within the competitive environment as understood by players and coaches. I think, from what I know about it, he clearly cheated. Not a close call in this case.

bittel - That's why I say put them in and include some sort of explanation on their plaque, both about the atmosphere in baseball at the time and their own individual situation within that atmosphere...

The real issue I have is with the omission of Piazza, Bagwell, and their ilk. Guys who are suspected for some vague reason (bacne, Mets' clubhouse situation, friendship with a known steroid user, etc) but there is absolutely nothing substantial to back it up. I understand why the BBWAA wants to keep out Bonds, Clemens, Palmeiro, Sosa, etc. There is a large amount of evidence, whether circumstantial or not, that points to their guilt. But the others just don't make any sense.

Again, we can't just act like the 90's and early 2000's never happened...and that seems to be what a lot of these guys want to do.

William T. Conlin's dead? No, no, no, no, he's outside, looking in.

The hall of fame voting has become intolerable. Players who are merely suspected of using PED's via rumors don't get in now. One writer named Gurnick refuses to vote for any player that played during the steroid era. With some players still doing PED's I have to wonder what his definition of the steroid era is. His only vote yesterday was for Morris. We know some players did PED's and some probably still do, but has everyone done them? Of course not. It's a silly form of protesting.

Not only is the BBWoA trying to act like the steroid era didn't happen, Chris. They're also refusing to accept their own role and the role of their institutions in perpetuating it. That's what really burns me up. They're not innocent bystanders here. This is their scandal as much as it is the MLB's.

What's happening with guys like Piazza is criminal, yes. But I don't understand wanting to leave out Bonds either. I mean, it's fairly clear what happened. Seems to me he saw tlesser players (McGwire and Sosa) getting treated like all-time greats (by the press and MLB) when he and just about everyone else understood that PEDs were a significant factor in their HR totals. So he decides to show the world what real performance enhancement looks like.

He produced a couple of seasons that are among the best, if not the best, in baseball history. He had 18 consecutive seasons at .924 OPS or above. His final 16 seasons were .999 OPS or above.

Bonds is the living embodiment of the hypocrisy of that time, and the writers hate him for it (and because he's a nasty SOB with them).

I converted to Islam for the 72 virgins thing....the only problem is they are way too old. 17? Bleech

The exclusion of Barry Bonds from the Hall of Fame for PED requires a unique form of hypocrisy from the BBWoA, as Bonds was a HoF-caliber talent before he began using PEDs. There's a million different ways to prove this point, but I think the best one is that Bonds put up back-to-back seasons with an OPS+ north of 200 in 1992 and 1993. Which is at least half-a-decade before he supposedly started juicing and was a couple of years before it's acknowledged the steroid era even began.

The man deserves to be in the Hall based on his performance from 1986-1999, when everyone more or less agrees he was not taking PEDs. All of the cartoonishness of the last third of his career is just icing on the cake.

bittel, you bring up a great point about the writers, and about LaRussa.

If LaRussa ought not be in because he looked the other way or benefitted from PED use, that's certainly a logical position to take, whether one agrees with it or not.

But the writers basically bailed on their basic responsibility of keeping the public informed about what was happening. PED use only started to become an issue in 1998 when McGuire started to get national attention, and left bottles of supplements containing androstenedione openly visible in his locker because it wasn't illegal or against the rules of baseball at the time.

Up until that point the writers - especially some of the beat writers in every MLB town - ignored the issue or looked the other way. Now, many of these same people act as if they weren't complicit and try to set themselves up as the moral defenders of the "game".

Well, if Tony LaRussa is guilty because "he should have known", so are all the beat writers, because they were in the f888ing locker room every day too, and "should have known".

The moral crusade some of them are on now is IMHO an attempt to resolve or deflect their own guilt and responsibility.

It's nauseating, really.

Juums, a couple of corrections, though I agree with your overall point:

1) The steroid era, if Canseco is to be believed, began in the late 1980's. Remember the "Bash Brothers"? Canseco has explicitly made this point in his books

Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big


Vindicated: Big Names, Big Liars, and the Battle to Save Baseball.

2) Bonds steroid use reportedly began in the 1999 season, according to

Game of Shadows,

the book by the two ESPN writers.

Bob Brookover must read blogs.

Finally, a beat writer/columnist is calling the Phillies to task:

Time for Phillies to spend some of their windfall


Still no sign of clout? Maybe the rumors were true...

Well now they will spend money. Bob Brookover told them to.

They already do spend money. Plenty of it. They just do it badly.

Steve: What makes you think they don't have WiFi on the other side?

The two prevailing things we see in any discussion of steroids are ignorance and hypocrisy.

Use of performance enhancing drugs dates back to the 1960s at the very least. Canseco has said, correctly, that steroids were fairly common in the late 1980s.

Then, after the 1994-95 players strike caused flagging attendance, Chief Hypocrite Bud Selig was just about selling the stuff out of the trunk of his car in and effort to juice up the game and bring fans back.

It is almost impossible for anyone in baseball -- from the commissioner on down -- to have the moral high ground on the steroids issue.

Conlin openly despised blogs and people on them (as well as of-age females that weren't related to him, may he burn in hell)...there was never any chance that clout was Conlin.

Amphetamines were legal and available OTC in the 1950s...and every single military guy was deeply familiar with assume that guys like Mays and Teddy Williams didn't use them would be a bit silly. Same with other vets like DiMaggio, etc. They were considered just a different form of coffee.

If Uncle Sam was handing it out like candy to the troops in WWII and Korea, why would we even assume that baseball players wouldn't think its okay and use them heavily? There's also the admission of guys like Michael Jack among others stating that EVERYONE used greenies in their playing days as well.

NEPP-- Clever use of coffee for Joltin'(Mr. Coffee)Joe lol

Three Beerleaguer posts in a week? WTF

I continue to believe that the side effects of amphetamines (particularly if used on a sustained basis) would significantly outweigh any benefit -- if such benefit exists at all, which the research seems to suggest it doesn't. A player who takes greenies might well believe that he's stronger or more energetic, and that belief might, in fact, enhance his play. But that's a placebo effect, not a result of the drug.

Amphetamines are fine as long as they are properly regulated....its when you start going nuts with them that those side effects become untenable.

Proper useage might be using them for a day game after a night game or the 1st game of a series after traveling late the night before, etc, etc.

There are proven benefits for them beyond the placebo effect. There's a reason we still give them to military pilots and SF guys.

Don't be mean to clout. He's the cream in my coffee. The Leopold to my Loeb.

By the time Schmidt and the players of his era were doing amphetamines they were illegal w/o a prescription.

Yes, I know Biggs...and they were still being used heavily...thus, its silly to think that the generation before that (50s-60s) weren't using them either given that they were legal in the 50s and most men in the country had at least a passing knowledge of them from the military service where they were handed out like candy.


I find that doing amyl nitrate on the nights I suck off young men at the Taco Bell on Baltimore Pike makes the experience so much more awesome.

Well, it's a long list of teams over at MLBTR who seem to be meeting with Masahiro Tanaka's representatives. Among them is NOT the Phillies.

So, they're all worried about a guy who has never had an inkling of arm problems, but they signed the guy who actually does have arm problems.

I know I've been rooting for the Phillies for half a century now. But maybe there's a statute of limitations on that.

Maybe I can pick a team that wears red because I've already got the generic red cap for my granddaughter. And I suppose the only other two considerations would be a team that doesn't employ the idiot son of a former player as GM, and whose managing general partner isn't a glad-handing douchebag who is more interested in growing his puny share of the team than actually putting a winning team on the field.

I'll be taking applications from all interested teams soon. And remember, as an extra added bonus, if you are the representative of a winning team and solid organization, I will buy an actual team cap as soon as my decision is finalized.

There, if that doesn't convince Rube and Monty to go out and nab Tanaka, I don't know what will.

too bad that last comment by fake clout didn't get lost in cyberspace. for that matter, it's too bad that fake clout doesn't just get lost.

"Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Dodgers have made it known that they will go 'all out' to sign the Japanese ace and 'certainly won't be outbid.'"

"John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle hears that Tanaka's initial preferred cities are Los Angeles, New York and Boston"


2036. Or, maybe 2105.

Tanaka is the greatest pitcher in the history of forever.

I'm betting 2068. When the Phillies will take gold in the 4th Summer Olympics to include baseball.

Redburb - Tanaka is as good or better than anyone on the free agent market, and almost all of those will require giving up a draft pick. He is the premier player on the market who will cost nothing more than money. And he is the best available YOUNG player on the market. And the Phillies have about zilch in the pipeline of young or talented pitching.

It's important to remember one other thing that Tanaka is: He is a fully formed pitcher. He will not require being taught new pitches or new mechanics. Because, as we know, the Phillies minor league system is where young pitchers go to . . . . be exactly what they were coming out of high school or college or worse.

Nobody thinks he's Koufax. But he is most likely a very talented number 2 pitcher. And these guys do not grow on trees, or develop in the Phillies farm system.

The last number 2 the Phillies developed was Cole Hamels. And he learned nothing in the minor leagues other than that he shouldn't punch anyone with his pitching hand. And the other number 2 pitchers they've developed are. . . . . Bueller, Bueller.

So, Redburb, you can act like acquiring talent is not important. In fact, maybe there's a job for you in the FO.

Redburb, Tanaka, as your sarcasm correctly points out, is not the greatest thing since sliced bread.

He would, however, give the Phillies a solid front-end of the rotation for the next 4 - 6 years.

There is value in that.

Uh oh. More "Dodgers Dollars" to be concerned about...

Not that I think you back up the armored trucks for Tanaka (too many "misses" on those before to be sure about it), but it would be nice to see some semblance of a plan to use a few of those TV $'s to improve next year's team. I'm on record as stating that it can't be done via FA, and sure a hell can't be sustained that way, but you do need something of moderate entertainment to put a few butts in seats (or more so to tune to CNS...) during the inevitable rebuilding years.

Hamels isn't a #1 pitcher? Really?

awh - I know that. Just chiding smitty because after his half a century plus of following the Phillies, not signing Tanaka would push him away from following the Phillies. To me, that's ridiculous and worth of dripping sarcasm.

So, Redburb, you can act like acquiring talent is not important. In fact, maybe there's a job for you in the FO.

Posted by: aksmith | Friday, January 10, 2014 at 05:14 PM

Yup, that's exactly what I'm doing. All my posts have been about lessening the talent for the Phillies.

I'd say that there's a good argument that Hamels has performed more as a #2 than an ace for the vast majority of his career.

Nevermind the Phillies willingness to sign Tanaka. Why, exactly, would Tanaka agree to sign with the Phillies. I mean, unless we offer a deal that is ridiculously higher than the Dodgers or Yankees (which would probably require an asinine amount of money and years), for what reasons would he even consider the Phillies at all?

I mean, I'd like to have him too and I hold a thread of hope, but come on.

In more realistic Phillies acquisition news, any thoughts on Vernon Wells as a possible cheap reclamation project?

Has Hamels ever a Cy-Young caliber pitcher or had a season where he deserved serious merit for it?

No but if I would rank him as a Top 10-15 starter in the NL the past few years and hence a 'No 1' starter

MG - Do you get to a lot of Reading games during the season?

Redburb - Last year no (only 1 game) since I was out in St Louis working on a startup but this year I probably will get to a few.

Generally can get free tickets from my godfather or uncle and still have several relatives including my parents in the Reading area.

"Has Hamels ever a Cy-Young caliber pitcher or had a season where he deserved serious merit for it?"

MG, I must disagree. In 2011 he was a serious candidate, and finished in the top 5 in voting.

Kershaw was just sick that season, and won based on his ERA and W - L record (old school voters), even though Halladay, Lee and Hamels all had a higher rWAR, and Halladay had a higher fWAR.

Halladay was the best pitcher that year and deserved another CY, but that's what subjective voting does.

MG: He hasn't had that many seasons in which he was the best pitcher on his team, let alone in the league.

He'd be a #1 on a team like Pittsburgh or Milwaukee, maybe.

Not saying he's crap. There's no shame in being a #2 starter at the major league level, but his career simply doesn't present a clear cut case that he's an ace. It's arguable that he is, but certainly not cast in stone as was the case for significant portions of the careers of Halladay, Lee, etc...

Just because there was a better pitcher on his team doesn't mean Hamels isn't a 'No 1' pitcher.

You should benchmark him against starters overall for a few seasons and by any objective measure since '10 he has been among the top 30 starters in MLB and generally much higher.

As for his '11 season, Hamels closed the season with a so-so Sept (1-2, 3.78 ERA in 6 GS) that cost him any real shot at a Cy Young that year.

MG - I need to get there more. Love that ballpark. I live closer to Allentown so the past few years I've been taking in my minor league ball there. Plus the bar in RF is a nice way to take in a game.

Over the last 4 years, Hamels is 9th in MLB in fWAR and has a 3.13 ERA. He had the 17th best ERA- in MLB over that time.

Just because he wasn't the best pitcher on his team doesn't mean he's not a #1. If you have 2 or 3 of the best pitchers in baseball, they're all #1 pitchers even though only one can be the best pitcher on their team.

Redburb - Still haven't been to an Iron Pigs game yet and don't make it up that way much anymore since one of my close friends from high school moved from Bethlehem down to MD a few years ago.

Like the ABE area a hell a lot more than Reading too. Never go back to Reading unless I still didn't have family there. Reading financially is done and just doing a slow circling of the drain as pensions & retiree health benefits along with their debt service slowly each up more and more of the city budget.

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