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Thursday, September 09, 2010


It's time to kick butt -
Like Stonewall once was quoted:
"Kill them; kill them all."

From the last thread:

If Howard follows the Thome path, yes he will get to 500 HR. The Thome path is the max upside for Howard though. There's a lot that COULD go wrong with Ryan.

For the Frank Thomas/Frank Thomas/Ryan Howard comparisons, look at the numbers (OPS+) through age 30/31. My joking comment isn't very far off.

Stark ramblings:

- Adding a 2nd WC and making a one-game playoff game between the two teams? Brilliant. Push more emphasis back on winning the division as it rightly should be.

- Scout on JRoll: "He just looks like he's throwing at-bats away. Even when he gets into good hitting counts, there are times he'll just put a weak little swing on the ball. I'm seeing a lot of swings where he's working under the ball, and his head is coming off too soon. I'm not sure what's going on. His approach seems to come and go from at-bat to at-bat. You'll see a couple of at-bats where he looks like he used to look, but all the at-bats around that are bad."

- "There is no longer any doubt Jayson Werth is in his final days as a Phillie. On a team with nearly $140 million already committed to 16 players next year -- plus a philosophical commitment to keep turning over at least 25 percent of the roster -- Werth isn't going to be a fit.

The Phillies, obviously, are a long ways from making any final decisions on what their lineup will look like without him. But the likely plan is to give hot-shot rookie Domonic Brown most of the playing time in right -- while complementing him with a right-handed-hitting fourth-outfielder type.

A couple of potential options for that role: Cody Ross or Jeff Francoeur, if they're nontendered."

Failcoeur as a Phils' player? Ugh. Funny but I would take Francisco over both Ross or Francoeur.

Edmundo, not to belabor the point, but
"There's a lot that COULD go wrong with____" applies to every player in the league. I don't want to misinterpret, and maybe I'm missing your point, but it sounds like a bit of Howard bashing.

Ross? Francouer? Oh dear god no! I would definitely prefer Bench Francisco over them.

OP, I'm not bashing Howard, I quite like him personally and root for him. I like that he's worked very hard to get into shape and snags a lot more balls than he used to.

Body type*/aging/athleticism are all things that COULD go wrong. Also, late bloomers also tend to have short careers.

With Utley for instance, it's aging/playing 2B that are danger signs for a short career path.

*Acknowledging that he is not a fat tub of goo.

Even if we end up with the best record and the best schedule in terms of pitching matchups, I wager we still somehow get shafted in terms of game start times. We seem to have terrible, uh, "luck" in that department.

MG, you would take Glaus, Fielder, or Dunn's defensive over Howard's at 1B? I wouldn't. He isn't the worst in the NL.

And Old Phan, if at the end of 2015, Howard crosses the 500 HR threshold, JW can devote an entire thread to Edmundo bashing. I would quite merrily accept that punishment because it would mean a couple more WFSs.

Rarely are there slugging first baseman that are above average fielders anyway, and Howard is definitely among the better ones. Texiera is the best in the AL and probably baseball at 1st.

best fielding Phillies 1B I ever saw: Rico Brogna

Adrian Gonzalez, Joey Votto, and Pujols are all excellent defensive 1B and "sluggers."

We're only a half game up on the Padres.

Do you really want the eight-day NCLS series?

If the Phillies continue to be in the hunt for the number one seed, a lot of wasted talk is going to happen on this subject.

I would think Halladay is better suited to pitch on three days rest than anyone the Reds, Padres or Giants would throw out there. (Couldn't see Latos or Lincecum being put in that spot)

Even if you elected to keep everyone on full rest, is Blanton better than those team's No. 4?

For those reasons, I'll say there is no clearcut advantage for the Phillies to have a seven-day series or eight day series.

if we have halladay, hamels, oswalt go against atlanta in the last series of the regular season, is there enough time off to get halladay to start game 1 of the playoffs?

I assume I'm alone in this but I wish Bonds had been given a chance to do what Thome's doing now. To blackball a guy because he got more out of his steroid usage than most (probably because he was a Hall of Famer before he even started taking them), and hence damaged the precious sanctity of the game more than all the other hundreds of players who were juicing, seems harsh.

Is everyone remembering that Howard is working with one ankle currently? He is normally an average runner, which is pretty good for his body type. He's hobbled now, which is affecting his hitting, range at first and baserunning negatively.

I was hoping Charlie would give him some rest when he came back because he was looking overmatched at the plate. But he seems to have adjusted and the dropoff to a Sweeney or Gload (who may not be too healthy himself) would be too great.

About Howard's career: I didn't see the urgency for Rube Jr. to sign him to a lifetime, market contract. But the way Ryan keeps himself in shape, and tries to get leaner and better conditioned every year, and the determination he displays during every stretch run, are pretty good indicators that this is not the average "fat, big body slugger."

I see no such future for Prince Fielder, who is almost inhumanly fat. If that guy gets another good five years, even though he's younger than Howard, it will be an upset.

If somehow Howard can ever figure out how to throw the darn ball, he sill be in Cooperstown with a speaking engagement exactly five years after retirement.

Can you imagine Halladay or Oswalt letting the Phils plug Blanton into Game 4? That game would either clinch the series for them, and avoid a dangerous Game 5, or be their last chance to save the season. No way does neither Halladay or Oswalt not demand the ball for that game. Hamels won’t go on short rest. We’ve asked for it each of the last two postseasons and haven’t got it, so that won’t happen. But in no way, shape, or form can I see either Roy not getting the ball in Game 4–short rest or not.

1B Defense: there's a piece in today's Wash Post about how the Nats may not make too much of an effort to re-sign Dunn b/c they want to go after a better defensive 1B instead. Ha.

"If somehow Howard can ever figure out how to throw the darn ball, he sill be in Cooperstown with a speaking engagement exactly five years after retirement."

On the contrary, he got such a late start that it will be tough for his counting stats to make it to where they'd need to be. Much like, say, Berkman or Jim Edmonds, who have great career stats but just didn't play enough games. Only if he returns to his MVP form and has a few more truly dominant seasons does he have a shot, I'd say.

thwnd: I wondered the same thing, but it looks like the division series starts on Wednesday following the Sunday end to the season. If Halladay pitches the Friday game, he can open the series on Wednesday on regular rest. Ditto with Hamels starting Saturday and Oswalt on Sunday.

Unless I'm missing something.

Edmundo: Comparing Howard to Big Klu or Mo is way off base. Neither was remotely as good as Howard, who's reached 250 HRs faster than anyone in history and whose OPS is higher than either.

Klu was a high-average hitter who displayed excellent HR power for only about half his career. Vaughn's stats were closer, but he also showed a higher average and lower power (5.1% HRs compared to 6.8% for Howard.)

Career OPS+
Howard 140
Vaughn 132
Klu 123

Tray: You think Bonds was blackballed simply because he used steroids? I'm guessing a federal indictment hanging over his head and being a general jackass and media circus probably had as much to do with it.

I, for one, am glad Bonds got no chance to ride off into the sunset gracefully. Thome is a class-act from the start and described as one of the nicest guys to play the game. He's also never been tainted by any suggestion of cheating. He deserves what he's getting. Just as Bonds deserves what he's getting.

I assume everyone is remembering that the NL team gets homefield advantage in the World Series due to the NL finally winning the All Star game this year.

Part of me is excited of course that the Phils could wind up with the best record in the NL, and enjoy the home-field all the way to the WS. The other part of me, wearing an Army uniform, knows that I will be without even so much as a telephone from October to December, and thus is not as excited. I full expect to be able to pull up BL in December, however, and be entertained, regardless of the outcome.

i would take Cody Ross in a heartbeat as a platton corner OF.

Marlins were idiotic to have him start in CF.

in 633 PA vs. LHP: .288/.349/.592 - .941 OPS with 43 HR and 128 RBI.

You'd take benfran over him? Craziness.

I know we're a half game up on the Padres and a full game up on the Reds, but until we have the fewest losees of any of the contenders (like the Padres do now), I'm not considering us in first place in the NL just yet. In fact, we may not have sole possession of first place in the EAst after today.

Also, how would a 5 game series in 8 days shake out?

Game, Game, off day, game, off day, game, off day, game?

If that's the case, then Blanton wouldn't even sniff a start in that series, as you could go Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt, Halladay (4 days rest), Hamels (5 days rest), or any variation thereof.

Also, if they structure the NLCS like they did last year, I believe the games went like this:

Home, Home, Off, Away, Away, Off, Away, Off, Home, Home.

If that's the case, our rotation would look like this:

Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt, Halladay (3 days rest), Hamels (4 days rest) Oswalt (4 days rest), Halladay (4 days rest)

The World Series is where it gets tricky, and where you'd probably have to pitch Blanton, because if you throw Halladay 3 times in the WS, and Oswalt 2 times in the WS, you only get Hamels once, since the coaching staff will not throw him on short rest, having never done it before (also, the people who speculate that Hamels simply refuses to do it, are doing just that, speculating. I have every confidence Hamels would throw on short rest, but the coaching staff doesn't want to take the chance that he'll come out and look like AJ Burnett did in game 5 of the WS last year, when he got bombed).

Fatalotti: You're welcome to feel anyway you want about our record, but the Phils have the best win pct in the NL. It's an indisputable fact. Of course, it may change, but it is what it is.

Regarding 8 day series:

Wednesday, Game 1: Halladay
Thursday: OFF
Friday, Game 2: Hamels
Saturday: OFF
Sunday, Game 3: Oswalt
Monday, Game 4: Halladay
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: Game 5: Hamels

Last Phils squad to have the best record in the NL was 1977, I believe.

They definitely have some hammers at the top end of the rotation, which makes the option of choosing the duration / schedule of the series particularly intriguing. I can't see being seriously concerned about this, now. They must focus on making the damn playoffs, period.

"Hamels won’t go on short rest. We’ve asked for it each of the last two postseasons and haven’t got it, so that won’t happen. "

I am just curious, who is this "we" that has asked Hamels to pitch on short rest each of the past two postseasons???

In 2008, Hamels was a 24 year old who had far exceeded his single season high inning mark and pitched the Phillies to a World Series Championship as the WS MVP. My memory may be off, but I don't think anyone in the organization asked him to pitch on short rest, and it really wasn't needed anyway. It would be fair to be concerned about taxing a young arm even more than it was already being taxed. 

In 2009 Hamels had an off year and wasn't pitching very good even on normal rest. I don't think anyone expected him or wanted him to pitch on short rest. 

The idea that Cole is soft and won't pitch on short rest if it was needed is a fun thing for haters to kick around on blogs, but I don't really believe it stands up to scrutiny.

I fully believe that if Cole was needed to go on short rest this postseason and was asked to do so, he would gladly take the hill. 

clout, you can't compare the first part of Howard's career vs. the entire career of other players.

Throw Klu out, he's not a good match at all. He's pretty much a big 5 year peak guy.

But Vaughn, through age 30 (look at his BSN stats only), OPS+ of 140. Same as Howard, although he was more average, more OBP, less HR. (Meaning he's slightly better to date since OPS+ overweights SLG).

Howard's fastest to 250 is slightly misleading in the sense that Howard emerged fully formed at age 26. Many other players grow into their power in the Majors, because they have other talents that make them useful prior to have in the majors prior to their power emerging.

Ish - good luck and godspeed.

"Fatalotti: You're welcome to feel anyway you want about our record..."

CJ, thank you for your approval. To be clear, I'm exceedingly happy and excited about our record, and I feel quite certain that we will hold the #1 spot after 162 games, BUT, as of now, we have one more loss than the Padres, so I will wait until that no longer exists before claiming we are top dogs in the NL.

Thanks for the 5 games in 8 days schedule. If I'm correct about the NLCS format, Blanton will only get one start in the entire playoffs, should we go to the WS.

Also CJ, if we play 5 games in 7 days, would that just remove the first off day from the schedule you posted above?

Upon further consideration, it doesn't matter. With Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels the first series isn't going five games anyway.

I think people are putting the cart before the horse here. I harken back to UC strategy this passed week. You throw Robertson the opening game and get the rivals all tired and happy with themselves working up a giant lead and running the bases all night. Then you let Zagurski and Bastardo throw the next game, battering the players on the hips and arms with out of control fast balls. Then they will be so messed up you just throw the Roys and blanton to victory

The guy's perjury trial won't start until March of 2011, CJ. Sure, maybe teams object on moral grounds. But is there really that big a difference, morally rather than legally, between the lies Bonds told to a grand jury and the lies countless other players told the press, and by extension, us?

I wouldn't be surprised if the teams colluded to keep Bonds out, but even if the trial isn't set to begin until a few seasons from his signing I can see why GMs and Presidents would want to keep an indicted "prima donna" out of their clubhouse.

Why is Mo Vaughn always the go go comparable player for Howard? Much, much heavier and less athletic as well as a player with slightly different skills. Vaughn had less power and was a better hitter for average. Given his body and skills and work ethic his decline surprised very few. Howard may decline and be vasty overpaid for various reasons, but Vaughn is not that similar.

So the Phillies should continue to try to win baseball games? ok, got it.

I wouldn't be surprised if there was a collective decision to keep Bonds off the field, or if that was a result of independent action. The guy has alot of baggage, in terms of media circus, clubhouse issues, and PR, that make it likely that the league and individual owners could come to the same outcome.

I am always amused when people just pick the fattest, slowest first baseman they can find and say, look... it was Ryan Howard before Ryan Howard.

It's lazy. But typical.

Re: Barry Bonds and ownership ccollusion:

It's hard to imagine that neither of the 2008 World Series participants, both of whom had needs for left-handed bench bats, could have used Barry Bonds who alleged he offered his services to every team for the major league minimum.

Things turned out well for the Phillies but I wonder what would have changed if the Rays had been willing to acquire Bonds and play him rather than Cliff Floyd.

Bonds last game was in the fall of 2007. He was indicted in November 2007. If anyone thinks a GM in baseball was interested in signing Barry Bonds for the 2008 season soon after that indictment, they're crazy.

And no one considered signing him for the 2009 season because his trial was set to begin in March 2009 until an 11th hour delay.

I suppose there was a small window between the indictment in 2007 and trial in 2009 that someone could have signed Bonds in late 2008... but what were you getting? Someone suddenly off the juice? A clubhouse circus? A jackass to teammates?

Not a chance.

" am always amused when people just pick the fattest, slowest first baseman they can find and say, look... it was Ryan Howard before Ryan Howard.

It's lazy. But typical."

There is a continuum here. Vaughn to Thome looks like the range of Howard's career path. You pick on one point, lazy but typical and don't engage in the discussion.

hoelkered3: That's funny. If you don't think I've engaged in the discussion regarding Ryan Howard's historic career thus far, and his future potential... then you don't read Beerleaguer much.

it could be a 10 day series and I still think Charlie pitches Blanton in game 4...

Bonds's numbers in 2007 were absurd for a 42 year old - .276, .480, .565, with 28 home runs. Assuming he really was asking for league minimum, it's hard to see how somebody wouldn't have been willing to take their lumps in the press and sign him if there wasn't any collusion.

John: How many teams really needed Bonds badly enough to want to sign him and endure that horrendous press? One? Two? Three at most?

It doesn't have to be collusion. There were almost 30 teams that had no need for him. In only takes one or two GMs to decide he's not worth the trouble.

I would be shocked, shocked to find there was collusion regarding Bonds.

Well, the point is moot now. The Phils waived Nate the Great already.

Someone fill me in on what benefit the owners would have gained by colluding against Barry Bonds?


Nate Robertson released. MG can stop whining about him on the roster. Phils claim Cesar Carrillo.

"John: How many teams really needed Bonds badly enough to want to sign him and endure that horrendous press? One? Two? Three at most?"

You think teams care about horrendous press? Interesting...

Let hus never speak of Robertson ever again.

PhillyJoe, you're crazy. The ONLY reason that Joe Blanton will pitch in any playoff game is to avoid pitching any of H2O on short rest. If Manuel can get any of H2O on regular rest (or extra rest) for any given playoff game, he will, without a question.

If Manuel ever had the opportunity to pitch either Halladay, Hamels or Oswalt on regular or greater rest during a playoff game, but instead decided to pitch Joe Blanton, I'm almost certian he would be fired after the first pitch of the game, Blanton would be forced to fake an injury, and Halladay would enter the game.

I don't know why everyone hates Nate Robertson so much...his ERA with the Phillies was a fairly respectable 81.00.

It could have been worse. He could've been setting them up on a tee for the batters.

I don't know how accurate the baseball reference is but Ryno goes at 6'4 255 and they have Mo-licious at 6'1 225. 225? Perhaps in middle school.

John: I don't think any poster on here is naive enough to think there WASN'T collusion. Of course there was. But there were also good reasons for it.

Watch out for the Rox. They're going to make some trouble this month.

"Watch out for the Rox. They're going to make some trouble this month."

Oh crap, are they trying to trademark "Rocktember" now or something?

Matheison to the DL

sorry...i before e...


What?!? Mathieson to DL?

How will our bullpen survive without its savior?

(Hope he gets healthy and pitches well enough next spring to earn a job in our bullpen.)

Are they going to claim an infielder to back up JRoll and Valdez? That might make a little sense at this point. I mean, after they claimed the guy with the over 5.00 ERA from SD's Triple A squad. Had to have that guy, right?

jasontp - Maybe I am wrong but Ross strikes me as a guy who is notable downside. He also strikes me as a much more expensive solution than what Francisco would cost. I could see Ross getting at least a bit more on the $ than Francisco next year who is only 1st year of arbitration and will likely make in the neighborhood of $700k

CJ - "Nate Robertson released. MG can stop whining about him on the roster. Phils claim Cesar Carrillo."

Funny weren't you the whining about it the other night? It didn't think it really mattered one way or other if he stayed on the roster the rest of the year because he wasn't going to pitch another inning either way.

MG: I apologized if I mischaracterized your words. Perhaps it was bap who was lamenting the fact that Robertson hadn't been released in a timely enough manner.


Bah... that "apologized" should have been "apologize." Fingers were too fast.

What's a Cesar Carrillo."

what abt natus bumpus?

couldnt be any worse than the nate whats his name...

could he?

Ross vs. Francisco

Ross would be a better fit for a platoon in RF next year. I just can't imagine he will cost less $3M or so next year. Probably more like $3.5-$4M.

Doesn't sound like alot until you realize that is like the difference between the Phils bringing back the likes of a Durbin and taker another flier on a veteran option for the bullpen to give them a bit more depth.

There is some really good talent available for a corner OF spot (Werth, Crawford) but alot of what happens with the likes of Ross depends on several guys who have options for next year (Kubel, Ordonez, DeJesus, Crisp, Cuddyer).

If most of these guys have their options picked up, it will be a lean market after the Werth/Crawford signings. Looking at guys like Hawpe, Guillen, Thames, Harris, and Ross.

A guy like Ross is definitely someone I can see being here. Just don't know if he won't be too expensive.

It's a special time in a young boy's life when....

Cesar Carillo . . . things that come to mind

- A possible name that Bernstein and Songheim considered for a member of the 'Sharks' in West Side Story

- A 'caesar salad' only with a Mexican restaurant twist served in a taco shell

- A character played by John Leguizamo in one of his movies

- Best Phils' acquisition by name since Pete LaForest?

Cesar Carillo Grande

Who needs a platoon mate... I've been told John Mayberry, Jr. will be the man next season.

As far as Ross goes, he may be a bit better than Francisco. In fact he probably is. As MG says he will be more costly though. My problem with him is I don't like him. Maybe a stupid reason to not go after him, but so be it. I don't want any of that Marlin flu infecting the Phillies. It seems they caught a case of it just sharing the field with those idiots. I hate their brand of baseball and Ross played it as well as anyone. Just don't like the guy. And have you gotten a look at him. He makes Bruntlett look like George Clooney.


donc: Ross Gload came from Florida.

donc, you do realize that Ross Gload used to be a Marlin, and he seems to play the game the right way. In fact, when Ryan Howard first went down, Ross Gload was raking, and probably helped us win a couple games.

And it was be a cataclysmically stupid reason not to after someone, based on some irrational dislike of a guy who is most certainly a valuable ball player.

Sorry for the glaring grammatical errors. Studying and commenting on BL should not be combined.

Fatalotti: I support NOT signing someone because of an irrational dislike. There's plenty of players I'd put on that list. For some people, that's part of being a fan. Maybe not the smartest thing... but, alas...

"cataclysmically stupid" - that has to be a new categorization of intellect, or lack thereof.

I think a Cesar Carillo is one of those skinny cigars with a filter on it.

Thanks Fat. I'll make my point a different less flipant way. The guy's a stupid ballplayer. Swings as hard as he can at every pitch regardless of situation. Gets thrown out on the base paths constantly and almost always seems to throw to the wrong base or miss the cutoff man. And like most Marlins outfielders he usually runs into the guy calling for the ball. No thanks, I'll pass. Yes, Gload does seem to be immune to Marlins flu thank god. But Ross isn't. Could you imagine if the Marlins were your team. You'd have to stop watching.

What the league gains by collusion, or rather, what Selig gains by telling teams to not sign Bonds, is a cleansing of baseball's reputation. It's a sort of game theoretical situation. A team can win a few more games at low cost by signing Bonds, which perhaps means more revenues for it, but the league as a whole, and perhaps even its individual members, are better off in the long term if Bonds stays out. People turned off by steroids think it's safe to watch baseball again, the league makes more money, etc. But in the near term a lot of teams stand to gain by signing Bonds. So you get some kind of enforcement from above for the betterment of everybody. Or a deal amongst the teams.

I can't even count how many players over the years that I have just had a seething hatred for, and yet, I would've taken them on my team in a heartbeat, if the opportunity had ever presented itself.

Reggie Miller probably tops my personal list.

BP Postseason odds go up 6 percent after last night's win, and now only 7 percent worse than the odds for the second place Braves.

donc, now that's a rational dislike that I can get behind.

"Swings as hard as he can at every pitch regardless of situation."

But unlike Francisco a fair number of those hard swings meet with success. I mean, I find Howard's approach to curveballs off the plate aesthetically displeasing, but I'm still glad (to some extent, not as glad as CJ is to be sure) that he's on our team.

Reggie Miler was great though (even though he couldn't hit the curveball). Cody Ross is mediocre. Maybe I'm crazy but I prefer to have guys on my team that I like. This Phillies team is very likeable and that's a huge plus. Failcouer is another jerk I wouldn't want on my team. With either of these guys I think you can pass without fear of missing out on some kind of breakout year or anything. They aren't that good.

Lenny Dykstra was one of my most hated players once upon a time. Loved him as a Phillie though, so I guess it goes both ways. Put it this way, if Cody Ross hits 40 homeruns next year for the Phillies I'll learn to like him.

I will go on a limb and say that Jose Guillen has a 0.0% chance of being a Phillie next season.

Just not the type of guy they bring in character wise.

I will go on a limb and say that Jose Guillen has a 0.0% chance of being a Phillie next season.

Just not the type of guy they bring in character wise.

Tray: "but I'm still glad (to some extent, not as glad as CJ is to be sure) that he's on our team."

It's actually impossible to be as glad as I am... I think.

I'm gonna assume, MG, you meant Sondheim, and I'll further assume you won't tell the US Army I corrected you on that. That's a whole barrel-full of paperwork I don't need...

Carillo went 25-3 in 2 seasons at Miami University, was the 18th overall pick in the draft, and was once ranked as the 2nd best prospect in the Padres system. Granted all that was about 5 years ago & he has been spectacularly wretched ever since. But it's still enough to make him more valuable than Nate Robertson.

donc, I pretty much agree with you. But sometimes we fans have a hatred of players who have hurt our team in the past, or just happen to play for the enemy, but these guys could be a big help to the Phillies.

You posted valid reasons for not wanting Ross, and I suppose I agree. (I don't rigorously follow the career of one Cody Ross, so I don't know too much about the guy).

I've just never been a big fan of the whole, "Nah, don't like him, no thanks" attitude. Will he help the team? If yes, bring him on. If not, good riddance.

Is anyone else watching the Cards and the Braves on MLB TV? The crowd at Turner Field is sparse. Unfvckingbelievable.

You can't fault Amaro for releasing Nate Robertson, but you can sure fault him for waiting 22 hours after yesterday's performance before doing so.

bap: "You can't fault Amaro for releasing Nate Robertson, but you can sure fault him for waiting 22 hours after yesterday's performance before doing so."

Ah... there we go. I was incorrectly attributing this to MG. bap, of course, comes through!

BAP, I'm surprised a bus to Destination: "Middle of Nowhere" wasn't outside idling when the game ended, with all of Robertson's luggage in the undercarriage cargo trunk.

Brutal defense by the Cards already. All 2,390 people at The Ted must have enjoyed that.

1-0 Braves after two errors allow the leadoff hitter to get to 3rd.

Cards have packed it in, it seems.

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