Enigma? You Betcha – Phillies Nation

Enigma? You Betcha

My hope is that you’ve stopped trying to figure out this Phillies team. It’s impossible to do, so refrain from wasting what precious time we have on this earth wondering why the Phils can downright suck against a bottom-feeding Houston team, then, travel 3,000 miles to the Southern California coast, and beat up on a playoff team. It doesn’t make sense now and it hasn’t throughout this entire 2010 season.

What does make sense, and what we have figured out, is that this Phillies club wants to take us on some kind of journey. It’s a trip through the unknown.

In 2007, the writing was on the wall for the Phillies to be a playoff caliber team. Remember how exciting it was to watch Brett Myers flip his glove into the air on the final day to win the NL East, capping an amazing run to overtake the Mets from seven games down with 17 to go? That comeback was improbable, yet, explainable. New York fell apart while the Phillies got hot at the right time.

In 2008, it was time to take a step forward, so they went ahead and won the whole thing. Building on the ’07 campaign was easy as this town rallied behind the club for their first title since 1980.

In 2009, we understood this team was still special, still the cream of the NL crop. Many knew they were good enough to win the National League once again, and again they did. The season itself was pretty much a breeze – everyone stayed relatively healthy and the Phillies won the east by six games. It was easy to comprehend.

This year, not so much. How can one team look nearly unbeatable for the first two weeks, lead the division by a healthy five games on May 17, then fall flat on it’s face for nearly two whole months without explanation? How could it happen that the Phillies then follow a seven-game stretch in mid-July when they appeared to be sinking by winning 13 out of 15 to sit one back in the division behind the steady Braves?

After their pitiful showing against the Astros at home, Jimmy Rollins hinted that (and I’m paraphrasing) maybe it was a good idea to get away from Philly and kick start things on the road. Who knew he wasn’t kidding.  The latest series in San Diego was anything but inspired baseball, however, they did enough to sweep a postseason-bound team that hadn’t lost three straight all year. Until now, of course.

There is no rhyme or reason. Injuries have taken their toll, but not ravaged the team enough to shut down the year entirely. The bullpen has been relatively average throughout, yet, has shown flashed of brilliance within their darkest days. A lineup that mashed home runs for years (651 the previous three seasons, to be exact) now places in the middle of the pack on the National League. Instead, they’ve used some small ball and brilliant starting pitching to hide their power deficiencies. Still, where’d all the long-balls go?

It may not be the team you’re used too, but if you enjoy opening a new door everyday, not knowing what you’ll find when you open it, this is the team for you. It may also be frustrating to try and understand what this Phillies team has given all season, but it’s impossible to do. If you prefer a healthy lifestyle, I’d suggest leaving well enough alone. Because in the end, this team may surprise you once more. That, or give you a heart attack.




    August 30, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Great piece-I too have been high then low then back high on this team all year,but thru all the injurys they are still right in the hunt,I believe that this battle tested group will rise to the top again.This was a very important series that proved when things get tight we can play with anyone.Cant wait for the last 30 some odd games!!!!!!

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  3. The Dipsy

    August 30, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Pat – I don’t agree that the Phils have played small ball at times. I don’t believe that Shane was trying to hit the ball up the middle to score Jimmy yesterday because the Phils needed “just one”. I believe he was trying to smoke the crap out of the ball as he always does and ended up playing defensive hitting with two strikes and singled. The Phils never play small ball because they can’t. Polanco, Utley, and Ruiz can and that’s it. I would attribute the fact that we are winning close, lowing scoring games to good pitching, poor hitting, and eking out enough run support through their offensive style rather then a designed plan to just scratch out runs. The Phillies do this in the post season, though.

    I am counting on this offense to start busting out soon. An offense like the Phils never takes a whole season off. I am looking for a reversion to the mean, albeit a little late in the season. In the mean time, please find us a lefty reliever for the playoffs.

    The Dipsy

  4. jeff

    August 30, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Yes, this is not the Phillies offense clicking. We just played a solid team with great pitching. We won three straight games. Thats the only way you win these in the playoffs. You will not score 10 runs against these teams in October.

  5. paul garrett

    August 30, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Howard’s hitting is key. I can understand his ankle can affect his swing but the SOs seem mental. Do each of these guys have their own sports psychologists? If not, why not? Brain training is quite the fad these days, check out Posit Science.

  6. NJ

    August 30, 2010 at 11:10 am

    The Phillies play accidental small-ball. There are so many elements of playing small-ball past getting a man on 1st and bunting him to 2nd, the Phils do a pretty poor and often predictable job of moving runners and driving them in but that’s not how this team is built. Using a hockey analogy this is a ‘run and gun’ team, offensively the Phils play for big pay-off innings instead of a more controlled lower yield approach.

    I think many players on this team are getting a bad rep because of the teams lack of production at times. The Phils really gutted it out when the big bats were down and now they’ve returned the offense seems to have had something missing and is feeling its way to putting up some numbers.

    The Phils do need to find more of a balanced offense but we’re in what may be the golden age of Phillies baseball and I don’t think any of us would have changed anything given the overall success.

  7. Pat Gallen

    August 30, 2010 at 11:15 am

    “they’ve used some small ball and brilliant starting pitching to hide their power deficiencies.”

    Nowhere does it say they’ve become a small ball team. They’ve used SOME small ball, which they have. More now than ever before. I agree that they’ll eventually break out, but when you look at this season as a whole against the previous 3, the power numbers won’t be anywhere near. Blame that on the injuries, I guess.

  8. Manny

    August 30, 2010 at 11:36 am

    This team is unpredictable, and I love it.

  9. branderson

    August 30, 2010 at 11:52 am

    This series serves an interesting precursor for the playoffs, perhaps.

    Sweeping the best team in the NL on the road makes me think that once we get into the Playoffs it will not be that unfathomable to play well.
    Look at the current playoff picture:
    San Diego: Youthful, inexperienced pitching, plus Correia is falling apart. Offense is pretty inept and unintimidating
    Cincy: Pitching is again very young except for the injured/pretty pitiful Harang. Arroyo has been a surprise. Their offense can score big runs but our pitching is much, much better.
    Hot-lanta: No playoff experience except Lowe who is pretty ho-hum for an ace. In a short series they don’t seem to have the 1-3 that will blow anyone away. Their bullpen is 2nd best in the NL which gives them some solidification but their offense is nowhere near ours.

    On the bubble: San Fran: A team whose strong point is pitching has kind of not surprised in that aspect. They have made some good additions to their offense (Huff, Burrell, Sanchez, Guillen) but they don’t look particularly frightening
    St. Louis: This is the team that actual scares me in a playoff series. Having Wainwright, Carpenter, Rookie-sensation Jaime Garcia, and question mark Westbook is definitely in favor of the Cards. Plus Pujols and Holliday having solid years might make them someone to actual watch out for (if they make the playoffs)

  10. Bacardipr05

    August 30, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Can they play small ball or are they just refusing to play small ball. They have to go back to the basics. That involves small ball. All the talent on this team they have the pieces to be able to play small ball. I dont know if they will “break out” we been saying this July. Maybe have “break out” games to be hones i cant really explain it. Enigma?

  11. Chuck

    August 30, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    How was the Padres series “anything but inspired baseball”???

    Friday night: Lidge COULD have completely melted down. He didn’t. And Rollins slide in the 12th was EXTREMELY “inspirational.”

    Saturday: Joe Blanton. “Inspired” pitching.

    Sunday: Cole Hamels. SUPER “inspired” pitching.

    This series had timely hitting, great defense and pitching, both starting and relief, that will make your hair stand on end.

    I don’t know about the rest of you…but I’m pretty “inspired”.

  12. The Original Chuck P

    August 30, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Nice piece Pat… this team has won games playing small ball but we would all agree that it looks like they are a team that is living/dying with their starting pitching.

    A couple of things… I know that it’s easy to ask where the power numbers have gone and we would all like to think that our team is exempt from everything that goes on outside of their clubhouse but in the year of the pitcher, it’s reasonable to assume that our opponent’s pitching has something to do with our lack of power. That and the fact that 7/9 of our starting lineup has spent time on the DL… replace Rollins/Utley with Valdez and you’re going to lose some pop.

    I also think that we need to stop beating around the bush… Chase Utley needs to get it going. Everyone else has either played near their potential or carried us at one point or another this season… Utley has done neither of those things. He’s hitting .265 with 11 HR and 5 SB… are you kidding me? At least Howard is producing runs… 23 HR is well off his career norm but his average has been better this season and his RBI totals are still good for top 10 in the NL (even with the DL stint and subsequent slump). Utley needs to play better.

  13. The Dipsy

    August 30, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Pat – Respectfully, I know what you said – and I still disagree. If trying to score as many runs as you can and coming up with only 3 or 2 is small ball, then thats what they are doing. To me “small ball” is a design, not a default result, and for that reason I maintain that they don’t play “small ball” one whit. They just don’t score a lot of runs.

    The Dipsy

  14. Chuck

    August 30, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Nail on head:

    “The year of the pitcher”

    How else can you explain losing to Myers, Happ and W. Rodriguez?? Those guys pitched great.

  15. Lefty

    August 30, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    In terms of the lost power, I think it’s important to remember that both Werth and Ibanez had career years in home run production last year. 2009 wasn’t normal for them. Raul only had one year of over 30 in his 13 years prior to last, Jayson never had one. Maybe we expected too much from those two.

    That doesn’t explain Howard and Utley, and it’s fair to say that even without the injuries their homer totals would still be way down.

    But last year our heart of 3,4,5,6 were pretty remarkable. I just don’t think you can count on that every year.

    Despite the stumbling and bumbling in the Astros series, I admire the team this year. They are finding ways to win. It’s heart attack city, and sometimes they’re getting a little luck, (when the best fielding team in the league makes 4 errors in one game) but I believe they’ll get it done.

    Good piece Pat-thanks

  16. The Original Chuck P

    August 30, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    What do you call small ball, Dipsy? How many runs did we score in this series via single or sac? J-Roll scored the GW run on a single, the first run yesterday was scored on a single (after a sac ground ball to move the runner to third), the insurance run was scored on a fielder’s choice with a hard takeout slide at second. The formula for this series was to score early, put pressure on the Padres and grind out a win… they beat the Padres at their own game. They hit a couple of HR’s yesterday but that’s not what won this series… great starting pitching and tough runs won this series.

  17. shag beta sigma delta

    August 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    This team is not built for small ball design, with exception of Poly, and other than this year Chase. This line up lacks discipline at the plate. But when the do move the runners over and in, it is an added benefit in these close games. It comes from the top down, Charlie feels the only way to get out a slump is to swing the bat, agree or disagree, it seems to work for most of these guys. JRoll did just punch the ball to right yestarday, you can not say he was not trying to just get the run in. They are not going to bunt with any; but the pitcher, agree or disagree that is how this team operates. I would even go as far as to say Polly bunted on his the other night, and it was not a called sac bunt. I truly believe this offense will come around in September, maybe not back to the first week and 1/2 of the year, but where they will start scoring 4-6 runs a game, and if the Pitchers can maintain their focus, that will be bad news for anybody we play.

  18. Bob in Bucks

    August 30, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I grew up in northern NJ as a Dodgers fan. This did not stop until maybe 20 years ago. Now in PA and a Phillies fan and raised my son as one.
    It just hit me that the Phillies are becoming the Dodgers of the 60s and 70s. All pitch, no power.

    Dipsy is right, the team is not built for small ball but it could be. Howard is a lock, nothing can be done about it and there is no problem with one big bopper on the team. But get a young fast infielder to replace Rollins, trade or train Victorino, lose Ibanez and Werth and replace them with speed and contact hitters along with a stronger bullpen. This may take two or three years but it definitely is doable.

    Werth is gone next year and Ibanez/Rollins contracts are over next year.

    The bell might not ring that often during the game but it might ring at the end of more games. You have three top of the line starters who can pitch for ERA under 3.5, now you need to bring in more relievers and learn to bunt and move runners. It can be done and relatively cheaply.

    By the way, though I love him, Manuel has to go – he can’t handle this type of team.

  19. Pat Gallen

    August 30, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Chuck, don’t tell me this weekend was inspirational baseball. They couldn’t hit anything. Sure the pitching is great, but it has been great, especially the starters. I’d be more inspired if they scored 8,9,10 and held SD to 1 or 2. That would inspire me to believe they’ve busted out and can now scored some runs.

    I get that SD has a great pitching staff too, and that runs would be hard to come by, but I was hardly inspired by their play. The only reason they had to win in 12 is because Lidge was a wreck.

  20. Pat Gallen

    August 30, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    I’m pretty sure a balk with the bases loaded is fairly close to a complete meltdown.

  21. shag beta sigma delta

    August 30, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I am not 100% on the train that Wreth is gone after this year, he may have slumped, spaced himself out of the 5-7 year 18 million per deal everyone thought he would get when this year started. I think Jayson would stay for 4 years 56-60 million with a 5th year vested option. This deal can be done, and I think he would take it.
    And I will have what ever it is you are smoking Bob, Charlie is not going anywhere, and the Bank is not a home stadium that is built for bunting guys over and speed, alleys are small, and the walls close. The Bank is fitting for this team, and this type of team will be here for a while. Get use to it

  22. therookie300

    August 30, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Exactly shag. This is NOT a team that was put together to play small ball. This lineup is designed to drive the ball to the hard to the gaps. Obviously the exception of Polly. That’s the problem with Vic, he’s caught in the middle of two styles. Everybody on here seems to want to make better contact and use his legs more and I definitely agree with that.
    Now despite that fact that this is not a small ball team, they should use the principles of small ball when needed. Maybe they should be using them more now because of the offense still being out of whack. But if the offense gets going to what they can really do, let them swing away.

  23. shag beta sigma delta

    August 30, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Yes the Balk with bases jacked is a meltdown, but getting the PHillies into the 10, is was stopped from being a complete meltdown

  24. Ed in scranton

    August 30, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Bob CBP is not a small ball base ball field, If you try to build a team like that here it will fail. The team showed a lot of heart winning thes games and the starting pitching was outstanding. Howard started to make contact and he always plays well in L.A. I think two out of three is doable.

  25. therookie300

    August 30, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Maybe more of a mental lapse than a meltdown.

  26. shag beta sigma delta

    August 30, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    I would have to agree that this weekend’s sweep was not inspirational offensivly, but pitching and heart, and doing what needs to be done, was a little up lifting, like I said before, sometimes frustrating to watch these guys bat, but less so when they find a way to win. I did have a feeling that they were never in trouble in any of these games, even with the balk to tie the game. I felt like the Phillies were in their heads, Hopefully after we sweep the Dodgers we can me a little more inspired by the offense

  27. Chuck

    August 30, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I disagree, Pat.

    First, Lidge wasn’t a complete meltdown. Last season, he would have lost that game. But he held it together and got that last out.

    And the fact that the Phillies came back the way they did and won that game set the table for the whole weekend.

    Wheeler made mention of that yesterday after the broadcast. Losing that game on Friday could have almsot been a back-breaker….but they didn’t and it wasn’t.

    To me…that’s inspired baseball.

    Would I love to see more offense to go with the pitching? Sure. You bet. But this weekend they got the hits when they needed them.

  28. NJ

    August 30, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I think it’s going off the point of Pats post some but…

    Small-ball is a way of playing more than it is the results, getting a run in an inning and calling it the team playing small ball is such a Joe Morgan comment as true to the reality as saying guy with 6 or 7 steals is a threat to take a base particularly when you have a power-arm on the mound.

    Small-ball is such an attritional way of playing offense consistently trying to take away something each AB by making the most of everything you can create to the point it just takes the wind out of the opposing team by bending not breaking. The Phillies are lucky when the offense produces small-ball but there’s nothing wrong with that, the Phils can bust it open like few teams can and this is the best staff this teams had in years.

    The entirety of the Phillies problem has been getting in-sync and being able to get men on base, move them and drive the runs in so he pitching can stay loose and work quickly. You look at a team like the Padres and it’s no surprise they consistently have one of the best bullpens, when a unit of a team is in sync the results always reflect that.

  29. Chuck

    August 30, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Let me be clear, too. The hit batter with an 0-2 count and the balk CAN’T happen anymore. Period. By Lidge or anyone else.

    BUT….give Lidge credit for fighting his way through and out of it. Could have been a Disaster (with a Capital D!!!)

  30. The Dipsy

    August 30, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    No doubt that the Phils came up big by gritting out a sweep in what should be a graveyard for offenses like theirs. I don’t think there is any way on earth that Werth stays, especially since he and Crawford are the cream of the pathetic FA outfield crop this year. Is it me or does Shane Victorino have the worst swing in baseball, pitchers excluded? Its looping, reachy, and just…a lot like an unfolded lawn chair. He’s got a lot of enthusiasm and hustle and moxy but DAMN! he is overrated as far as what he actually does for your club. Just swing down on the ball, dude.

    The Dipsy

  31. shag beta sigma delta

    August 30, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    The one thing that I have not seen since Howard and Chase have gotten back from the DL is stealing bases. Does Jayson just not have the cofidence to run, is he affraid of getting pick off if he takes to much of a lead. Same thing with JRoll and Vic they have stopped running all together. Especially with Polly up he hardly ever strikes out so with two strikes they should be running almost all the time, especially now that the offense is struggling. I get you do not want to run yourself out of innings, but at a place like Petco, you would think you would almost run every time you get on base.

  32. NJ

    August 30, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Dipsy come on you have it flat out wrong on Victorino, overrated in what he does for the club? He’s one of the most underrated players in baseball because he’s not considered by many outside Philly as more than just a good player. He is one of the best defensive outfielders in the game, he’s not a gifted hitter but he uses his bat to get the results he can and he’s shown power this year at times there hasn’t been much else in the line-up.

    Werth has shown to be overrated unfortunately, Corey Hart is overrated, Jose Bautista will now be overrated. Unfortunately stats performances now come before what those guys are doing on the field and in the clubhouse.

  33. Chuck

    August 30, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    No, Dipsy, it’s not just you. I CRINGE every time I see Shane at the plate.

    I have, like no confidence in him at all. Is that wrong? I feel like it’s somehow wrong.

  34. NJ

    August 30, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Does Shane having an ugly swing have anything to do with how good an all-around baseball player he is?

    Is his swing ugly? Hell yeah but Jayson Werth’s is one of the ugliest swings I’ve ever seen for a gifted offensive player, Ruiz’s swing isn’t exactly pretty and you look at players on other teams and I’m sure you’ll find guys in the same class or higher than Vic with worse swings.

  35. Chuck

    August 30, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Pat, in thinking about it more, I DO see what you are saying to a point. We all are frustrated by the lack of offense.

    I guess I am so stoked at where they are now compared to where they were in mid-July that I’m pretty inspired.

    I think, though, that the bats MUST come around (esp. Ryan) in order for this team to be in the playoffs.

  36. The Dipsy

    August 30, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    I happen to think Jayson has a nice swing. Vic has a great arm, no question. He’s not great at taking lines on the ball at all. Shane…what are you? I just never went for the small speedy guy who tried to hit homers and doubles instead of using what God gave him. Does it make him a bad offensive player? Not necessarily. He’s fast. Well, learn to bunt. Learn to work the count. Walk. Why is he even switch hitting? It doesn’t help. Just stay on your natural side. Sometimes I think that Jayson Werth is trapped in Shane’s body and vice versa. Shane is not as productive as he should be and it bums me out. He is a better than average offensive player, no question. He’s like a flat chested girl with a great rear end and legs that goes to the beach and wears a sarong (sp) and a just a bikini top. ????? Use your assets is my point.

    The Dipsy

  37. Chuck

    August 30, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Great analogy.

  38. Kate

    August 30, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    After dropping four in a row to Houston, I think sweeping the Padres is inspired baseball. The Padres have been in first place in their division since April.

    The Lidge of 2009 would have given up another four runs and lost the game. He buckled down and contained the damage. I call that inspired baseball.

    I call Matt Sweeney’s and Jayson Werth’s homers in Petco Park of all places inspired baseball.

    I call Jimmy Rollins avoiding the tag to win a game inspired baseball.

    Maybe it’s not pretty, but inspired baseball isn’t always pretty. Most of the time it can be pretty moments in the middle of ugly games.

  39. NJ

    August 30, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    How much more productive can Vic be? His average is down but he’s having a career year for homers and driving in runs while maintaining his second highest stealing percentage. He’s not having a great year offensively but you can’t expect career years every year and it’s not been a down year, just not a great year for him.

    No-one on the team is having a great offensive year, debatably Polanco, but it’s unfair to single Vic out because he has contributed to the team when others haven’t and he’s not one of the guys it would be fair to criticize for lack of efforts or adjustments. He isn’t the most talented guy on the field but he’s one of the hardest working.

    When Werth doesn’t connect his swing looks like he’s playing golf with a hockey stick.

  40. NJ

    August 30, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    ^just to add- use your assets really doesn’t mean much in baseball when you’re playing 162 games plus post-season if your lucky and spring. Does it mean anything that Jose Bautista has hit 40 homers? Only to his agent. Marcus Thames is meant to have more power than almost anyone in the league but hasn’t helped him much.

    Vic is using his assets by being a good role player and trying to truly help the team anyway he can and the team has been winning, some would say that is using his assets.

    That said there is clearly something wrong with how the running game is being handled when a team with two top base-stealers and other guys who can take bases are near the bottom of the league in steals

  41. bfo_33

    August 30, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    I made a vow not to bash Vic, but NJ, you’re way out there. Regardless of how pretty Vic’s swing is, it’s ineffective from the left side. He’s batting 220 from there, and about 60 % of the pitchers in the mlbs are righties. Dispy, I’ll sign the petition to end Vic’s switch hitting – either platoon him, or always bat from the right.

    Not worried about Howard, he’ll get his swing back – if not in LA, then against Mil. Chase concerns me more. I realize he was out quite a while, but he just doesn’t look like he’s seeing the ball well. I’d still rather see him work through it up here than in LV.

  42. Chuck

    August 30, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I don’t want Vic to have a career year hitting homeruns.

    Bunt. Hit the opposite way. Take a walk. Just try to get base hits and stop worrying about being babe Ruth.

    And, yes. The switch hitting needs to end.



    Exactly was I was saying about “inspired baseball”

  43. NJ

    August 30, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Jose Bautista (RHB) is hitting .220 against lefties while having a career year.
    Mark Reynolds and his 29 homers have him hitting only .197 against righties …

    Teix has a 50pts difference between his switch splits, few years back he decided to hit from the one side quickly returned to switch hitting.

    It isn’t that easy you can say Vic should hit from just the one side and he’ll get better results. The difference between being either side of the league average is something like 15-20 hits either way a year and I’m pretty sure when teams assess their players they look at how has this guy affected the team not how good are his individual numbers, unless your the A’s


    August 30, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    RYAN WILL BE OK-Now chase scares me,because it has been all year and he still has not produced at all…………

  45. biz

    August 30, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Why are we so concerned with Victorino? He bats 7th when we have all of our pieces in the lineup. The main reason for our offensive troubles this year is Chase Utley. Sorry to say it, but Chase has been mediocre at best. .265 and 11 hr? Even missing 40 games he should be hitting around .285 with 18 hr and 60 rbis. He’s been awful. Even before he was injured. And he produced nothing the last 2 series.

  46. The Dipsy

    August 30, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    NJ – Vic is not being paid to be a role player. I think Vic is a good player but he also has flaws. Flaws that should have been able to correct over time. As fast as he is and not being able to bunt is inexcusable. I don’t want him hitting homers either, because you know what that means? He’s trying to hit homers, and that is nit his job. Actually, I’m not even really sure what Vic’s job is. Or Jimmy’s. Or Jayson’s.

    I’m just a guy trying to understand his team.

    The Dipsy

  47. The Original Chuck P

    August 30, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks Biz… I’m glad someone else sees it. Like I said earlier, stop beating around the bush and call for Utley to get his crap together… it’s a shame that people take every chance they can get to run Werth and Vic out of town because those guys are actually doing some things right. Utley, on the other hand, is not doing much of anything… if he was, we wouldn’t be looking up.

    Werth is having a career year… best full season in terms of BA, OBP and SLG%. He could get to 100 R and 100 RBI… probably won’t but I guess he could… and here we are talking about how expendable he is. We’ll be sorry when he’s gone.

  48. biz

    August 30, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    The OCP,

    I agree we will miss Werth. But his talents are being wasted. He should be leading off. I wouldn’t object to switching him and Rollins in the lineup since Rollins thinks he’s a power guy anyway. Plus, if you put Rollins 5th he probably won’t pull his diva act like he would if you put him 7th or 8th.


    Why not? It looks solid to me, plus, you put a guy with a .390 OBP at the top of the order while simultaneously removing a guy with a .156 w/RISP from the 5 hole. How is that a negative? I don’t see Rollins hitting .156 w/RISP, and I don’t see him getting on base 2/5 plate appearances.

  49. Chuck

    August 30, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Nobody will ever try to run Chase out of town because….you know…..he’s Chase Utley.

  50. bfo_33

    August 30, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Agree that the team doesn’t sink or swim with Victorino, and Utley plays a much larger part of the offense. In his defense, he’s only been playing a week after being out for 7. Hoping that the pitching stays strong in LA, take 2 of 3, then the offense kicks in when Mil comes to town (should be able to hit them).

    It may make more sense right now to move Utley out of the 3 hole until he gets his swing going (platoon between Ibanez and PP – both did well batting 3rd).

  51. bfo_33

    August 30, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Biz, I like your line-up once Utley starts hitting, until then PP or Ib in 3, Utley 2 or 6 depending on the match-up.

  52. Chuck

    August 30, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    That line-up will never happen because Charlie is married to the idea of Jimmy as the lead-off hitter. It’s that simple.

  53. Bacardipr05

    August 30, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    It doesnt matter how ugly a guys swing is per say. His swing was always like that but he was able to bat .290 average for the past four years as a Phillie. It wasnt like it was 1 fluke year. His average from the left side is horrendous this year and right side is down bringing his average down. He is trying to be a power hitter that he is not

  54. Brooks

    August 30, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Kate, Chuck – I call the games vs the Pads inspired ball as well. 3 hits, 3 runs? 5 hits 5 runs??? The fantastic slide by Jimmy? Terrific pitching performances in all 3 games. I think Pat is being hard on Lidge – he made a mistake but he did lose the game. What he did was unacceptable of course but it could have been worse – he had been uber perfect in August and now he has 1 mistake in August.

    Regarding the idea of small ball – if the Phils were steal bases, lots of them and we know they can, I would be more inclined to think they are playing small ball.

  55. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 30, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Victorino before this year was one of the most under rated players in the majors GG not withstanding. He was good for a few months this year. His RBI total from the 1 hole was very nice and he has a career high in homers.
    But hes been very bad for a few months now. Like the rest of the team. Hes no worse now than jimmy and utley and Howard. To me in a clutch spot coming down the stretch he is one of the guys I want up. So is Rollins. So is Ruiz. Cant say that for Werth. And with howard that comes and goes. As of right now I dont him up in the ninth down 1 bases loaded 2 outs.
    Werth has 2 homers vs lefties this year and has 1 hit since may 8th with 2 outs in RISP. Hope he gets hot but come on people. Be realistic.

  56. The Original Chuck P

    August 30, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Logically, that lineup makes sense but Jimmy is the leadoff hitter… the things he does to score runs makes him invaluable in that leadoff position. He is the table setter… how many games has he won batting in that leadoff position this year? Nobody else makes that slide at home…

    The worst thing that could have happened to Vic was for him to come out hitting all those home runs and driving in all those RBI’s… he’s got a severe case of little man’s disease that isn’t going anywhere.

  57. The Dipsy

    August 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Werth should be batting leadoff – no question. None. Put all the OBP guys in front of Ryan and all the low OBP speed guys after him. If Ryan doesn’t bring them in, steal some runs in the bottom of the lineup.

    The Dipsy

  58. Chuck

    August 30, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    It’s easy to be hard on Lidge because of last season. This season is different, but a lot of people don’t want to admit it.

    Lidge was perfect in August before Friday night….and almost perfect dating back to July 8th save the meltdown in DC.

  59. The Original Chuck P

    August 30, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Rollins and Ruiz have been clutch. Ibanez and Polanco have been pretty clutch, too (doing the little things that need to be done to get the team in a situation where one swing can win it). Werth, Utley and Howard have not but I trust them because they’ve earned that much. I’ve seen Vic come up empty with 2 outs in the 9th too many times this year to say that he’s a guy that I want up there.

  60. biz

    August 30, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    The OCP,

    Howard’s had a dozen bad games sandwiching a trip to the DL. He was hitting .290+ and leading the league in RBIs. People really have a short memory when it comes to Howard. He is more important to this team than Chase. You cannot replace Ryan’s production. It’s not even debatable.

  61. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 30, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    biz more important to the offense when hes going good I agree.
    But he plays first and Chase plays a defensive position so more important as an over all player Id disagree with.

    A couple of off topic points.

    Anyone else getting ready to watch the Mets and root for them tonight vs the braveless? I am even watching thier broadcast. I have a lot of Met fans friends so I am bracing for the misery that is hoping the Mets win. and the inevitable let down.

    Also hurricane earl is making its way to the mid atlantic. Making its way to coincide for when the phillies get home on friday. Just what we need a couple or 3 rain outs in a row. Thats a joke. 2 or 3 rain outs to make up would hurt this team IMO


    August 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I AGREE 100% BIZ

  63. shag beta sigma delta

    August 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    I think until Chase gets his swing back you should move Raul back up to the 3 spot, he hit well there when Chase was out, because he was getting better pitches to hit. Move Chase down to 6 in front of Vic in the 7th spot just for a while. Chase like to see a lot of pitches and he would see more junk down there but I think it would be good for the team. Wasn’t Raul hitting over .300 in the 3rd spot when he was up there. Why change something that is not broken. Chase is not the best hitter on this team this year. And Poly should be chisled in stone at the 2 spot, he is one of the only guys who can hit well with two strikes and put the ball where he wants to most of the time. I am not worried about Ryan, he is just getting back from the DL and has histroicly been a slow starter, he will get his eye back then watch out. If he goes on a September tear, he will be in top 5 of MVP voting

  64. The Original Chuck P

    August 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    biz, I agree with you 100%… read my post. I trust them because they’ve earned it even if they haven’t been great as of late. Utley needs to take some responsibility for where we’re at (which is not where we expected to be); Howard at least showed us good things early on… Chase needs to get it going.

  65. NJ

    August 30, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    “Werth should be batting leadoff – no question. None. Put all the OBP guys in front of Ryan and all the low OBP speed guys after him. If Ryan doesn’t bring them in, steal some runs in the bottom of the lineup.”

    That is as good an idea as the experiment starting the game with a reliever and bringing in the starter after the pitchers spot has hit. Players numbers are largely indicative of where they are in the order because of how they get pitched. You don’t put a power/RBI guy up top where he’ll get no men on base and you try not to put base-stealers at a place in the line-up they can’t steal.

    That is essentially your line-up having your big bats on first or second followed by pop outs failing to drive those guys in.

    The margins between good and bad numbers are tiny much of the time and a line-up is about putting your guys in the best position to succeed at what they do best, some will flourish and some will decline… And it could turn on it’s head head in a matter of a couple of weeks which is why managers don’t tamper with their line-up when they don’t feel they have to.

  66. Phan in the outfield

    August 30, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    I agree Andrew. I’ve actually been thinking about that storm making it’s way up the east coast. I saw the forecast this morning and thought – not now – don’t stop them when they’re on a roll. They don’t seem to actually benefit from breaks this yr. I could be making this up in my head but it’s felt as though it takes them time to come back after even a day or two off. We still have 2 make-up games left, don’t we? We’re making one up with the Rockies on this trip.

    We’re sort of the guy caught between ‘the rock and the hard place’ with the Mets on one side and the Braves on the other. If they could have an old fashioned basebrawl and all get suspended I might feel better about the whole thing. Aside from that, I guess I hope for anything or anyone to beat the Braves.

  67. BostonKate

    August 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Fantastic piece, Pat!

  68. Chuck

    August 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    I’m glad people are finally waking up to the fact that Chase Utley is flawed. I never thought I would ever read or hear anything negative about the guy, but this year he deserves the criticism.

    If it were just the injury then I could give him a pass. But he was struggling long before the injury.

  69. George

    August 30, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    “My hope is that you’ve stopped trying to figure out this Phillies team.”

    It seems your hope has not been realized, because most these posts have tried to do just that.

    I don’t really see this year’s offense as being all that different from years past. They’ve always been inconsistent. It’s just a little more pronounced this year, and a little more noticeable with all the injuries.

  70. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Utley may go down as the best 2B ever in the history of the MLB and the best Phillie ever.

    He has been very badl this year injury or no injury.

    Phan got to go for the Mets tonight. Both Barrels. They arent ahead of the Phils and could never catch them. Cant wait to hear Kieth Hernandez rant about women in the kitchen or something else stupid. Hes awful. Cohen and Darling are OK.

  71. George

    August 30, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Concerning Chase Utley:

    Is it my imagination, or is his swing slower this year? He just doesn’t seem to have that last minute hand speed he’s had in past seasons. That quickness is what made him so dangerous. Just when you thought he’d never catch up with a pitch, those hands whipped around and a slider became a line drive. I just don’t see it this season.

  72. Chuck

    August 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    We had this discussion some time ago on here about Utley.

    First…he’s not nor will he be the best second baseman in the history of baseball.

    Best Phillie ever? Michael Jack Schmidt. In 10 or 20 years it will be Ryan Howard.

  73. NJ

    August 30, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    No wonder the fans of Philly get a bad rep. In a post about not getting down on the Phillies defying baseball logic literally every offensive player has been trashed… The jerseys of Phillies Nation shouldn’t read ‘not good enough- 25’ on the back!

  74. Phan in the outfield

    August 30, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Chuck – I mentioned at some point that the God-like-Chase was flawed and I got mowed down for it. Learned my lesson. Now I murmur to myself like a psychotic streetperson. Everytime I hear an announcer say “…and Utley grounds out to 2nd (or 1st) …” I mumble, “You bet he did. He’s been doing that since before the injury, but NOOOBODYS saying it.” I am in no way happy about this, believe me. I love the guy. But IF the perception of sports writers and fans is, and has been that the team has somewhat different issues this season, then he should not be exempt from involvement. Up until now, he kind of has been.

    George – You could be right. It could be entirely perception making us think things are more extreme this season. The expectations on the part of the Phillies sports writers, national tv personalities, and other media pumping the fans prior to the season didn’t help at all.

  75. biz

    August 30, 2010 at 5:42 pm


    Werth’s an RBI guy? In 2010? No, he’s an on base guy this year. Can’t hit a lick when it’s time to knock in runs.

  76. bacardipr05

    August 30, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    George I agree with you in one of my older posts I stated that. They have always struggled with RISP besides what you just mentioned last year someone would come through with a HR this year we have seen less of that and thats another reason it seems more pronounced.

  77. Brooks

    August 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Other than Poly, nobody on this offense has shown consistency this year.
    Each has displayed infrequent moments of the magic that we expect to see and have seen in the past.

    I suppose the other consistent mark on offense has been Utley, he just has not displayed anything but mediocrity at all this year on a consistent basis.

  78. Chuck

    August 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    In fact, I could put several players ahead of Utley.

    Schmidt, Carlton, Ashburn, Roberts, maybe Bowa come to mind to name a few.

    Don’t get me wrong. Utley’s a great Phillie. When he’s done playing he will probably be in the top 10 or 15…but not the greatest ever.

  79. The Dipsy

    August 30, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    NJ –


    I will make a case for this lineup at some point in an article. The long and short of it is that you can be as fast as you want with an .330 OBP and not be as good at the top as another fast guy with an OBP of .400. Werth and Utley can run. Utley can hit in the two hole and move runners. Rollins and Polanco can bat down in the lineup, ignore taking pitches and bunting and working counts, and they can try to hit homers and doubles all day. When they get on, they can attempt to steal with impunity because you are not taking the bat out of anybody’s hands and Ruiz does have the capability of hitting you in. I think this lineup is better than the one that is out there now and utilizes our players strength’s better. Put it this way…you can’t do any worse.

    The Dipsy

  80. Phan in the outfield

    August 30, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    True Brooks, Polanco is Mr. Consistent. Until the past 2 wks maybe, he could be counted on, every single AB, to get a hit. I swear I thought I was going to cry when he hurt his elbow.

    I’m laughing Andrew. You’re right. Hernandez, what a painful jerk. At least we don’t have to look at him. Darling & Cohen seem on some peculiar level at least more fun to listen to than TMac & Wheels. Wonder why? Wheels has now gotten on my very last nerve & TMac, nothing to say really. I’m not sure why he’s there. I just wish I could get Franzke & LA so I could mute the tv and listen to them. If I had broadband & a computer at home then I could do it. But I’ve been trying to cut back. I’m going to have to break down and just spend the money.

  81. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 30, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Chuck he is in the middle of his career?
    Who is the best 2b all time? I put Joe Morgan. Most say Hornsby.
    He could very well end up better than both. If he does that he becomes the greatest Phillie ever. Schmidt is the greatest 3b ever.
    Utley cant put together seasons like this though.
    Of course hes not the best now I am saying projecting out a career. Ashburn and Bowa? One isnt a hall of famer and one took about 35 years to get in. If Utley is going to be the best 2B and best phillie ever. He will be a first ballot hall of famer. He will have to more than double his career totals at the moment though. He is 31. Is he in the decline? If so then he isnt even a hall of famer if hes out of baseball. If when hes 38-39 hes playing second and putting up numbers like 2005-2009 he is possibly the best 2b ever.

  82. biz

    August 30, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Andrew, Chase will be 32 in the off-season. Are you expecting .330, 40hr years coming from him in the future? This season is making me think wear and tear, along with age, have started to effect Utley

  83. The Dipsy

    August 30, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Someone should take a look at Hornsby’s stats real quick.

    The Dipsy

  84. Brooks

    August 30, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Chuck, I don’t disagree that Utley is not one of the best Phillies ever but, to rate Larry Bowa ahead of him? Why?

    I still believe Utley has some terrific years ahead of him and will be part of at least 1, perhaps 2 more WS – hopefully he will hit more than 30 hrs and drive in more than 100 runs, hit more than .300 again and again. Chase has some good days ahead of him.

    Bowa had 1 year where he hit more than .300 and it was an injury shortened year. Would the Phillies have been runners up in the NL for 3 years in a row without him? Maybe –

    Look, I did like Bowa (it took a while) and I probably saw him play at least as much as you did and I liked him a lot but to rate him higher than Chase Utley? Not a chance.

  85. NJ

    August 30, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Wow… Speechless… Utley will be a top 5 and a HOFer when he’s careers done and hopefully only as a Phillie.

    His offensive numbers will better in many areas than Jeff Kent who was the best statistical offensive 2nd basemen and his defense has been underrated too. Utley’s not having a great year, he’s clearly having a down one but his achievements for his position are incredible.

    Utley has been the best 2nd basemen virtually since entering hte majors
    Rollins has been the best short-stop not named Derek Jeter
    Howard has been a power monster and hasn’t had a major injury in his career to suggest he’ll have niggling injuries to sap his power
    Vic isn’t Carlos Beltran but he’s a damn good centrefielder earning pretty much what a veteran reliever does.

    I swear the more trash I read here about the current Phillies, the more I’m growing to love them.

    You’d think the Phillies were on the way down and fast.

  86. Chuck

    August 30, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Morgan, Hornsby, Sandberg, Alomar.

    Look at this list:http://www.thebaseballpage.com/positions/rankings/2B.php

  87. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 30, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Phan I have learned to just tolerate wheeler. The hair is at least hystericaly funny. The only time he really gets on my nerves is when the phils are sucking and hes going on and on about somethig stupid.
    I guess you could say I have learned to live with him.
    But its sad when people like Schmidt and Lieberthal are come in on throwback day and do a half innning and are better in the booth. There just so many good competeant people that could ADD to the broadcast. It just isnt to be. So you get what you get.

  88. Chuck

    August 30, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    No way Chase Utley is a top 5 Phillie and it’s debatable whether he’s a HOFer.

    Brooks, I said MAYBE Bowa. I can see reasons why not as well.

  89. biz

    August 30, 2010 at 6:07 pm


    Their offense isn’t producing. Do you expect us to ignore it? Utley isn’t hitting and this is a Phillies blog. Why wouldn’t it be a topic of discussion? I don’t see it as “trashing”. No one is going berserk on him. We are simply stating the facts. He’s having a mediocre year and we have been conditioned to expect more from him. Where should we take our conversation if this is not the place?

  90. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 30, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Chuck they have all finished thier career.
    Alomar and sandberg arent really in the discussion.
    If you say utley is 40% through his career. Its possible.
    .300 30hr 100rbi 7 more years and hes the best Phillie and 2b of all time.
    Over Schmidt because he plays 2b. A much more important defensive position than 3rd.
    On a side note about Schmidt. Living in Md alot of the local yokels like to tell me Brooks robinson is the best defensive and overall 3b of all time.
    He made some great plays in one world series. He was great dont get me wrong. But Schmidt did it on that turf in Philly. Schmidt was a better fielder than Brooks Robinson. Can people get that into their heads? Most cannot because of how the press and media handles things.
    There is no debate on greatest third baseman ever in the history of MLB that is clearly and no argument Mike Schmidt.

  91. NJ

    August 30, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    biz go look at some yearly stats pages!!! 40 homers from Utley as a normal year is ridiculous.

    In 2009- 5 hitters had 40 homers, 4 were 1st basemen
    In 2008 only Ryan Howard had more than the next guy at 40 with Adam Dunn, the next, Delgado had 38
    In 2007- 5
    In 2006- 11 all of which were 1st basemen or OF/DH types

    The last time a middle infielder was near 40 homer was Jeff Kent, probably the best offensive hitting middle infielder of the modern game. Utley’s numbers projected out parallel Kent’s…

  92. Chuck

    August 30, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    NJ, I’m not “trashing” Utley. But he’s not a top 5 Phillie and he won’t be the greatest 2B ever.

    People seem to have this strange love affair with Chase Utley as if he can do no wrong. I don’t get it. I like Chase, don’t get me wrong. In fact, I have an Utley jersey that I wear.

  93. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 30, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Dispsy very familar with hornsby stats. He only played 1600 games at second and only 307 homers at second.
    I come to the baseball history debates with alot of facts.
    Its between Hornsby and Morgan for best. I favor Morgan because he was a winner and the best player on the big red machine which was a dynysty.
    Now throw 7-8 years of chase with 30 homers and 100 RBI
    Thats all I am saying another run of 2005-2009 and hes in the debate.

  94. Chuck

    August 30, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    I gew up watching Brooks Robby, but Schmidt was overall a better player.

  95. Manny

    August 30, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Lidge’s ERA is now down to 3.90… He’s getting A LOT better.

  96. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 30, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    No Utley isnt a top 5 phillie right now
    He is in the middle of his career. He isnt even a hall of famer if he stops playing tomorrow. Not close
    Go back to my first post. He could go down in the end as the best 2b EVER and the best Phillie EVER.
    Stand by that.

  97. NJ

    August 30, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    The offensive guys aren’t having career years, they are producing just not at their best. If this team was having a mediocre year they’d have had a fire sale and would look like the Cubs, Dodgers, Mets, ‘Stros etc…

    This is a contending team that’s not having it’s best year but is contending, debate but for pete sake stop whining like our players are so past their best they might as well all retire…

  98. Brooks

    August 30, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Best second baseman I ever saw was Roberto Alomar. 10 Gold Gloves, 12 consecutive AS appearances, he hit over .300 in Post season – has a .300 lifetime batting average and 474 stolen bases.

    I did not see Morgan all that much until later in his career. He won 5 GG, an AS 10 times and of course was a 2 time MVP. I would still rate Alomar a better second baseman.

  99. Chuck

    August 30, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    see…I don’t think Chase has 7-8 years with that kind of production left in him. That’s why I don’t think he’ll be a HOFer.

    Hopefully, I’m wrong.

  100. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Just to let everyone know my all time team.

    1b Gehrig
    2b Morgan
    ss Ripken
    3b Schmidt
    rf Ruth
    cf Cobb
    lf Williams
    c Bench
    util rose

    sp koufax
    sp ryan
    sp johnson
    sp young
    sp carlton

    Noone from the roider era for me. Bonds clearly is up there but his shoe siing going from 10.5 to 13 at age 38 makes me discount him.

  101. The Dipsy

    August 30, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    NJ – If your kid, heaven forbid, ever makes a colossal blunder or does something wrong and were somehow taken to jail, I would think that you would bail him out. Roll with me if this is oversimplified. When you to get your kid in the morning, do you hug him and tell him everything is going to be OK, or do you slap him silly and demand a reasonable explanation? Which ever one you pick, he’s still gonna sleep in his own bed that night and he’s still gonna be your kid.

    When I think my team needs some fixin, I like to say so. When my team has a problem, I want them to try and solve it. If they need something, I want them to go and get it. I say it out loud and that is my brand of fandom. I admit I am not a coddler but that doesn’t make wrong. NJ – you sir – respected poster – come from the “pragmatic, everything will work out, leave the guys alone, they can’t do everything” school”. Thats OK, but please acknowledge that the other type of fan – me – cares every bit about the squad as you.

    The Dipsy

  102. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 30, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Alomar fell off the face of the planet after spitting in the umpires face very fast.
    He had a very good little burst there where he was great BUT there is a longevity issue and being a bad clubhouse guy issue for me.

  103. The Dipsy

    August 30, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    *doesn’t make me wrong.

    The Dipsy

  104. NJ

    August 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Exactly Andrew

    I’m talking chase’s legacy, he will go down as one of the very top offensive second basemen when he retires likely ahead of Ryne Sanberg in most categories and just behind him in others.

    Joe Morgan 22 seasons had 268 homers, 1133 RBIs, .271 AVG, .392 OBP
    Jeff Kent in 17 seasons had 377 homers 1500+ RBIs, .290, .356
    Ryne Sanberg in 16 seasons had 282 homers, 1061 RBI’s a .285 AVG, .344 OBP

    Utley has 172 homers, 626 RBI’s and a .293 AVG with a .379 OBP in… 7 SEASONS! his numbers in line with the others will put him right near if not at the top of the pack of the power guys.

  105. biz

    August 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm


    I was being facetious about the .330 and 40hr from Chase. Look, he’s been injured a lot and he’ll be 32 next year. If you guys really expect him to bounce back and produce like he did in 08 next year, I don’t know what to tell you. I honestly believe his best offensive years are behind him. He has shown me nothing this year to expect him to hit around .300 with 30 hr for the next 6 or 7 years like some have suggested.

  106. biz

    August 30, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    I read a story that said Alomar is HIV positive. His ex-girlfriend had been trying to get charges pressed against him for infecting her with the virus.

  107. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Its all a matter of if he has good years left. If hes on the downside and is all but done at 33 like alomar then hes borderline HOF.
    I definately hope his best years are ahead of him.
    Im not big on kent at all and Sandberg I am nto as high on as most.
    Do enjoy the old time baseball discussions. One of the reasons that baseball is by far the greatest sport.
    2b is possibly the weakest position on the all time list is a factor.

  108. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Alomar not a good guy. On any level.

  109. NJ

    August 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Dipsy I’m sure we meet in the middle of adjustments need to be made but not too many and that’s the managers job and despite Charlies questionable calls sometimes when you scrutinize the team on a game by game basis this teams getting it done… I seriously doubt it’s going to get any worse for Rollins, Utley, Howard who should get stronger coming back from those injuries, Polly’s in shot of a batting title, Ibanez is around his career numbers, Vic’s has had career power numbers and will probably pad out his peripherals so it’s not as bad as it seems.

    On the other hand I shake my head over Jayson Werth because has hasn’t produced and his fundamentals have gone out the window, I love the guy but he’s clearly affected by the career year and I won’t be sorry to see him on one knee after hacking at a pitch he’s tried to go yard on as he sign a massive deal elsewhere.

    I expect my team to be as competitive as our resources allow, after being spoiled by a Championship and almost a repeat with the core of our team aged around 31 I’m going to believe we can be competitive till their well into their mid-thirties and cut them some slack for not having career years every year.

  110. Brooks

    August 30, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Brooks Robinson hands down best defensive 3rd baseman in the history of baseball.

    ” He made some great plays in one WS.”

    Andrew, that was the first time that Robby played on the crappy artificial turf. He was dubbed the greatest ever by members of the Big Red Machine, not the press. They all said he played like he was in a different league, he was just that much better. Hoover, The Human Vacuum Cleaner.

    Here is what Robby said prior to the 1970 WS with the Reds when asked about playing on Astroturf: “I’m a major league third baseman. If you want to go play in a parking lot, I am supposed to stop the ball”

  111. NJ

    August 30, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    biz if Utley hits just 20/70 .280 in the next 7 years he’s well past Ryne Sanberg’s numbers with almost as many RBI’s as Joe Morgan and if he averages a meager 160 hits a year he’s at 2300… In 14 years, two less than Sanberg, 3 less than Kent and 8 behind Morgan.

    It’s not BSing… Utley has been something special and he just needs to maintain pretty average numbers just to be around the big boys. He’s unlikely to reach 300 hits but he’ll hit be in the top 3 all time in homers and RBI’s with the 2nd or 3rd highest average for a power hitting 2nd basemen.

  112. NJ

    August 30, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    ^3000 hits sorry.

  113. Brooks

    August 30, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Andrew – 17 seasons, over 2700 base hits, over 500 doubles 1500 runs scored. Longevity?

    BTW – after the 1996 incident between him and Hirshbeck – afterwards 5 more AS appearances, 2 more Silver Slugger awards, 5 more GG. He did not fall off the face of the earth.

    Bad clubhouse influence? No excuse for spitting on a man at all, definitely but, is there any reason to provoke the situation? Not too disimilar to what Scott Barry did with Ryan Howard (hands on hips..). Umps are no angels.

  114. NJ

    August 30, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    BTW if Utley plays 17 years like Alomar and averages 160 hits a year he’ll have over 2600 hits not far behind with far more homers, RBI’s…

  115. biz

    August 30, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    NJ, You think Chase is going to play into his early 40’s?

  116. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 30, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    The fact that alomar put up those numbers for the most part before turning 33 says alot.
    This is his 6th year out of baseball so hes eligible. Lets see how long it takes him to get in. That usually says alot.
    When I think of alomar I think of wasted talent and that he should be the #1 2b all time.

    Anyone here familar with Phil wood. Hes a pretty accomplished baseball historian who I have had a chance to talk with alot about the history of the game. Me being 38 I havent seen alot. Only read and talked to people. Some of whoms opionions I really respect like Phil Wood.
    He assures me Schmidt was a better defensive 3b than Robinson.
    Making plays in the WS gets you a reputation.

  117. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 30, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    I dont want alomar near my children or my clubhouse is part of it.
    Chase is a plus clubhouse guy.

    This was fun guys. Time to root for the Mets.
    An MLB double header tonight. Mets-braves then Phils- dodgers.

    touching on something else I said earlier.

    This hurricane Earl could be a big problem for the east coast. Even more than just affecting the Phils.

  118. NJ

    August 30, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Chase is 31 in year 7, year 14 he’ll be 38, from that point I think you count years played more than playing age. he isn’t going to hang it up after only 12 or 13 years…

  119. MikeB.

    August 30, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Many seem to talk about Houston as being a poor performing team. The Phils should have at least split that recent four game series against them but perhaps the Phils fell a bit lax against Houston, being on a long home stand and all. Regardless of their record, Houston’s pitching has remarkably improved with the addition of Myers and Happ. Myers has had a great year so far and Wandy Rodriguez has recently improved his performance from a mediocre start. Speedy Michael Bourne had a decent series against the Phils because the Phils could not keep him off of the base paths and he got lucky and hit a pitch from Halladay for one of his few home runs so far this season. Houston’s third baseman, Chris Johnson, had a whale of a series at the plate and Carlos Lee hit a few out. Combine all that with the really poor job that that umpiring crew did in the series, lack of hitting by the Phils and you can see why that series was a disaster.

  120. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 30, 2010 at 7:12 pm


    Looks like about 24 total people in the stands for the first place Braves.
    Talk about a disgrace.

  121. The Dipsy

    August 30, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Brooks – I will take Mike Schmidt over Brooks Robinson – in the field. I have never seen a man play even close to the third base Mike Schmidt played – and on AstroTurf, no less.

    Chase has had a bad year, and because he started a little late, he has less years to amass stats. Thats why this year really hurts him. I think that in 3 years we will see him in LF. I believe his body has a hard time making it through the season. We also have some 2B in the pipeline.

    Robby Alomar was a helluva player.

    The Dipsy

  122. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 30, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    keith Hernandez saying the Mets need a sweep.
    I guess he is trying to sell that they are still in it. Thats funny to me.
    Keith I hope they do sweep.

  123. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 30, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    I agree with Dipsy
    He is 100% correct on utley. Will have to step up the next few years.
    This year REALLY hurts him. but still could end up atop the heap.

  124. MikeB.

    August 30, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    I think too that an eventual position change would benefit Utley as he gets older and plays. He wears down as the season goes along and the stress of playing second base may be a part of it. It sure takes him long to get throws off to first base sometimes. Needs to get it going offensively.

  125. NJ

    August 30, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    That’s the thing though with Utley just 20/80 and 160 hits for 7 more years puts him just behind Jeff Kent in power numbers and with more hits than Sandberg, Morgan, Kent…

    If Utley averages just 15/60 he’ll still be just behind those guys in 7 years having played two less than Sanberg…

    If Utley steps it up the next few years he’ll have more hits, homers and RBI’s than any 2nd basemen in the history of the game.

  126. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 30, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Pat Misch pitching for the sorry ass Mets. 5-2 braves
    Really it may have to be us who handles the Braves.

  127. Lefty

    August 30, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    I have a different take on the third base debate. As a fielder I think Michael Jack was more consistent, had a better arm, covered more ground, and was much better on the slow barehanders.

    But Brooks made the more spectacular diving plays. Not just in that one WS, he made them routinely. Schmidt didn’t have to dive as much but he still got to those same type of balls with quick reaction on his feet. He was booed sometimes because he made everything look so easy! Not that he didn’t make some great diving plays, he did. I just think Brooks made more “sportcenter type” plays, but that didn’t make him better. Anyway this debate has been and will continue to go on forever.

    Andrew, how do you know Phil Wood? Is he still in the local media? I lost track of him. I heard he’s an official scorer for local MLB games.

  128. Lefty

    August 30, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    I’m not pinning any hope on the Muts, best case they go 1 and 3. We just have to keep up. ATL schedule stays pretty easy for the rest of the year, except one 4 game set with St Louis, and our 6 games.

  129. Brooks

    August 30, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Schmidt had 10 GG, 9 consecutive. 12 AS appearances.
    Brooks had 15 AS appearances and a record that probably will not be broken, 16 consecutive GG awards at third base.

    Schmidt definitely was the better hitter and a terrific 3rd baseman. Brooks was just beyond approach. Lefty, Brooks Robinson was not fast at all, he was considered slow. Maybe that is why you perceive that he dove for so many balls. He was just quick.

  130. Brooks

    August 30, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Muts are really getting their chances with Jar Jar – once again 2 men on, nobody out and the Muts have Beltran PH.

    Oh well – just a fleeting thought. 5-3 Braves.

  131. Kate

    August 30, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Why aren’t we celebrating sweeping the Padres?

  132. Brooks

    August 30, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    I haven’t stopped partying Kate 🙂

  133. Lefty

    August 30, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Brooks, would you feel the same if your name was Mike? Just kidding-

    Well sort of, Steve (lefty) Carlton will always be my favorite pitcher!

    I really liked Brooks, in fact both Robinsons were terrific. I live near Baltimore so I saw a lot of their games. I still like Brooks in fact. He really comes off in interviews as a great guy.

    But, I’ll never give in on my argument-it’s Schmidtty for me.

  134. Lefty

    August 30, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Anyone see that catch by Lorenzo Cain? Spectacular!

  135. Brooks

    August 30, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    I lived in Baltimore (Towson, Timonium) from 60 until 69 then moved to the Philly area. So, I did see both Brooks and Schmidt in their primes.
    Saw some great B’ball in Baltimore and now in Philly.

    It’s Brooks for me.

  136. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 31, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Phil wood is indeed still in the Dc area broadcasting on radio and doing some work on MASN.
    Great guy and he thinks Schmidt was the better defensive 3b.
    He was an official scorer but was a long time ago. I havent talked to him in awhile though.

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