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Friday, May 23, 2014


I dont think so Limoguy. Actually he was doing pretty well and had a few outings. With L Garcia down and ineffective, Aumont been a dud and the likes of Manship i think DeFratus will still be around. This is assuming that he is healthy. Amaro does value MLB experience over anything else this is true. He would rather take a flyer on a career .200 hitter with MLB experience than go with a a farm hand...this is true...

Even the '90s teams managed to avoid being no-hit. Pathetic.

Great pitching by Beckett, but that last strike (and several before it) were balls.

"recent bad outing"

Rock bottom! Rock bottom!

anybody see where the last pitch to uley was on Gameday?

Clout: *regular season no-hitter
(Doc vs Reds)

It's only May Tom. Rock bottom is months away.

Doesn't matter, bullit. Anything close is going to get called in a game like this. What a truly pathetic performance today. This team needs to be taken out back and shot.

Jake: Millwood in 03', against the Giants, on the Phanatics 25th birthday, in the last season at the Vet, as well.

Nice accomplishment for Beckett, but they should probably put an asterisk next to it.

Sorry Curt, I was momentarily taken over by the spirit of Jim "J.R." Ross.

"Nice accomplishment for Beckett, but they should probably put an asterisk next to it."

Now, now, Howard was due up. The game still would have ended a no-hitter, on a strikeout.

Unikruk: No, I meant because it came against the 2014 Phillies - The Team That r00b Built.

Aha. Feels like the birth of a meme.

Todd Zolecki ‏@ToddZolecki 5m

Jimmy Rollins had little to say afterward. "He was good," he said. "There's no more to be said." Then left clubhouse.

Matt Gelb ‏@magelb 15m

Chase Utley, who typically spends considerable time watching video after games, dressed and left before clubhouse opened to reporters.

They're both standing on the deck and they can see the iceberg in the distance.

Come on trade deadline

Good comment from 'Steve Susdorf.' Thanks!

I think the Phillies should try something they haven't before. Fire the hitting coach. It's all obviously his fault. Right?

Seems I picked a good game to miss. Or maybe a bad game to miss, depending on one's perspective.

By the way, was the Old Phan who posted at 5:00 the same guy who used to post here around 2 or 3 years ago?

I'd like to think it was the same Old Phan, but it seems like a longshot. I used to really enjoy his posts and humor.

I would agree with limoguy. Time to fire Milt Thompson again.

And, in other news worthy of the Titantic:

Mike Drago ‏@mldrago 48m

Jesse Biddle didn't make start today because he was struck in the head by an ice pellet & suffered headaches following hail storm Thursday.

Fire Milt Thompson.

Damn pitching simply can't help out our awesome offense.

Clearly it is not the offense that is at fault here.

Sell in May and go away.

I'd like to thank my son for having a birthday today so that I missed this game.

Kevin Cooney's write-up rings true:

I also missed whole game, a first of the year, due to mechanical failures and a frustrating lack of talent to fix the problem.

"mechanical failures and a frustrating lack of talent to fix the problem"

Wait, are you talking about yourself or the Phillies?

I actually could have been at today's game. One of my friend's has a ticket package for Sunday games, and his daughter wasn't feeling well, so he called me, but it was kind of last minute. I was just there with him last Sunday, and will probably go to Thursday night's game since my brother will be in town, so I opted to pass. Not sure if I would have enjoyed seeing a no-no, or if I just would have been incensed.

Crazy coincidence or not but my life cycle often follows the foibles and fortitude of the Phillies for quite a few decades now.

Getting no-hit will light a bonfire under this team & turn the season around.

"It isn’t all Amaro’s fault — there are problems higher in the organization with that — but he will likely wear the blindfold before the firing squad for the club’s sins. But it has to be a complete housecleaning — players, scouts, minor-league system — before things will turn around."

The good news is we've got a few top 10 picks coming up. Get the housecleaning out of the way and the rebuilt organization can be back in contention in 5 years or so.

Everyone assumed Brown would take a day off today. Made an ass out you and me.

The team wasn't good before this no-hitter. I'm not sure why something like this "proves" anything one way or the other.

Cooney says Beckett is a 'shell of his former self,' probably not looking at his numbers so far this season. Cooney would fit in with the reactionary BL establishment.

"Cooney says Beckett is a 'shell of his former self,' probably not looking at his numbers so far this season."

His ERAs in 2012 and 2013 were 4.65 and 5.19. This year, he has a good ERA but it might have something to do with his .248 BABIP and 84% strand rate. His FIP is 4.25. His xFIP is 3.59. His SIERA is 3.54. He's certainly pitching better than the last 2 years, but "shell of his former self" seems pretty accurate. Even Beckett, himself, said he didn't think that he had no-hit stuff today. Fortunately for him, the Phillies have a no-hit lineup.

When's the next road trip?

Rube Juggernaut's didn't even make it until Memorial Day before the wheels fell off.

Pissed though I didn't get to see the no-hitter though. Closest I ever got to seeing one was Wakefield and P. Martinez who both carried no-hitters into the 7th inning at Fenway.

My old boss had my Sunday tickets though today. He was also at Game 5 of the NLDS in '11 vs Cards and the Eagles NFC Championship in '03 vs Bucs at the Vet. If he isn't the biggest sports mush in Philly, he certainly has to be in the running.

Literally at this point the only thing of real interest on the near-term radar is JRoll's pursuit of Schmidt's franchise hit record & the possibility they promote Franco.

Can this team play any worse than this.
Schmidt called them lethargic and wanted Sandberg to read the riot act in the club house after the game.
And he was being too kind.

Hard to find any joy in this brand of baseball.

BAP- his xFIP and SIERA are both better than his career averages.

Only someone that uses the most liberal definition of 'shell of his former self,' or a moron, would think that he's been a 'shell of his former self' this year.

Aside from the no-hitter, it's unbelievabke how often this team gets shut out.. Dating back a few years.

Face it boys, this ain't our year.

I would of got a hit...Just saying..Oh an Bring Milt back..

It's not just the's the lethargic, sloppy manner in which they lose. The 1972 Phillies (except for Carlton) were the worst team, talent-wise, that I have ever followed (the 1989 Phillies are a close second). I can honestly not recall a stretch where either of those teams was shut out in 6 of 18 games. These games have become a type of repetitive trauma.

BTW, I hope that this isn't the end of this site. Although I don't post all that much, I always enjoy reading the comments posted by some of the regulars, especially BAP (whose dry wit I enjoy) and G Brett fan (who expresses the frustration that we all feel in an appropriate, pithy fashion).

Phillies are 9th in NL in OPS+

Phillies are 14th in NL in ERA+

At some point the Moronocracy will admit that the pitching has been worse than the hitting. I'm guessing late August or early September the light may flicker on.

clout: If the numbers hold, I am confident that the Moronocracy will own up to the pitching being even worse than the hitting long before you ever own up to the fact that the hitting sucks too.

BAP: It is obvious from the stats that both the hitting and pitcher are below average. But the pitching has been even worse and, in fact, only one team in the league has worse pitching. This has been a fact for awhile, although never once acknowledged by you. I'm guessing you'll figure it out around Labor Day.

By the way, was the Old Phan who posted at 5:00 the same guy who used to post here around 2 or 3 years ago?

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Sunday, May 25, 2014 at 06:07 PM

There was no gratuitous, yet hilarious, pun in the comment, so I'm at best skeptical.

No-hitters "prove" nothing about a team. Detroit was no-hit last year. Tampa Bay, a playoff contender seemingly every season since Joe Maddon took over, seemingly get no-hit at least once a year.

This team sucked coming into yesterday's game, and even if they scored 40 runs yesterday, they'd still suck (likely because they'd have probably given up 41 runs).

Bad teams are bad.

There is no joy in Mudville.

*Mudville being the Phillies

I had thought Old Phan was dead.

    ...Bad teams are bad.

    Posted by: Fatalotti | Monday, May 26, 2014 at 10:52 AM


Pithy, concise and to the point.

Fata - you were the leading authority and appreciator of Clifton Phifer Lee. Do you suppose that the high pitch counts allowed by Sandberg, et. al. this season contributed to his demise?

I wonder if all those fans no longer buying tickets from now on will be More or Less responsible for the Phillies demise than me for not buying a cap for my granddaughter. Maybe we should run a poll on the subject.

Myself, I just think that in this case, I was an early adopter.

Anyone at home now wearing your Dom Brown jersey? Your Papelbon souvenir bandolier? while rooting for our Phitins?

I really hope the 12:26 post by "aksmith" was someone mocking him, and not actually the real aksmith going to the well again with this stupid red cap thing.

5 most sensational crimes of the last 100 years:

5. O.J.
4. The Manson killings
3. The Patty Hearst kidnapping
2. The Kennedy assassination
1. aksmith not buying that Phillies cap for his granddaughter

If the cap ain't "wit"
you must acquit.

"If the cap ain't "wit"
you must acquit."

And let him walk the streets after such a heinous crime against humanity?

Lee had a few outings last year where he threw 120+ pitches too and was within 4-5 pitches of the 127 he threw.

What it sounded like reading between the lines is that Lee didn't disclose the extent of the injury and/or was trying to pitch through it until the long outing caused him to tweak it.

2014 Phils - Rube's Juggernaut

2 runs or less (4-13 or .235) - 36% of games
3-4 runs (3-9 or .250) - 26% of games
5 runs or more (14-4 or .777) - 38% of games

Shutout already though 7 times this year.

2013 Phils

2 runs or less (6-50 or .120) - 34% of games
3-4 runs (24-30 or .444) - 33% of games
5 runs or more (43-9 or .827) - 32% of games

Shutout 15 times last year.

Yeah the Phils offense in the early going has had some higher-scoring games but they have failed to capitalize on those opportunities and would have a game or better record if they had (22-25 or 23-24 right now).

On the other hand, the offense has had even more low-scoring outings this year and the Phils have won a few of those games so it is kind of a rub.

They have been shutout in ~15% of their games this year which is astounding bad and if they keep it out would be 24 times they would have been shutout.

I looked quickly and the highest mark I could find was the '69 Phils (63-99) and even they only got shutout 22 times.

Below average/poor team with the possibility of being a 95+ loss team if they have a huge firesale at the deadline and trade a couple of veterans including JRoll/Chooch/Adams/Papelbon


.247/.310/.423 (.733 OPS) with 42 HRs in 332 career games and a -0.6 bWAR and a -0.4 fWAR.

Brown looks so lost at the plate right now and has been so bad this month (.137/.171/.288 in May) that the Phils send him down in mid-June/end of July if he doesn't show any improvement. Literally might need to rebuild his approach at the plate if he is going to remain a viable MLB hitter.

Yeah, let's not act like the team is comprised over average to below-average players. Let's pretend they aren't hustling or are "lethargic."

If a 26-year old player has to be sent back to AAA to rebuild his swing, after having that same swing rebuilt only 2 years ago, it's pretty much over. Since the Phillies are going nowhere with or without Dom Brown, I still think it's worth their while to give him a little more time before declaring failure. I'd probably give him til around mid-June, maybe even the AS break. At that point, if we're still having a discussion about whether to send him back to AAA, it's time to just cut bait and trade him for whatever little value he still has. I suspect that all you'd get back for him is another failed prospect. But at least he'd be someone new.

Clifton Phifer Lee is 35 years old. That a 35 year old pitcher with a lot mileage on his arms is having elbow problems is about the least surprising event imaginable in baseball.

Hell, any pitcher dealing with elbow issues is unsurprising and unworthy of the creation of any narrative, much less a 35 year old pitcher. You can concoct all the tales that you want to explicate Lee's recent injury, or you can accept the attrition rate of pitchers for what it is and be thankful for the fact that we've got so much injury free masterful innings out of his arm that we did.

Also, let's not eulogize the man just yet.

Let's not forget Brett Myers was sent down mid season and came back a much better player in 2007 (?). It is worth a shot with Dom and a better alternative than trading him for nothing.

bap - Trading Brown at any point this year makes no sense. If the Phils were going to do it, it should have been last year and supposedly Amaro was at least listening to offers on him.

Since they are going no where too, you can make a strong argument too that Brown deserves at least another month or so to try to work things out & turn them around. Not like the Phils have other solutions either in come up and play LF regularly everyday unless the Phils want to experiment with Ruf there.

Given him until this time in June and see if he is improving at all. If he isn't and is literally hitting little better than a pitcher for 2 months, he should be sent down to try to clear his head.

What really hurts though is that Brown is able to fully utilize his speed and be a 20 SB guy and is such a zero defensively.

Heyward has gone through some awful stretches too with the Braves but he is the anti-Brown in that he is a real asset defensively, is a base stealing threat & a good baserunner, and walks at a much higher clip (walked 3 times today) so that even when he is slumping offensively he still is on base a bit.

Dom's not necessarily finished as a major-league hitter, but he won't hit as long as Ryne Sandberg (and I assume his coaching staff) is telling him what to do at the plate.

Sandberg on Brown's approach just a few weeks ago:

“He’s taking what the pitchers are giving him and he’s not trying to do too much. He’s not forcing anything to the pull side. Some of the defenses are playing a slight shift on him so he can take pitches middle away or outside and drive them that way through the shortstop hole and then get hits. That’s what we’re looking for right there and he’s got a real smart approach right now and taking what the pitcher’s giving him.”

"Taking what the pitcher's giving him" is exactly the problem. Dom is completely passive, rather than going up there with a plan to get a middle-in pitch to crush. To do that, he has to lay off those outside pitches off the plate, get into a hitter's count, and then wait for a pitcher who needs an outside strike - rather than a pitcher aiming just off the outside corner - to miss his spot on the inside half.

Instead, Brown has been getting praise for punching the ball to the left side, so he's keeps trying to do that even though the results have been horrific. Pitchers know he's happy hitting those outside pitches the other way, and they know he can't hurt them on those pitches. They've gradually expanded the zone on that outside corner, and now a pitcher doesn't need to aim anything over the plate - they can sit just off that outside corner with confidence that Dom will flail away and either miss or make weak contact.

If the Phils are set on keeping Sandberg and his coaching staff despite this awful season, I hope they trade Dom before they kill his career.

The 'Rube's Juggernaut' thing is just weird. Of course, MG has latched on to it for some reason, as he does with most bizarre things.

I just read those four consecutive posts and had to question whether or not I was tripping.

"Let's not forget Brett Myers was sent down mid season and came back a much better player in 2007"

It was actually 2008, but that's true and a good point. The circumstances were a lot different, though. Myers had a lot longer track record of major league success than Dom had.

It obviously wouldn't be unprecedented for a 26-year old to get sent back to AAA and then turn his career around. But the older the guy is, and the more time he has already spent stinking it up in the big leagues, the less likely it becomes that the turnaround is ever going to happen. We're basically in Year 4 of this Dom Brown experiment, and so far it has produced exactly one good half-season. At some point, you just have to move on. If another month goes by and he's still hitting so badly as to justify a trip to AAA, I'd say it's time to start thinking about moving on.

Fitting nickname for a team (curt used it after Amaro comment about this team and comparing it to '14) with a $180M+ payroll that very well might lose 90+ games & be a laughingstock in the process.

If this team is out of it at the deadline though like in '12, my biggest fear is that they will move players first and foremost out of cash concerns & secondarily with a focus on the talent of prospects they get in return.

Amaro traded away several players in '12 and quite possibly might not have anything to show for it even by next year including the most-sought after bat (Pence) who was moved at the deadline.

I say send the lot of them to the minors. Except Utley, Rollins, Pap and Fausto.

Col. Tom: And how has Dom been handling pitches he does get that are middle in?

comparing the '11 team to '14 team including the starting staff after the Burnett signing.

Only real 'hot spots' are mid-level over the plate and down and in the strike zone. Even up and in he doesn't hit pitches well or down and over the plate.

Actually a pretty pathetic hot zone map and tells you that Brown has holes galore in his plate coverage.

All the signs are pointing the wrong way too and the amount of swing & miss and swings at pitches out of the strike zone has steadily increased this month too.

MG: I actually thought of Heyward as sort of a comp to Dom, as he really struggled in his sophomore year & is struggling again this year. Again, though, there are a lot of differences. Heyward is not only 2 full years younger, but he has had 3 good seasons to Dom's 1/2 a good season. Heyward's career OPS+ is 112; Dom's is 100. Heyward might be the best defensive player in baseball at his position; Dom might be the worst. To sum it all up, they've both been in the league since 2010. Heyward has amassed 18.1 fWAR (19.9 bWAR) during that time; Dom's career fWAR is -0.4 (-0.6 bWAR).

There's just not that much reason to believe that a trip to the minors is going to turn Dom into a good player. He's had multiple trips to the minors since we first called him up.

clout: This year, not well, as you know. Again, he's passive, so he's not looking middle-in (or anywhere in particular). When you go up there with a two-strike approach - hit anything that's close wherever it's pitched - all the time, it's hard to do much more than put the ball in play.

Hib to the jib

This week's $64,000 question is: now that we've reached the last of jw's pre-set thread headers, will there be a new header before this one expires on Friday? And, if so, will it be from jw or Comcast?

The lineup a year ago today:

1.) Jimmy Rollins, ss
2.) Freddy Galvis, 2b
3.) Michael Young, 3b
4.) Delmon Young, rf
5.) Dom Brown, lf
6.) Kevin Frandsen, 1b
7.) Ben Revere, cf
8.) Humberto Quintero, c
9.) Cole Hamels, p

bap - Someone suggested that you set up an alternative blog. Sounds like a good idea to me.


curt: Nah. I'd much rather post under the cloak of anonymity. If I had my own blog, I'd feel subtle pressure to be more analytical, and less bombastic. What fun would that be?

On the other hand, I don't believe in saying "never." I wonder if the domain name "" is still available.

bap - Think of it as your pro bono contribution to society. Some of us have gotten used to venting about the team here. A few others have gotten used to criticizing those venting about the team. Who knows what heinous acts these ppl are capable of if denied this outlet?

And love the proposed site name.

Would those who are now currently apart of the Moronocracy be the de-facto "Beerleaguer Elite" on your new site, BAP?

What a turn of events that would be, huh?

Go for it,BAP.

* * *

I don't think that Kevin Cooney piece was meant to say that being no-hit proved anything. He specifically wrote that every team gets no-hit. He just used it, as reporters do, to make his point. Quibble all you want with his writing that yesterday's game should be a wake-up call, as opposed to another game. I believe his point was that this wasn't just a case of a good team being no-hit by a dominant pitcher, like the Reds were by Roy Halladay. This is a team that has been shut out multiple times already this year, was his point, and yet Byrd was quoted as calling the team a good-hitting team, and Sandberg didn't seem angry/frustrated (I didn't see the game or post-game, so can only go by what I read) in the way he felt Manuel would have been.

Are these earth-shattering, deeply revelatory observations? Probably not. Beat reporters have to find a story in a game every day, however, so I'll always forgive their dramatics. What rang true for me was that the organization needs to have a good, hard look at itself, from scouting and player development to GM to roster construction.

* * *
A friend who was at the game said that for a while, Beckett's ratio of balls to strikes was about 50-50, and that by the end of the game the Phillies were swinging at anything without much apparent discrimination. Did others who saw the game share these observations?

I said I don't believe in saying never. But this is not something that I'm remotely planning, & it's definitely nothing that would happen anytime soon, if it ever happens at all (which it probably won't).

Just doing a Google search taxes the limits of my technological skills.

Ha, check out the new thread.

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