On Old, Terrible Players and the Importance of Letting Go – Phillies Nation

On Old, Terrible Players and the Importance of Letting Go

We’ve all been there, the state where sentimentality overrides rationality. Over time, we grow attached to things, and as a result, overvalue them. This sentimentality leads to irrational behavior and the inability to let go of something that’s outlived its useful lifespan. We’ve all been there with different items: the 30-year-old pickup truck that’s only running on five cylinders and doesn’t have room for your kid’s car seat but moved you cross-country in college. The ratty pair of jeans you won’t throw away because you’ve worn them three days a week for four years and are afraid of other pants. The girlfriend who calls you at all hours of the night because her life is meaningless without you and turns into a life-energy-consuming harpy when you only hang out with her six nights a week instead of seven and…no, I don’t know why the hot chick from my psych class posted on my Facebook wall–it’s probably something innocent like she actually wanted to study for the test…well maybe if you were capable of making friends on your own you’d have something to do while I go to my buddy’s bachelor party…no, you can’t come…just because I’m not sleeping over doesn’t mean I’m cheating on you–I’ve got class in six hours and you won’t let me sleep!

But I digress. Like I said, we’ve all been there, unable to do away with something that really ought to be replaced because of some emotional attachment. We may describe such a state of affairs as being pot committed, or throwing good money after bad, or as path dependence. Right now, Charlie Manuel and Ruben Amaro are all of those things.

Raul Ibanez has been a pretty good player over parts of 16 major league seasons. Not great, but pretty good. Per 162 games, he’s averaged 22 home runs, 94 RBI, and 83 runs scored for his career, with a .282/.345/.473 slash line. Not all-time great numbers from a first baseman and corner outfielder, but decent ones. In a full season, he’s never hit less than 16 home runs or more than 34. He’s never hit over .304 or under .272. He’s been the model of consistency, a veteran leader, and by all accounts a great person throughout his career, despite only playing for three playoff teams in 16 years.

But what we all feared when Ruben Amaro inexplicably gave Ibanez a three-year deal with an eight-figure average annual value going into his age-37 season has come to pass. Ibanez is no longer even a passable major league regular. He’s hitless in his last 27 at-bats. He’s toted an OPS+ of 31 through 92 plate appearances, mostly in the middle of the order, has been more likely to strike out than to reach base, and through only one month, is nearly a full win below replacement level. Taking his career totals into account, at this rate, he’ll have done more damage by the All-Star break than he’s ever done good for an entire season.

Sure, 92 plate appearances is still a small sample size, but this is the continuation of a trend that dates back to June 2009, when Ibanez finally came back to Earth after the best two months of his career. The man is at an age where most major leaguers have either been coaching or running a sports bar for years, and with every fastball he misses with men on base, it becomes more clear that the game has passed him by. With John Mayberry in waiting and Domonic Brown‘s rehab underway, there is absolutely no reason for Ibanez to finish the season as the Phillies’ left fielder other than emotional attachment and the argument that Ibanez’s salary merits playing time.

In Weaver on Strategy legendary Orioles manager Earl Weaver discusses managers’ tendency to fall in love with players who have performed well for them in the past in the face of overwhelming evidence that they will not continue to do so in the future. Weaver cites examples from his own career, and the experience of his predecessor, Hank Bauer. He also says that it’s a habit that can cost a manager his job.

Need further evidence? Look at the bullpen, where David Herndon, Danys Baez and Kyle Kendrick continue to reside, along with Mike Zagurski, whose persistent ineptitude seems to bear no weight in whether or not he keeps getting called up. Listen, we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that Baez, Kendrick, and Zagurski suck. We’re pretty sure J.C. Romero‘s best days are behind him too. Yet  they all get first crack at the major league roster despite showing no signs of suddenly turning into effective major league pitchers, while the likes of Scott Mathieson and Justin De Fratus languish in deserted Northeast Pennsylvania mining towns, while it took a greater per capita casualty toll than Josh Hartnett’s Army Rangers suffered in Black Hawk Down for Vance Worley and Michael Stutes to get their auditions.

Here’s my take on the situation in brief: Ibanez, Baez, Zagurski, and Kendrick, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt, are pretty awful. Ibanez and Baez are on the downswings of their career, and Zagurski and Kendrick are at old enough that they can’t be expected to make a great leap forward. Dom Brown, Stutes, Mathieson, Worley, and De Fratus are all either young enough or inexperienced enough that they can be classified as unknown quantities. In the face of overwhelming evidence that the veterans aren’t getting it done, why not give a young kid a chance?

In essence, Charlie Manuel and Ruben Amaro are insisting on players they know to be bad rather than players who might be bad, and even if they are, could be less bad in the future. My message to them is this: man up. Throw away the old jeans. Junk the pickup truck. Dump the clingy girlfriend. I know it can be emotionally difficult, but we’ll all be better off for it.

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  1. The Original Chuck P

    April 29, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Call me crazy but I thought that Baez could have a good season heading into 2011… he hasn’t been as good as his 1.93 ERA would indicate but it is what it is. I think that middle relievers are creatures of chance, luck and ebb/flow. Sometimes, a guy like Chad Durbin (or David Herndon) can go an entire season pitching better than his numbers indicate… there is virtually no explanation but it happens. On the flip side, a guy can be unlucky. What inevitably happens is the player builds off of that success and things either get better or worse quickly.

    Kendrick is what he is (a guy you can throw in there, if you must, to pitch a couple innings in relief) but I think that Baez has it in him to be a dependable set up guy.

    Ibanez is going to start losing time and eventually I think he gets released… 95 PA is a small sample size but that’s probably 1/5 of the season for Ibanez. He’s going to have to hit the cover off of the ball to get to his career averages and I just don’t see it at age 39.

  2. Frank Riccard

    April 29, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Whew, Lord knows I had one of those girls in college. Dumping her was the best decision I have ever made, as it led to meeting my future wife, drumming for a few touring rock bands, and now going to law school. Sometimes to this day I wake up in the morning with a smile on my face knowing I never have to see her again, ha ha.

    Similarly, the Phils need to dump these broads, and put some stock in the great unknown.

    I was actually just thinking to myself today that I hope Worley wows Cholly and Co. enough to usurp KK’s long relief spot once Blanton comes back. Hopefully, in a few months, the whole bullpen will look a little different. Zagurski, Herndon, KK, and Baez out, Stutes, De Fratus, Mathieson, and Worley in.

    The fact that Mayberry has been getting more and more starts leads me to believe even the strongest of advocates for Raul within the organization are aware of his general crumminess, so I have hope for that situation. The only bummer with regards to Raul is our inability to do anything with him. This slump makes him a piss poor trade candidate, so we’re probably going to be stuck with one of the highest paid bench players in baseball.

    The only “old guy needs to make way” situation you didn’t discuss is Brad Lidge. Presently, we’re not talking about him because he’s on the DL, but once he comes back, what then? If my prayers are answered, he gets enough time in to be a trade candidate at the deadline. But, we shall see.

    OK, I think I’ve sufficiently rambled about this.

  3. Pat Gallen

    April 29, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I think Baez can be serviceable. He’s still got a big arm and compared to other relievers in the league he fits right in. Not every relief pitcher is going to be great, we know that. I do agree that the young guys need to be given a shot and right now they are with injuries. Hopefully they take advantage.

  4. Bart Shart

    April 29, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Damn, I really like the way this Michael Baumann thinks and writes. AND I AGREE 100%
    Give Worley a chance to start. Let’s find some room in our bullpen for some of these promising kids. To let them lolligag in the minors is not fair to them, the fans or the team.
    Ibanez is toast. Mayberry should get his opportunity. Ibanez should be the substitute and play twice a week or so. This Michael Baumann must be a genius !!!

  5. Manny

    April 29, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    I think Raul can become a 2008-Jenkins type of player this season. Not bad, not great. Somewhere in between, with some key hits. If he doesn’t step it up, he’ll end up benched most of the time. I’m sure that he’ll improve considerably as far as offensive production goes. He’s streaky, streaky, streaky. And when he gets hot, you’ll want him in the middle of that lineup.

    • Phylan

      April 29, 2011 at 2:58 pm

      2008 Geoff Jenkins had a .694 OPS. That is quite bad.

      • Andrew from waldorf

        April 29, 2011 at 3:20 pm

        Besides Jenkins one hit in the world series I do not remember any other key hits. That he never got a shot with another team after that tells me somethng.

      • Manny

        April 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm

        I remember a couple more, including one in a great comeback against the Padres in the ninth. Losing 3-0, won 4-3 –even though he was playing full-time when this happened early that season.

        But my point is that, like Raul, he’s an everyday player who suddenly found/will find himself on the bench– and he did a great job with that part-time role.

    • Andrew from waldorf

      April 29, 2011 at 3:41 pm

      I agree with you that Jenkins was like Ibanez a charachter guy. The Phillies are smart that they bring in those kind of players. So if it goes bad you can live with them on the bench. They arent cancers like most of the players on the Mets roster.
      I liked Jenkins alot myself but that was his last stint in the majors. His career was over at 33. I was suprised he never got another shot from another team though.

  6. betasigmadeltashag

    April 29, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Even though Raul had a terrible April and May last year and still came close to his averages for his career, I will give you that one. And Herndon and Zargouski are not that good and need to be in AAA, but both KK and Baez have been good, KK as long as he starts an inning has been real good, and I know you all hate Baez but he has thrown pretty good this year so some of you own bias seems to have come out in the end of this article. Doesn’t Baez have and era around 2? Is he a closer no do I want him in there in a pressure situation in the 7th maybe. Sometimes you have to look in the mirror and see some of your own love and hate relationships. What has Brown proven he can do in the majors other then not listen to the coaches trying to help him. You seem to be coming from the opposite lovefest for kids who seem to excel in the minors and want to be the first to say told you this kid was great

  7. Bob in Bucks

    April 29, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Unfortunately I don’t know with certainty everything that Michael says. I don’t know “without a shadow of a doubt” that Ibanez, Kendrick, Baez and Zagurski are pretty awful. Ibanez has been on hot and cold streaks his entire career. Sure he is declining but he had a bad spring last year but ended very hot. Baez had a bad year last year but is doing very well this year. Kendrick has given us serviceable innings this year.

    Look, none of these guys are going to the all-star game but just because they are not does not mean you throw them out and put in the latest rookie. As GM and Manager you take a more thoughtful and gradual adjustment. Charlie is clear about one thing, you don’t hit and you don’t play. So unless and until Ibanez turns it around he will see less playing time. I don’t think Zagurski is a house of fire but I am not aware of another lefty we have ready to come up.

    Michael reflects that classic “fire the bum” mentality without any consideration of whether then next guy up will do better. For me I am sticking with Charlier and Ruben. They waited out Ibanez and the closer last year and it paid off. I think they know a little more about what is going on.

    • Manny

      April 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm

      Agree with your post, BiB.

  8. TheDipsy

    April 29, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    THANK YOU, MIKE! Where’s Chuck? I don’t want Phillies players to stink. I want them all to be great. While this article is not a news flash regarding Ibanez’ ability its nice to see Mike, anybody, recognize this as a very bad sign to begin with. Ruben has done enough good things to be able to be forgiven for this one. And once and for all, “well, well, who else was available?” is no excuse for overpaying an aging DH type to such a contract. Do something else with the money. Raul is a nice guy. Not a good ballplayer anymore. As for Kendrick and Zagurski – hey, every team has a couple a guys that kick around as the 25th guy on the roster for a few years. Those two are them.

    The Dipsy

  9. Andrew from waldorf

    April 29, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    As always there is reality some place in between the guys who think the team sucks and would trade Halladay and the guys who think its the bestest team ever ever ever. And all the players are untouchable.
    I have been advocating moving a big name offensive player for awhile now. Every month that goes by the value of Utley and Rollins goes down.
    Raul hit 275 with 16 homers last year. Thats marginally passable for a no glove left fielder I guess. But really for a team like the phils (championship aspirations) its unacceptable. So this isnt something of the last month. Actually the whole line up this isnt so much about april for me. Its about 2010 and the first month of this year.
    The line up needs a kick in the butt. Moving or dropping/adding players is the best way of doing this.

  10. Lefty

    April 29, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Got to give PN credit for divergent viewpoints. I’ve been away for 24 hours and we go from one post saying “it’s too early and we’re over reacting”, to- “clean out the garage, now”

    What we need is a “little” of both. It’s not too early to start spotting trends, especially when they are clearly evident, but it is ridiculous to start putting a first place team into rebuilding mode.

    Zagurski(28) and Baez (33) old and terrible? The only thing wrong with these two guys at this point is they have the dreaded “Z” in their names.

    Herndon (25) and Kendrick (26) might be terrible at the moment, but certainly not old. These are just the kind of players that get let go all the time only to find a remarkable rebirth somewhere else.

    We only signed Romero because Sherrill turned us down, and Dennys Reyes couldn’t fit through the doorway.

    And then there’s Raul. I truly lament that one of the really good guys on the team is struggling so badly that it looks like father time has done to him what it did to me, end my (slow pitch softball) career.

    Ruben and Charlie need to “tinker” to borrow the word the The Dipsy used the other day. We just need a median of both sides of the argument. I wish our politicians understood this when considering grounding the government, and people’s livelihoods to a halt over free birth control pills, but I digress. A little tinkering is what I am calling for at this stage, that’ll do the trick.

    • Pat Gallen

      April 29, 2011 at 3:35 pm

      Lefty, you can accomplish both. You can clean out the garage and not make it seem like an overreaction. If it’s good for the club, does that mean you are overreacting?

      • Lefty

        April 29, 2011 at 9:01 pm

        Pat, I understand you can accomplish both, in fact i highly encourage it. Let’s tinker and see what these young guns can do. Let’s tinker, watch the waiver wire like the Giants did last year for guys not playing well, when they got Burrell and Ross- I know one was a trade I don’t remember which now. I was only pointing out that yesterdays posting stated in LARGE CAPITAL letters that we were overreacting. And today’s was clean out the garbage. It’s what makes this blog a great read, presenting divergent viewpoints.

  11. Andrew from waldorf

    April 29, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Rauls contract is not really part of the discussion.
    This is the last year of it. So its off the books anyway after this year and this year its paid regardless. You cant use the money for someone else and you cant trade him because no one will take him. And eat the last year of that contract.

  12. Phylan

    April 29, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    This is not a “panic” consideration or a “fire the bums” post, not in the least. These are players that have been problems for a while now, and for whom there are replacements available that are reasonably likely to provide better production.

  13. tavian

    April 29, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    A lot of us bloggers worry too much about what other bloggers say. Don’t worry. Say what you think. As long as you are not name-calling and being ridiculously rude. I think The Dipsy and Michael Baumann make valid points. Ask yourself: how many games has Raul Ibanez cost us so far with his miserable plate performance? The guy will will make $12 million this year. Just platoon him with Mayberry and let him play three or four times a week. He might bounce back. Let’s find out the future of Mayberry as a major leaguer. Now is the perfect time. His fielding combined with his power may make him a fine platoon player in the future. We all know what Ibanez’ future is with the Phils — not there beyond this year.
    From what I have read, we have some stellar relief pitchers in the minors. We should one-by-one put them to the test. We may have a great bullpen in the making. Lidge, Romero, Contraras are all at the end of their careers. And Madson may be departing at the end of this year. How will we know if we don’t give these young pitchers a chance?
    Nobody is being negative here. Baseball is a business. Ibanez and his $12 million salary this year know that better than we do. He may make a great color commentator for us next year..

    • Andrew from waldorf

      April 29, 2011 at 3:45 pm

      Ill be very suprised if Madson leaves unless someone over pays like with Werth last year. I suspect the phils to match or top any reasonable offer.

  14. tavian

    April 29, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Andrew, I hope you are correct. However, I personally expect to see Madson in a Yankee uniform next season. They can afford him, they will need him and they will pay for him, even more than market value. Remember that Madson’s wife hates Phillies fans, or so the rumor mill churns.

    • Manny

      April 29, 2011 at 4:07 pm

      The Yankees are playing closer-money to their setup guy… I doubt that they’ll pay Madson a crazy amount to get him there… and even if they do, I doubt Madson wants to be a 7th inning pitcher. Plus, they have Joba. Madson-Yankees doesn’t make too much sense at this point.

      Madson has said multiple times that he wants to stay in Philly and, despite Boras being his agent, he took a discount to stay here because of his kids/family… I don’t see why he’d change his mind now, especially when the closer spot will be up for the taking.. at the very least, he can continue to be the set-up guy with the Phils and part of a great team.

      This is one of the reasons I wanted the Phils to trade Joe Blanton at the beginning of the season– even if it was close to a salary dump. The 16 million owed to Heavy B could’ve been used to sign Mad Dog for 3 more years, roughly speaking.

  15. Andrew from waldorf

    April 29, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    If the Yankees are going to over pay you have to allow them too.
    Just means the Phillies have to get someone else. I am never upset when another team overpays for one of our guys. Rowand and Werth come to mind.
    Teams over pay to get a Phillie. To get some of the winning vibe.
    You have to let them go.
    You would think the Phils could use these teams willingness to over pay for our aging players as a way to move some of the aging players and get more than market value back.
    But I am like Charlie O.Finley I’d trade my mom and my little dog to help the team.
    But I guess Charlie would sell them.

    • Publius

      April 29, 2011 at 4:19 pm

      “Teams over pay to get a Phillie. To get some of the winning vibe.”

      Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. WHAT. What shred of evidence do you have for this, that it was a player’s Phillies-instilled winning vibe, and not their talent, that caused a team to “overpay” for a Phillie.

      Rowand was a desperate signing by a GM with a senior fetish and a need for offense, and Werth was arguably the best-available OFer in a winter where some teams had a lot of cash to spend. Werth is also a power-hitter in an era where power is beginning to decline. These overpays are a result of a players’ skill and simple supply/demand forces, not some sort of absurd “swagger” that Phillies players have simply as a result of being a Phillie.

      • Don M

        April 29, 2011 at 4:23 pm

        Pubs, obviously you can understand the point he’s trying to make . . . “Playoff Experience” … “Winning Vibe” … Whatever you want to call it, its one of the reasons we got Rowand from Chicago, and one of the reasons that San Fran wanted him . . . one of the reasons that the Nats wanted Werth.

        I don’t think the phrase “winning vibe” says it best, but I agree with that point that teams covet free agents that are battle-tested, which any Phillies player over the last few years can claim to be

      • Publius

        April 29, 2011 at 4:31 pm

        No I get the concept, I just don’t see how it has any basis in reality. If you’re looking for “go-get-em”-ness and toughness etc. then you’re looking for the wrong things in evaluating a player and thus leads you to stupid conclusions like “we need to sign David Eckstein! The dude is a gamer and just knows how to win”

    • Andrew from waldorf

      April 29, 2011 at 4:33 pm

      I can tell you that living in DC following their team and media. They definately paid a premium to get that ring and that locker room presence. Or that winning vibe.
      If he was coming from the Royals or Indians does he get that contract?
      Some of you guys make me laugh.
      Yes coming from a winning team as opposed to a losing one has an affect.
      As it should. Like getting a charachter player and not a Beltran type is big part or a players werth ( pun intended)

      • Phylan

        April 29, 2011 at 4:44 pm

        I also live in DC and follow their team and media, and I just don’t see how you drew this conclusion. The Nationals paid a premium for Werth because they were significantly further from contention than any of the other teams pursuing him, and wouldn’t have been able to ink him for something more in line with Werth’s other offers. A player as good as Werth will get a big contract no matter what team he comes from.

        Furthermore, Werth, through his tenure with the Phillies, was known as a very private person, to the point where some beat writers were put off by it. What “locker room presence” were the Nationals allegedly seeking then? Certainly now, Werth barks back at media sarcasm, and comments on other players’ efforts, but that is something a lot of star players would do when joining a new, lower-tier team.

        Honestly, if you think Werth’s contract was a result of anything besides his output and the effects of the free agent market, you’re off the mark.

    • Andrew from waldorf

      April 29, 2011 at 4:38 pm

      Put Jaysons Werths stats on the Royals the last 3 years and put him on the market.
      Yea he gets paid the same?
      Not close.

      I wonder sometimes if some people follow sports. But I do try to be as nice as I can.

      • Phylan

        April 29, 2011 at 4:46 pm

        Yes, absolutely he does. Because, again the Nationals were not going to be able to sign him for what other teams were offering. This is not rocket science.

      • Publius

        April 29, 2011 at 4:48 pm

        Oh Andrew, you are too kind to put up with such non-sports-followers such as myself! Truly a prince among men.

        After all, Mark Teixiera earned that massive salary after his extensive postseason experience, same too with AJ Burnett. Those years he pitched with the Marlins really toughened his resolve and earned him a bigger paycheck, that essential Blue Jay Vibe really earned the extra mils there.

        Yeesh. Try to be cute and dismissive all you want, but all that results is hot air.

    • Andrew from waldorf

      April 29, 2011 at 4:47 pm

      So you are telling me.
      That Jayson Werth with those same statistics coming from the Pirates or Indians gets that same deal?

      If so we will have to agree to disagree.

      • Phylan

        April 29, 2011 at 4:52 pm

        Assuming the same free agent market, yes. Take a step back and realize that you are asserting some vague “winner” coating that rubbed off onto Werth during his time in Philadelphia, which a major league front office, full of seasoned baseball analysts and businesspeople, paid him extra millions of dollars for.

    • Andrew from waldorf

      April 29, 2011 at 4:58 pm

      Dude every sports talk show and article I read here or nationaly talked about bringing a winning presence into the locker room etc etc. It was basicly what they talked about. While saying the numbers probably didnt rate the contract. He had 85 RBI last year?

      Bringing up every single free agent signing and pointing out where they come from isnt really part of this discussion.

      Think what you want. But if you cant see that the Nationals were buying an air of legitimacy and a winning vibe with Werth. I am at a loss and will carry on. I cant explain everything that to me is common sense.
      No hard feelings.

      • Publius

        April 29, 2011 at 5:01 pm

        If this whole winning thing matters, why did the Phillies overpay for Raul Ibanez, who played for the Royals and Mariners for most of his career and who’s last team lost 100 games? Neither of these teams had “winning” vibes, yet the Phillies obviously overpaid for Ibanez. Explain that.

        Also, it comes as no suprise that you listen to sports radio, judging by your opinions on here. Also also, using RBIs to back up a claim about a players worth is about as weak of a defense as one can mount. The stat tells you almost nothing.

      • Phylan

        April 29, 2011 at 5:09 pm

        What the media talked about is entirely irrelevant. The Nationals front office is the entity that decided to sign him to that contract. Similarly, most modern front offices aren’t going to worry about stuff like RBI. It’s very simple: Jayson Werth hit .296/.388/.532 (.921 OPS) in 2010, and since 2008 has hit .279/.376/.513. That made him one of the best available corner outfielders on the market. Therefore, he gets one of the best contracts. The Nationals had to pay a premium, because if they had offered the same thing that the Yankees, Phillies, or another team that was a playoff contender had offered him, he obviously would not have elected to sign with the Nats.

        Other free agents are very relevant to this discussion, because you’re making a positive assertion: that free agents from winning teams get the mega-deals. It’s an argument that someone like, say, Adrian Gonzalez, who was received by Boston from the San Diego Padres (who have not made it past the first round of the playoffs since 1998) and was promptly extended to the tune of 7 years, $154 million.

    • Andrew from waldorf

      April 29, 2011 at 5:07 pm

      i dont listen to sports radio at all except when in my car.
      And Dc sports radio is the worst possible probably in the country.

      I see I have touched a nerve with you.

      I am not really arguing with someone who says the Nats didnt over pay to try to buy something the Philles have.
      You are out there on a limb here and I will leave it at that.

      Have a nice day

      • Phylan

        April 29, 2011 at 5:16 pm

        I think you’re the one out on a limb here, honestly. You keep acting as if this is has been blindingly obvious to you for a long time, but it’s evident that you haven’t really taken the time to critically examine the theory.

      • Andrew from waldorf

        April 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm

        Sorry but to me it is a theory only in that 3 strikes is an out or 4 balls is a walk is a theory.
        Its a given and no I didnt think alot about it.
        I thought then and I thnk now it was a given.

  16. Don M

    April 29, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I like this article a lot . . . but it still leaves a problem. If we dump Ibanez, who plays LF (eventually its Francisco with Brown in RF)… Mayberry doesn’t seem to be the answer to any question we have. Unless of course the question is: What is the name our tallest, right-handed, outfielder?

    Ibanez is on the downturn, but is he really THIS bad? Once he gets past of 0-for-April, should we worry about April, or only worry about from his next at-bat and on ?

    Its a tough question with no obvious answer, if Mayberry could hit anything besides dead-straigh Fastballs, I think we’d have a new Leftfielder, but because he looks like me at the plate vs tough breaking balls … I think we’re looking at the platoon until D.Brown proves his ready for The Show

    • Phylan

      April 29, 2011 at 4:22 pm

      Brown is playing in Clearwater through the weekend and past that the team hasn’t decided what to do with him. I think injury wise he’s about fully recovered, by all indications.

  17. Billy M

    April 29, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Yeah its time to dump the parts that are weighing this team down. Ibanez has proven over the past year that he is just consistently bad at this stage in his career and even mayberry– a replacement level player– would be a substantial upgrade over him… with mayberry and gload on the bench i’m surprised they at least haven’t created more of a platoon. And the bullpen is just bad, Baez and Kendrick have 3 strikeouts between them in almost 20 innings, neither of them can get a guy out by themselves. Its time to dump both of them and Herndon who at this point in his career has already just assumed the role of innings eater and replace them with more of the power arms down in the farm system. It was nice to see Stutes get called up I really think he has a chance to succeed I just hope he gets the opportunity to prove himself better than the wasted space filling up the bullpen and hopefully others can soon follow… Bastardo and Stutes could be a pretty good indication to the organization that the young arms really need a shot and that its time for the already tried out ones to step down… maybe Kendrick should really be sold to a Japanese team

  18. TheDipsy

    April 29, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I think that we can look at this as not so much “April” which it is, but more like a later stage of the time continuum (yeah!) for this current assembly of players. They are all the same guys and nothing has changed. Look at it like this: If you had a girlfriend when you were away at school for your first two years and upon your return for your junior year you decide that girl, while unchanged, just doesn’t cut it for you anymore. Do you dump her because “the semester just started so I’ll give her some time to get me to like her again?” No. Why should you? You’ve have been there, done that. Apply that here.

    We have trade chips. Lots of them. Lets take our time and use them wisely so our offense can flourish in September.

    The Dipsy

    • Don M

      April 29, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      If you signed a three year lease on apartment with her, because she was the Best Available roomate – and that 3-year-deal was the only way you wouldn’t have to keep living with your ex, Patricia Burrell …and you currently don’t have anyone else that’s ready to step in for her and takeover the lease, then yea, you stick with her for a little while longer and if it finally gets to the breaking point – where you absolutely have to move on, then that’s what you do

      • Publius

        April 29, 2011 at 4:50 pm

        Should have kept Bobbette Abreu

  19. tavian

    April 29, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Dipsy and Don M —- Unfortunately I understand your point a view. Remind me to keep my daughters away……LOL !!!

  20. Don M

    April 29, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    The reason they didn’t keep Bobby Abreu . . . even though is WAR probably said he’s the greatest player ever … is that he didn’t have the drive, the winning attitude that we’re talking about . .

    With runners in scoring position, he would’ve rather walked then get a hit to drive the guy in . . . he was anti-clutch .. and new leaders stepped up when he was traded. One of the best moves they ever made as it changed the culture of the clubhouse

    And Pubs, if that doesn’t make you think about the “winning vibe,” I don’t know what would

    • Publius

      April 29, 2011 at 5:02 pm

      The winning vibe concept results in Ruben overspending on a player whose teams included the Mariners and Royals, whose last team lost 100 games? If that doesn’t highlight the folly of this ridiculous argument than I don’t know what could.

  21. Andrew from waldorf

    April 29, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Thank you.
    No hard feelings.
    I enjoy the debate and am appreciative of everyone who posts thier points here.
    Wish there were more people here of varying opinions.

  22. TheDipsy

    April 29, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Welcome to the Breaking Point.

    The Dipsy

  23. Andrew from waldorf

    April 29, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    The Nationals paid for the player and the legitimacy he is “supposed” to bring to a franchise that was and is still seen as illegitimate.
    I think they over paid and set themselves back. It was a mistake. But they were buying something they felt they were lacking. And that’s more than just a right fielder.

    • Phylan

      April 29, 2011 at 5:28 pm

      You’re changing your argument now, though. Originally you said teams overpay for Phillies to get a “winning vibe,” something that one acquires by being a Phillie.

      If you’re now saying that it was good PR for the Nationals to make a big free agent acquisition, I wouldn’t disagree with that.

  24. TheDipsy

    April 29, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    I remember the National were very careful to point out that they paid Jayson to be the “face of the franchise”. The guy that was going to allow himself to be built around. To help the younger players. To get out in the community and be a leader in the locker room. They asked him if he could do it and I expect that he said “yes” because he signed. Will he do it? Well, he never did it here and maybe it was because he never had to. He doesn’t seem to me to be the extroverted rah-rah let me carry the wagon type. If THAT’S who the Nats think they’re getting AND big production I can only say that I think they made a poor choice. If they signed Werth to pair with Zimmerman to be the foundation for a winning franchise, they may as well have held onto the money and traded for Pujols.

    The Dipsy

  25. Phylan

    April 29, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Bobby Abreu with runners in scoring position:

    Career: .313/.435/.515.
    2006, The year he was traded: .327/.451/.582
    2005: .303/.444/.500

    So my question is, where on earth, where in this universe, does the “sit back and take a walk” or “anti-clutch” stuff come from? Seriously?

  26. Phylan

    April 29, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Seriously, this is blowing my mind:

    With runners in scoring position, he would’ve rather walked then get a hit to drive the guy in . . . he was anti-clutch ..

    w/ RISP

    2001: .270/.414/.482
    2002: .313/.441/.556
    2003: .359/.470/.571
    2004: .322/.432/.624
    2005: .303/.444/.500
    2006: .327/.451/.582

  27. Don M

    April 29, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    My best argument to this is the quote.. from either LaRussa, or Dusty Baker . . . “Statistics are like bikinis, they show you a lot, but not everything.”

    Abreu was my favorite Phillie for A LONG TIME… mostly because he played smart baseball and had a great arm. I understand the bad notion that he didn’t try in the field, because for some guys, Abreu, Beltran, JD Drew, etc.. the game comes easy and they look like they’re coasting instead of grinding (like Dykstra, Rowand, etc) but in all honesty, it was more important for him to just trot out there everyday like a new IronMan, instead of making each out, the most important play of his career (ala Rowand)

    So while his stats were always great, Abreu, to me, was actually far from a great player. As the designated team leader, he led us nowhere … when we needed a leadoff man, he didn’t want to do it. And thus, years later we still had Rollins in the leadoff spot, despite the fans’ cry for anyone else. When Abreu was traded, it forced Rollins to assume the leadership role ( so maybe my stance should be more PRO_Rollins than ANTI-Abreu?). But I watched Abreu for years, be so worried about taking pitches and working the count in close, late, pressure situations.. That he often let the best pitch of the at-bat go by because he wanted to work the pitcher, instead of being up there, aggressive to drive in runs

    I’ll always like Abreu, but something changed the moment he was traded, and we’ve had the best run in Phillies history ever since

  28. Andrew from waldorf

    April 29, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Ted Williams was so obsessed with hitting. That he wouldnt swing at a ball to help the team. Alot of people held that against him.
    He just couldnt bring himself to swing at a ball. He felt it was wrong or unnatural. Later in his career when he was really wanting that championship he changed some.

    Still the greatest hitter who ever lived. Period.
    But never won a title. Lost the MVP the year he hit .400 and only appeared in one WS losing it in 7 games.

    When Abreau left it brought in Shane who is part of that winning vibe. So it really cut both ways. Addition through subtraction and addition through addition.

  29. TheDipsy

    April 29, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    If you are gonna hit third, I think that you a hitter has the responsibility to drive runs in. Thats no new notion. I think that a hitter has to expand his zone just a little bit because, after all, he IS the best hitter on the team and there ARE guys on base. Bobby Abreu would take the walk instead of swing. He just did. Its OK, thats just the type of hitter he was. But he had Thome in back of him and then nothing and thats why people held it against him. If he or Thome didn’t drive the run in, it wasn’t coming in. I thought the guy was a helluva offensive player. Ted Williams had a lot of RBIs.

    The Dipsy

  30. Phylan

    April 29, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    So you didn’t read the part where he hit .300 or way better almost every year he was with the Phillies with runners in scoring position? He was getting a ton of hits in addition to the walks.

  31. Phylan

    April 29, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    I understand you guys don’t like stats, but in this case, they demonstrate very plainly that the thing you are saying is not true.

  32. Don M

    April 30, 2011 at 12:35 am

    I had to look into this… since clearly Bobby Abreu is amazing.

    One thing… players should almost always hit better with Runners on, since it opens up holes, has the pitcher thinking different things besides just focusing on the hitter… tends to have him throw more fastballs if there is speed on the bags, etc.. but im glad Abreu hit well with RISP when he was there, that’s why I liked him

    I looked into what Baseball Reference calls “Late and Close” in their Batting Splits..
    Definited as plate apperances in the 7th or later with the batting team tied, ahead by one, or the tying run at least on deck.

    Abreu had good years and bad years: from ’98 to ’06
    .296, .240, .303, .303, .303, .318, .255, .298, .241 and was then traded

    the year he hit the .255 was ’04…he walked 35 times in 137 plate appearances. And maybe that’s where my focus is. Maybe I counted on him too much to be the driving force instead of a table setter. trying to just get on base for Thome, Burrell, and that slugger David Bell

    nobody is trying to knock Abreu, but there are reasons that he was traded, high salary, and what some would call the inability to lead (maybe he was just here without enough talent around him…he got here a few years too soon) – but once he was traded they clearly weren’t going to get him again two/three years later. Ibanez was signed because he was the best option of him, Burrell, and Milton Bradley … and he’s helped us for large portions of his first two years here. He looked TERRIBLE at the plate tonight vs Pelfrey’s splitter… he needs to sit like Rollins a few years ago, but he wont be released

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