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Thursday, February 11, 2010


Just when you thought we were on to a new thread ....

Woohoo!!! I got quoted in an article!!!

It's like Beerleaguer Christmas around here!I got my shirt and I got quoted, too!

It would have been nice to be quoted, but i was paraphrased which is good enough. An infrequent poster shouldn't be quoted i guess. I'll have to step my game up.

On a completely different topic. In a truly shocking moment, I was reading the USA Today fantasy baseball magazine and they had Juan Ramirez of Seattle (aka JC Ramirez of the Phillies) as their second -SECOND- ranked prospect in all of baseball. That is insane and i wonder how they arrived at that ranking, the write up basically said he has amazing stuff and high dessert held him down. He was ranked above EVERYONE except Neftali Feliz, I don't think it means anything, and is actually quite ridiculous, just thought i would share.

I'll have to hold off on commenting on UZR, as I am a bit ignorant of the advantages/limitations of some of the sabermetrics that aren't common to the ordinary fan (such as avg, slg, ops, etc).

However, count me as someone that was pleasantly surprised with Raul's defense this year. The offseason buildup of him being a liability in LF didn't play out (at least in my eyes). Obviously the coziness of CBP compared to SafeCo had something to do with his play and having the fleet footed Victorino sharing the gap with him helped as well (as Phils Red eluded).

You mean pronouncing Wang Wong in not OK on the new thread?

Here's a funny/crazy thought that I don't think should be taken very seriously: from what I understand about UZR, the stat is calculated based on real data from real players in actual stadiums, like how actual left fielders actually perform in the Bank. That's great, I think. UZR data has been collected since 2002. But what does that mean for the Phils? Well, CBP opened in 2004, and for the entire UZR era in CBP, who was manning left field for the home team? Pat the Bat.

Now, he wasn't the only guy out there for the Phils, and even if he was, he could only make up half the sample: the other team's left fielder counts too. But think about it, an inordinate amount of data used to generate UZR scores in CBP come from Burrell. Talk about weighing down and biasing a data set. I've often, halfheartedly wondered if Raul's UZR is just a testament to the fact that he's better than Burrell, and not an actual indication of his defense.

NEPP, congrats on getting quoted in the thread header. I enjoyed your original comment when I read it. Evidently our Grand Pooh Bah did, too. The BL Elite takes notice of such things.

Thanks, todd. You just talked me into ordering USA Today Fantasy Baseball preview. Edited by Benny Looper.

Rollins seemed to appreciate the fact that he no longer had to catch every shallow fly ball to left. He dissed Ole Pat early last season with a comment. Having Ibanez in left trimmed Rollins' range in that direction.

This topic is a big yawn. Tell me something I didn't know. UZR isn't a good stat to judge players on? No way, really?

Good man Raul. At least someone (that actually plays the game) is speaking out against these ridiculous stats.

Next up, VORP and WAR..

(Somewhere after that aired Monday night Billy Beane and Bill James were throwing all kinds of temper tantrums)

Ramirez as the second ranked prospect in all of baseball is obv. a little ridiculous, but encouraging nonetheless. Thanks for posting that!

From Inquirer Wire Service:

"Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik said he does not believe that foot surgery will hamper Cliff Lee's preparation for the 2010 season.

The procedure, performed Friday in Little Rock, Ark., by Bryan Burke, was to remove a floating spur in Lee's left foot that recently broke loose."

What was not said was the bone spur broke off when normally calm Cliff Lee kicked a brick wall in anger saying, "I can't believe that the Phillies traded me for a bunch of suspect prospects! I'm now pitching for sad sack Seattle instead of the World Series perennial Phillies. (sound of kick) Ow-ow-ow! I broke my foot! Ow!"

Lake Fred: actually, I believe it was from Lee kicking his agent in the ass screaming: "you waited 2 days to return the call from Amaro about the new contract and he went ahead and traded me?"

Latest on Damon and the Braves:

"The Tigers appear willing to top the Braves' offer to Johnny Damon, tweets Newsday's Ken Davidoff. Davidoff suggests that the Tigers could offer Damon $4.5MM, which would top Atlanta's offer of about $4MM."

Come on Tigers, up that offer and keep him away from the Braves.

todd: I have been pimping Ramirez since the day I learned he was in the deal. His stuff, from what I read, is incredible. I rate him better than Aumont. And High Desert stats are a joke and should be mostly ignored.

That said, naming him 2nd in all baseball is crazy. Higher than Strasbourg?

P.S. In case you want to know what my track record is on sleeper candidates like this, the last one I touted was Edgar Garcia. That hasn't turned out so hot.

NEPP: That's right; the last thing the Braves need is another fracking Phillies killer. I would like their offense to stay nice and anemic, thankyouverymuch.

Big year for Edgar Garcia coming up. Isn't he still relatively young for AA? Last year's visa issues (if that REALLY was the case). I think Amaro(?) said last year that he gets more calls from other teams about Bastardo and Garcia than anyone else.

WAR, good God y'all, what is it good for?

HH: Are you a BattleStar Gallactica Fan? I ask because of your choice of words.

Clout: WAR, good God y'all, what is it good for?
That made me laugh.

Reverend: I was when I was really young; the first incarnation of the show. My dog is named Starbuck, so I guess you could say I am a bit of a sci-fi fan. Was it the word "fracking"?

todd - JW just gave you the answer why Aumont has the absurd #2 ranking in USA Today guide. Two words: Benny Looper.

I wonder if Gillies and Ramirez are both in the Top 100 too. Sometimes makes me think they were. I would also be curious to see where Morrow and others in the Seattle system rank.

TTI, nice try on the last thread trying to get leviculus tomas preur to understand. Unfortunately, he just can't seem to grasp what he himself posted.

This was his original post:

""And with this rotation full of guys that can pitch into the 7th-9th innings each night (except Moyer), there is no need to spend $6 million on the "top relievers" as many here wanted Rube to do.

Posted by: mvptommyd | Thursday, February 04, 2010 at 04:05 PM""

Now, he has been defending that by trying to maintain that either being the pitcher of record in the top of the 7th, or this:

"A pitcher CAN be introduced to the next inning without throwing a pitch. According to the MLB rules and little league rules for that matter, if a pitcher is replaced at the start of the inning when the pitcher is on the mound, he is officially in the game for the start of that inning. So no, you are not correct, he IS introduced to that inning."

and this:

"Again the baseball rule. Once the new inning begins and a pitching change is made, the original pitcher is still "officially" in the game at the start of the inning. He DOESN'T NEED TO STEP FOOT OUT OF THE DUGOUT to still be in the game in the book."

The obfuscation is amazing as he tries to defend a silly point.

He obviously can't make the distinction between being the 'pitcher of record' or, as he says, "A pitcher CAN be introduced to the next inning without throwing a pitch", and actually going out on the mound and

PITCHING is the 7th inning, which was the point of his post in the first place:

"And with this rotation full of guys that can pitch into the 7th-9th innings"

Ummm, doesn't saying that they "can pitch" mean that they would actually be throwing the ball between the mound and the plate?

awh: Last post I will make on this tired topic. Bubba seems to grasp my point. Here is what he posted last thread.

"The point of all this quibbling , if there is one, about what constitutes going into the late innings is that, with Lee at the end of last year and Halladay going into this year and beyond , the Phillies have a rotation (#1 to 4 )that can avoid bullpen burnout if things go as planned."

Now you say this just now:

""And with this rotation full of guys that can pitch into the 7th-9th innings"

Ummm, doesn't saying that they "can pitch" mean that they would actually be throwing the ball between the mound and the plate?

Posted by: awh | Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 04:12 PM"

Well of course that means they would be throwing the ball between the mound and the plate in the 7th-9th innings. If you would read, I posted their average innings pitched/start.

"For the record, the average innings pitched for the Phillies top 4 starters in 2009 are as follows:

Halladay 7.47 Innings/start
Hamels 6.04 innings/start
Blanton 6.29 innings/start
Happ 6.27 innings/start"

They ALL pitch at least into the 7th inning, no??

what difference does it make if a starting pitcher is technically on the books as "starting the 7th innning with out throwing a pitch"?!?
bullpen help is still needed to record the three outs in that 1/2 inning, no?
(not to mention the next two innings as well)

H2: Is your male cat named Face Man after another Dirk Benedict character?

confused: I know. My point wasn't arguing the outs remaining. Either way you need 9 outs.

Since we were on the topic, I was just stating how that specific rule is interesting. Also, how baseball has many other quirky rules that are fun to learn.

Also, many posters agree that these kinds of rules and stat-keeping things are what make the game even more fun.

This WHOLE thing started when I mentioned pitchers pitching 6 innings and clout thinking that would still make the pitcher be in the 6th inning, which myself and others mocked him for.

The gang mentality of posters here who pick MVPTommy apart for semantic issues while ignoring the actual point he made is pretty silly. Reminds me of A.M. talk radio: none of you really have a point or a legitimate argument against Tommy's point, so you mischaracterize what he says and exploit it in countless posts across several members.

The end result is that the only reason Tommy looks silly is because he continues to defend what any reasonable person can tell right off the bat. The rest of you come off looking like you could be his mother-in-law with your panties in a bunch.

mvp: You and I argued a tangent of this dumb series of posts when the Phils got Halladay and you argued it would have a huge effect on sparing their bullpen. It won't really.

It is just easier to look at the number of bullpen/starter innings a team has logged the previous years to try to figure out what a team likely needs from their bullpen.

This is one way teams at the MLB level do build out a bullpen.

As for "the Phils have a team of starters" who can all pitch into the 7th inning? Who cares. The reality is that they won't average close to 7 innings/start this year and likely will be slightly north of 6+ innings with some slight moderation. Injuries will play a much bigger factor than "ability to pitch at least 7 innings."

APoster, as we are anonymous here anyway, what's the point of changing your handle to make that kind of point.

So how about that fantastic Bobby Abreu trade? Almost as good as the Schilling and Rolen trades!

Sorry to interupt the 6th or 7th inning pitching debate.

HH: yes it was Fracking that tipped me off.
No baseball and having Netflix I just started watching the new series, so it is fresh in my mind.

After reading these posts every day I really would like to watch a Phills game with as many of you as I can. I think it would be great. But there might be a need for a bouncer or two.

MG: Halladay WILL spare their bullpen.

Halladay has pitched 200+ innings 6 times in the past 8 years, including 4 in a row of at least 220 innings and highest being 266 IP in 2003 and 246 IP in 2008.

Lee has pitched 200+ innings 4 times in the past 4 times in the past 6 years, with 2 in a row with the least being 200.2 IP with the highest being 231.2 just last year and 223 IP in 2008.

Halladay can potentially pitch 35 more innings than Cliff Lee if they both have career highs in IP this year and around 20 innings more than Lee at worst, if both have career lows while both going over 200+ IP.

I would say that would spare the bullpen, no?

Then you say this gem:

"The reality is that they won't average close to 7 innings/start this year and likely will be slightly north of 6+ innings"

No kidding. You really think Blanton and Happ will pitch 7 innings each start? I would be thrilled to average north of 6 innings/start at the end of the year as you suggest.

Rev: As I said to clout as well. I am section 135 on the 3rd baseline. Buy a ticket in that section anytime and we will make it happen. My buddy will have no problem swapping seats for a few innings.

No bouncers needed (except for if clout, awh and other "stat junkies" come). Their laptops computing stats during the game and Bill James stat guides might get on peoples nerves after a while.

A Poster, I appreciate your concern for how folks are treated around here, as it certainly does get heated sometimes. I don't tend to agree with most of what mvptommyd says, or even how he says it, but he also doesn't appear to need too much help: the guy is strong minded and apparently thick skinned.

Ultimately, though I agree with your concern, it's hard to be sympathetic to mvptd when he also goes out of his way to denigrate "stat junkies" and other fans who choose to enjoy the game in their own way. Like many folks who criticize him, mpvtd often states things in absolute or black/white terms; neither group does the best job of fostering conversation.

tommy, I son't take my laptop to the game.

I take my slide ruler! :)

btw, thanks for the compliment. I've never thought of myself as a stat junkie. I actually ike to sit and watch the game - don't talk much with the people I'm with either. Talking is too much of a distraction. I might have to turn my head and miss something on the field. I prefer to sit quietly and watch the action, and cheer when warranted. There's plenty of time between innings, batters, and the requisite pitching changes to yak with my buddies.

btw, I'm surprised no one has discussed Bill conlin's column today about prospects, particularly Taylor and some of the Phillie bunch.

It seemed to me he was implying that he thought Taylor would be better than both Brown and Mayberry - but maybe I read too much into it.

I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that people like Clout, myself, and awh watch as much or more baseball than mvptommy does. Even with our stat guides and computers.

awh: What does Conlin know? He's just some young new stat geek who has never watched baseball.

I think it's a bit easier to play OF at the Bank than in Seattle too. Just saying. Not putting down Rauuuuuuul!

Looking more and more like Johnny Damon will be a Tiger this year:

"2:48pm: Tigers owner Mike Ilitch has authorized a two-year $14MM offer, sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. It's hard to imagine Damon turning this kind of offer down."

No way in hell the Braves can or would compete with that.

I'll give Ilitch credit in that he LOVES to spend money on his team.

Having Werth and Vic covering the rest of a small OF can't hurt Raul's UZR. That's a TON of range in the OF at 2 of the 3 positions.

Jack, you're right. Conlin was wrong about Ryan Howard (Remember his column "Free Ryan Howard" several years ago when the Big Piece was stuck in AAA with Thome still in Philly?). He's probably wrong about Taylor also, and I bet tommy just can't wait to tell him so. :)

mvp - The odds of this team getting 35 more IP out of Halladay if Lee had remained are slim to none. More likely it would be in the area of 10-15 IP. It helps but it you are making much ado about nothing.

Phils would be incredibly foolish to push Halladay that hard during the regular season although I do not put it past Cholly who does a mediocre job of managing his pitching staff over the longer course of a season.

MG, that's my biggest concern as well. Charlie seems to have a history of riding his best arms until they fatigue.

One hopes there is enough depth on this team so that he doesn't have to do that this year.

Also, I wonder if he'll embrace the Jim Fregosi concept of a "strategic loss", where regulars are rested regardless of who they're playing or their place in the standings. The idea is to give regulars a rest and the subs some AB. Then the regulars get their batteries recharged for the stretch drive.

IMHO, this team is, barring injuries, good enough to win the division again, even if they took a couple of "strategic losses" in late July through August.

MG - not to mention that Halladay has never pitched in October before. It'll (hopefully) add about 16% more to his usual annual workload.

MPN: Dirk Benedict was hot. But Starbuck is a great name and I just couldn't resist for the dog. My cats have rather uninteresting names, but I did have a cat when I was younger who was named Hoser, after the Canadian slang word of choice of the Mackenzie Brothers.

Reverend: I've just recently started watching the new Sy Fy (hate the new spelling) series, "Caprica," which is the prequel to BG. Eric Stolz stars. It's decent.

This has absolutely nothing to do with baseball, of course, but it was a slow news day and I'm still snowed in.

tommy: If you had stopped after posting those stats you may have been fine. However, you then continued to say the comment about pitching 6 innings is the same as pitching into the 7th which is categorically false and patently ridiculous.

Just admit you goofed up and move on. It's a slip of the tongue. Protesting too much just reinforces the silliness of the comment

H2: You know that Bradley Cooper is playing Templeton "Faceman" Peck in the upcoming A-Team movie, right? Liam Neeson plays Hannibal. Ugh. I like both of those guys as actors, but did they really need to make an A-Team movie? Really?

On the UZR issue and defensive positioning this once more shows that the Phillies utilize empirical evidence and techniques... just through a consultant, most likely. That defensive positioning data is aggregated metadata compiled from the entirety of an individual MLB player's balls in play.

MG- I thought JW was just making a joke when he said benny looper was the editor. Good god no wonder we made that trade, he thinks we got the second best prospect in all the minors. I am seriously nervous that someone that delusional (might sound strong but thats the only thing i can think of) has such a say in our front office. This has officially made me scared.

oh and MG it was Ramirez not Aumont that was ranked number 2. stunning

MPN: Yeah, I know about that movie, but purposefully didn't mention it, because it looks lousy. Liam, what are you thinking?

Um, just recently, I watched a craptacular movie on HBO at 2am. Summer Catch. So bad. But in the end, Freddie Prinze, Jr. becomes a Phillie. He was totally unbelievable as a pitcher, but I totally bought that the Phils would be scouting a lefty headcase. Some of the Phils were actually in the movie. Meh. Didn't help our image much.

A Poster: Beyond being a coward, you've completely micharacterized what mvptommy posted and what other posters have said. Are you his son?

Actually in 2001, Freddie Prinze in the rotation probably would've been an upgrade. Andy Ashby, Bruce Chen, Omar Daal, Vicente Padilla and Paul Byrd were a combined 13-35 with an ERA north of 5

NEPP: "Having Werth and Vic covering the rest of a small OF can't hurt Raul's UZR. That's a TON of range in the OF at 2 of the 3 positions."

Yet another thing UZR doesn't account for. Ironically, Vic's UZR this past season was -4.1, a big dropoff from last season's 6.5

Wait, maybe Vic's range rating fell so far because the fleet Ibanez was grabbing all the balls to Vic's right.

PTB departs and the four players surrounding him all drop UZR.

TTI: Pretty funny. Chen was never anything special, but the Phils just had those other guys in the wrong year. Here's what three of that quartet did in 1999:

Ashby 14-10, 3.80, 111 ERA+
Byrd 15-11, 4.60, 104
Daal 16-9, 3.65, 126
Padilla was in the minors.

Add Ashby and Daal to Byrd (already on the team), Schilling (15-6, 3.54, 135) and Robert Person (10-5, 4.27, 112) and that 1999 team might've been playoff bound.

todd: JW was joking and I missed it. Here is the apparent list of writers/authors I think for the USA Today.

Unfortunately, Benny Looper was not one of the editors. I am sure if he was that Ramirez would be #2, Aumont #9, and Gillies #25.

I am a bit suspicious of this Forrest Kobayashi guy. Seems like some made up name like Benny Looper.

Andy Ashby . . . people conveniently forget his brief return here in 2000. He was supposed to be the #2 pitcher after Schilling and one of the keys to get the Phils back to becoming a legit contender since '93.

Instead he was a giant turd on- and off- the field who was lustily booed at one of the games I went to where he struggled (think it was a Rockies game).

In fact, in my lifetime I would say 2000 was the worst year I ever watched the Phils because it was supposed to be a team that was in contention and instead it was an absolute disaster with a manager I absolutely despised at the time in Francona.

People may gripe about Bowa's tenure here but people forget just how inept/bad Francona was & how much he deserved to be fired at the time.

Oh thank god MG you had me legitimately concerned for the phillies future. I don't even think Benny would have Ramirez ranked #2. It must have been after a thirsty thursday at USA Today that that list was developed. LOL i feel inordinately relieved..

Todd - The Benny Looper hire was still kind of puzzling though. For all of the talk about what a 'great talent evaluator' he was his record was pretty weak the last several years in Seattle.

Reading between the lines, Looper was told that he was going to take a huge step down and essentially be a regional scout or try his luck elsewhere. Looper had been with the Mariners for a long time so Gillick knew him for his days there as the GM. It was a typical 'Olde Boys Club' hire that has been the norm for the Phils' FO since Monty and co. took over.

Honestly the single biggest reason I was down on the Lee trade is because they were supposedly relying heavily upon Looper's judgement & knowledge of the Seattle system. Maybe I am wrong but my experience is that when you rely upon a sr. middle manager who has had a pretty weak performance record to get things done they usually get f@cked up. Won't know about the Lee trade though for at least 2 years and probably more like 3 years.

clout, that '99 team was fun.

they were actually competitive until July. IMHO, that was the season that really pissed off Schilling. IIRC, they needed to add a piece or two at the break and ownership refused to add anyone decent and they faltered. The relationship with Schilling deteriorated thereafter.

The real stats that should be paid attention to is babip and fip. What is the system that is used to breakdown fielding which in turn affects these stats? Anything to help me figure out what Cole Hamels capable of. As of now, barring an insurmountable amount of injuries (knock on wood) the NL East is ours. In order to have an idea where we will be place amongst the upper tier of MLB today. Which is just a sweet thing to say to begin with.

clout: Don't get me wrong. Byrd, Ashby, and Daal all had their moments but that moment was definitely not in 2001 when they were all atrocious.

MG: I vividly remember Ed Wade being on the Angelo Cataldi show on Comcast Sportsnet. I don't recall exactly if it was after trading for Ashby or after trading Ashby away. I'm not a fan of Cataldi at all but that day he was all over Wade for some of his signings and for trading for Ashby. Everyone accusing guys of DITHL needs to study the video of that day to see the torch bearer for the look. Wade looked like he wanted to run and hide in a corner.

Ok, the Wade DITHL Scale where 1.000 was the Wade-being-grilled-look-where-can-I-hide.

MG: I wonder if it was Looper who recommended rejecting Michael Saunders in favor of the less highly regarded Gillies. If he turns out to be right on that, and most think he's wrong, then he will have a newfound respect from me.

It also could've been a position thing. Saunders is a corner OF with good power and a mediocre command of the strike zone while Gillies is a CF with no power but a decent command of the strike zone. The big questions on these guys are: Can Saunders make enough contact at the mlb level? Can Gillies hit for average at AA and AAA?

If the Phillies win the World Series in 2010, the Lee trade will have been a win for the Phillies regardless of all other factors.

He was only signed through the 2010 season, so if it ends up that we didn't need him to win it all, the trade balances in our favor for the salary dump alone. Anything Lee does beyond 2010 is irrelevant as regards to this trade because we only traded away a pitcher with 1 year left on his contract. What may have happened after that is speculative and has no bearing on the contract that was traded.

Now...if the Phillies don't win it all, then it will take several years to determine whether or not the three prospects and the salary dump was worth an ace that could have put them over the top to win in 2010.

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