Logic Says Amaro, Phillies Should Sell Big – Phillies Nation
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Logic Says Amaro, Phillies Should Sell Big

If Amaro doesn't change his tune, his insistence that this aging core is worth clinging to that will be his downfall.

If Amaro doesn’t change his tune, his insistence that this aging core is worth holding onto will be his downfall.

Back in March, I disagreed with the notion that the Phillies roster needed detonation, as was then being advocated by Jonah Keri of Grantland.com.  I thought there were too many pieces still in place to have that outlook going into 2013… that this veteran group had a legitimate shot at contention if enough went right.

Then the season started.  To be fair to myself, the performances of Domonic Brown, Chase Utley (when healthy) and Cliff Lee have proven me partially right – there was some gas left in the tank.  But the simultaneous play of Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Roy Halladay and nearly the entire bullpen has made it obvious that this core group needs to be broken up.

Keri hasn’t let up on his assertion that the Phillies are running themselves into the ground, which came to a head last week in his NL East Trade Deadline Preview.  He again advocated a fire sale and hurled some vitriol-filled grenades towards the Phils front office.  From Keri:

GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and his bosses are either delusional, in denial, terribly misguided, or all of the above. Sure, making drastic changes to a team that’s ascended to elite revenue-generating status thanks to big crowds and a pending TV megascore carries risk. But so too does clinging to a group of fading veterans and watching them limit the Phillies to a string of 75-win seasons.

At this point, I’d have to agree.  Three months ago, Howard’s hot March drummed up some confidence that he could still be a legitimate contributor.  He was 18 months from tearing his Achilles on that fateful October night… the night that now looks like the official end to this elite era of Phillies baseball.  As of Wednesday, he’s (literally) hobbling along with a WAR of 0.3, on pace for 19 home runs and still owed nearly $100 million.  Before last night, he hadn’t had a hit since June 23.

His contract is an anchor around this organization’s neck… an anchor that isn’t going anywhere.  With him making $25 million a year, it will be awful hard for the Phillies to compete with the rest of their big-time contributors also making eight figure salaries per season.  The team will likely be locked into mediocrity – 75-win seasons, if you will – which brings us full circle to Keri.

We are getting slammed with Phils trade rumors every day and that is likely to continue up until the trade deadline.  The front office has said plenty of head-scratching things in the last few weeks.  But until July 31 passes, it is hard to kill them.  Once it does, if the pack of highly paid 30-somethings still inhabits the locker room at Citizen’s Bank Park, it should be open season on the Phillies brass.

Like Keri, I think that if Amaro holds onto most or even some of these guys, he is delusional.  He’s said his job is to put a contending team on the field every year and that players like Lee and Papelbon make that easier to do (courtesy of Jayson Stark).  Given the make-up of the other 23 roster spots, I couldn’t disagree more.  For the past year and a half, we’ve seen what this team is capable of… and it’s not contention.

There’s been talk about how Amaro has to try to sell the fans on this team as a contender in order to keep his job or to protect his image – talk that he has backed up through the content of interviews like the Stark one referenced above.  That idea looks a bit counterintuitive from here.  Unless he takes action and cashes in the trade chips he has, what is sure to result on the field is what will make him look incompetent enough to lose his job (in theory at least, it sure seems like ownership is loyal to RAJ).

Keri references a Daily News story from a few weeks back that compared the Phillies to the Cubs and their downfall after 2008.  Sure, the situations are different, but the theory is sound.  If this group continues to decline, and all indications are that they will, it is that spiraling performance that should seal Amaro’s fate… not a well-intentioned attempt to fix what he messed up.

At the very least, Utley, Rollins, Jonathan Papelbon and Michael Young need to go.  All four players are approaching the end of their deals and, outside of Young, have significant value.  As Keri indicates, a mediocre team carrying $13 million at the closer position is a ridiculous luxury.  An argument can be made for dealing Cliff Lee too.  If he doesn’t get dealt, the team around him likely won’t be good enough for his still-intact abilities to matter.

For the first time in a while, pitching is easier to find than hitting (which also makes Amaro and his rotation money drop look terrible, but that is for another day).  This season should close the book on an era of Phillies baseball in which they created an elite offensive with a cheap, homegrown nucleus, and then filled in the holes around that group.  This free agent marketplace – in which nearly no elite hitters become available until after their 30th birthday – should make the Phils eager to do the same thing all over again.

It looks like they have one staple in Brown.  They hope they have another in the pipeline in Maikel Franco, who we’ve heard plenty about of late.  It’s time to get more, and then build from there.  Just to throw a name out there, maybe the Phillies can pry an Avisail Garcia-type (near-ready) from the Tigers for Papelbon in addition to the hauls they get for their other stars.  It could turn an aging team that is going nowhere into a solid young nucleus with a ton of money to spend.  It seems like a no-brainer, which is why Amaro clinging to this group seems so impetuous.  He now has 28 days to show us it was all a ploy.

71 Comments

71 Comments

  1. Andrew from Waldorf

    July 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Amaro and logic in the opening title of a column?

    ox·y·mo·ron
    Noun

    A figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction (e.g., faith unfaithful kept him falsely true).

  2. Andrew from Waldorf

    July 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    I don’t get the Howard Achilles injury excuse thing.

    Any of you take the time to look at his 2011 numbers before that happened?

    2010 OPS .859
    2011 OPS .835

    Which continued a slide.

    I guess its a nice narrative that he was elite till that injury but it is not true.

    The last time he was elite was NLCS in 2009

    Since the WS in 2009

    Look at the OPS in each playoff series since then.

    His decline has mirrored the decline of the franchise. Right down to his .406 OPS in that last playoff series vs the Cardinals. Which was before the injury.

    This line up wasn’t good enough to win a title in 2011 with an all time great pitching staff.

    I guess I should be happy that 2 years later people see what I was seeing opening day of 2011.

    But instead I just scratch my head.

    I reiterate.

    Deal away.

    Until Ruben and Manuel are gone there is no hope.

    I think you could even contend with Howard with the right GM and manager.
    You cannot with this arrangement.

    • Alex Lee

      July 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      The slide in Howard’s OPS has been very well documented and it started before 2010. Everyone was aware of that. And on what planet did I call him elite until the injury? All I said was there was hope he’d be a legitimate contributor. Elite? Stop.

      The point is, have you watched him this season? I don’t think I’ve ever seen an old injury more visibly affecting a player. His lower half is a mess. He can barely run.

  3. Chris

    July 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    I still think this team has a decent shot at the playoffs. The Braves will crumble. They rely too much on home runs and a team .240 batting avg(that’s a guess) is bound to fall off. Also, the Phillies have been great in the second half with this core group of players. In 2010, they were 48-46 a week after the all-star break and ended the season at 97-65. No need to rush into anything. Take your time Ruben.

    • Publius

      July 3, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      Team batting average being used as a meaningful statistic? What is this, the 1950s? Yeesh. There is no proof that the Braves will “crumble.” In fact, if anything I bet they surge back, since there is no way the Upton Brothers are *this* bad, and Gattis will return from the DL soon. The Braves will make moves too, and are simply a much better team than the Phils, as the upcoming series will definitely show.

      • Ryan H.

        July 3, 2013 at 5:21 pm

        not agreeing that the phils will compete, but for the sake of clarity, the upton brothers have ALWAYS been this bad. they suck. and those contracts are terrible.

      • Publius

        July 3, 2013 at 6:20 pm

        Are you serious? BJ Upton has a career .750 OPS with awesome defense in CF (which is about the same batting line as Rollins), while Justin’s career .837 OPS is among the active leaders at that position.

        Feel free to contradict me with actual facts than baseless, stupid characterizations

    • Johnny7

      July 3, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      You are delusional if you think this team will be in contention come August. They will begin to fall apart, in the standings and the clubhouse. Cliff Lee will get tired of the non-chalant attitude of Jimmy Rollins, and Cole Hamels and the position players will end up at odds. This roster aside from Lee, Utley and Hamels sucks. And even Utley and Hamels’ performance this season are pretty mediocre. They have been great in second halves, but Howard is a shell of his former self, can Utley hold up? The Phillies themselves have that aura that they can STILL win with the long ball…NEWS FLASH – Jimmy and Ryan aren’t hitting them!!! Delmon has done nothing offensively, which makes his lack of D even MORE painful to watch. This team will NOT finish .500. 2010 when they finished strong was 3 seasons ago, with a completely healthy Halladay and fairly healthy core, with others that contributed heavily (Victorino, Werth) and Howard hitting near 50 HR’s and 4 others over or near 20 HR’s (Werth, Jimmy, Chase, Victorino.) Get over it. SELL because the ONLY one we can’t sell is the worst contract on the books, Howard, and his declining health and that contract are going to be a drain on the organization AND a target of criticism on him and Amaro. He is no longer the center of a franchise like his salary would otherwise indicate.

      • schmenkman

        July 3, 2013 at 11:32 pm

        @Johnny7, that’s a lot of speculation on who will get tired of who. Also, your list of who doesn’t suck is missing Brown (possible All-Star) and Rollins (at least average).

        But the one thing that’s most off base is calling Utley’s performance mediocre. Here is where he ranks among all second basemen this year:

        4th best hitter (by wRC+)…
        – Kipnis 152, Carpenter 149, Cano 140, UTLEY 136, Kendrick 132

        4th most runs saved (by UZR)…
        – Barney 6.7, Carpenter 5.9, Phillies 5.9, UTLEY 5.8, Infante 5.5

        Best fielder (UZR per 162G)…
        – UTLEY 17.4, Barney 16.4, Phillies 12.7, Carpenter 12.4, Infante 12.0

        Overall, despite missing a month of the season, he’s been the 5th most valuable MLB second baseman:
        – Carpenter 4.1, Pedroia 3.3, Kipnis 3.2, Cano 2.9, UTLEY 2.5

        Adjusting for playing time, Utley has been the 2nd best second baseman in the game when on the field (WAR per 700 PA):
        – Carpenter 8.1, UTLEY 7.7, Kipnis 6.9, Pedroia 6.1, Cano 5.7

      • schmenkman

        July 4, 2013 at 12:07 am

        (Phillies should be Phillips)

      • schmenkman

        July 4, 2013 at 11:44 am

        In fact, Utley deserves to be at the All-Star game.

  4. Andrew from Waldorf

    July 3, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I misread that you called that night ( game 5 cardinals series) the end of the Phillies being elite to you saying Howard being elite.

    I apologize.

    There are many here who think the injury was the start. There are also some here who still think he is one of the most feared hitters in baseball. Its moot now as my take on him is now the given.

    It is sad watching him play. Sometimes I wish he wasn’t a class individual because it would be easy to dislike him.

    Your take on him is what ive been saying for a long time. So no arguing from me.

    Would you rather the Phillies let Ruben make 5 deals ?
    Or the Phillies remove Ruben and Charlie and go from there?

    Id rather the second of those 2 scenarios then let Ruben continue to do long term damage.

    As for the old man. Charlie is my favorite person to ever put on the uniform. There should be a statue of him put in front of the stadium ( while he is still alive in the next 3-5 years). The only Phillie Id say that for since Schmidt.

    But its time for the team to move on.

    • Alex Lee

      July 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      It is tough. I agree Ruben has been awful, but I don’t think he’s close to getting canned… which is unfortunate. I wrote above that we can’t kill him until he fails to trade everyone (or almost everyone)… which is exactly what I bet he does. I see him trading some guys, keeping others and in turn elongating this current state of mediocrity. It is the worst thing he can do, and I bet it’s what happens.

      As for Charlie, I think the problems with this team are almost entirely personnel based… so I don’t really have an opinion on whether he should go. The problems are bigger than him. But yeah, if we clean house, the roster will be young enough where they should probably let Sandberg take over.

  5. Liz

    July 3, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Move Howard to 7th or 8th in the batting order NOW! He in no way is a clean-up hitter anymore. Deal Michael Young and Papelbon, heck the entire bullpen should be sold, but try to retain Lee if at all possible. I love this team and it is heartbreaking to watch them night after night struggle with each at-bat, let alone defensively. All in all, RAJ has to go.

  6. Pamikedc

    July 3, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Can’t fire Manuel mid season. He has EARNED more than that. Play out his contract (end of this season) and then respectfully said good bye!

    Why does everyone want Ryno? What’s he done so great? Have u seen him as the 3B coach?

    And @chris c’mon man. They can still contend??? Someone a while back posted what their winning percentage needed to be for like 85 wins and it was high.

    • Ryan H.

      July 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      because he’s someone they’ve heard of. if he was ryne miller instead of sandberg nobody would be clamoring for him to manage this team. to be honest, we don’t know a damned thing about his managing abilities.

  7. Andrew from Waldorf

    July 3, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Rare that I agree with the columnists here. But I agree with you.

    A manager that was beholden to the old guys would be a good thing.

    For example even though Howard broke his slump last night. The Pirates are throwing a lefthander at the Phillies tonight. The likely scenario is he will be trotter out there ( hitting 4th no less) and it will only take away any progress made last night.

    I want a manager that will manage to win games. By hook or crook. Forget egos or past numbers or contracts etc etc.
    Who will start OJ Simpson at first and Charles Manson at 3rd if it means winning a game.
    I just don’t see that here. I see a team and a manager that pretends its still 2008. 2008 was great but its now 2013.

    Agree he is just a patsy though and this teams performance and decline is 90% RAJs doing.

    • Alex Lee

      July 3, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      Howard is sitting tonight… already announced. But I feel ya.

      The conundrum for me, as I wrote, is that RAJ is going to get fired inevitably if he doesn’t take ownership of this mess and try to salvage value for the pieces he has. I don’t trust the brass to fire him in the short-term – I think they’re too loyal because of such a long relationship – but after this season goes down the drain, and then the next, and the next… all without progress, it will happen. So he may think he’s protecting himself, but I don’t see it that way.

      Of course, I hope I’m wrong. Maybe he keeps most of the guys and makes a buncha saavy Gillick-like moves and can figure it out… but that is going to be tough.

    • Cole

      July 3, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      First, you need a face in the lineup everyday with this up-coming TV deal. Chase Utley is still the friggen man, and he’ll probaby sign team friendly again given his injury history. We need him around till he really doesn’t want to play anymore. Cesar Hernandez can fill in just fine when he isn’t there or when he gets days off.

      Secondly, Michael Young has value what are you talking about, clubhouse guy, versatile, and if you had not noticed he is hitting the ball.

      The players that need to be moved are Rollins, Paps and Young. It will be hard pressed to find someone willing to take on Howard’s deal and eating that much salary won’t be justified with whoever he’s replaced with. Instead get a manager not afraid to play the statistics in order to win. Howard can still hit right handers, and uh darin ruf can hit left handers check the stats. The other benefit to platooning those two is that you can bring howard off the bench to pinch hit where he is hitting .390 with 5 bombs and slugging over 900 with an OPS a few points under 1.400.

      Frandsen can start every day at third or we can even platoon him with Cody Asche, that way Asche gets at bats against pitching he should hit better and Frandsen is getting more time because well HE NEEDS IT. Fill right field by landing hopefully Avisail Garcia ( which has been mentioned before me) and attempt to go after Jacoby in free agency. 2 years at 15/year or something, but try hard to land him here. Revere can be a running threat off the bench or eventually traded if they see it fit. At short it is time to give Freddy the bulk of the work, we know he won’t screw it up on defense.

      That is a hell of a lot more competitive team to me. Oh and keep Chooch because who the he’ll be able to teach whoever is next. If Amaro plans to keep some of these guys around which he probably will, they need to be played effectively by a new manager. Or the people above Rube could realize he is a buffoon and we need a GM who can play today’s game.

      • Alex Lee

        July 3, 2013 at 4:46 pm

        A number of things here:

        1. The new TV deal will be predicated by local TV ratings. A winning team is MUCH more important than a face. Utley will bring in a haul – it’s very similar to the Mets trading Carlos Beltran a few years back (older injury-prone player, still good when healthy)… though I doubt we get as lucky with a Wheeler type… but def a high-level prospect.

        2. I said MY doesn’t have SIGNIFICANT value… and he doesn’t. He has a bit of value, enough to get us a middle reliever type (similar to what we gave up to get him). Sorry to break it to you. But yeah, still worth trading.

        3. Howard isn’t going anywhere and anyone who thinks he is needs to give up on that dream. He’s owed upwards of $100MM and can barely run. If the options are eating 90% of the contract or keeping him (which they probably are), they have to keep him.

        4. Yes, no use in trading Hamels. They need to move guys that are too old to help them once the team becomes good again. There is no point to keeping Lee, Ut etc… if it will prevent them from being contenders again. Would you rather keep your favorite players, or win? That is what it comes down to…

      • Cole

        July 3, 2013 at 6:15 pm

        Chase means way more to the Phillies than Beltran ever did to all of the teams he has played on, but true winning is more valuable to the TV deal. You don’t believe Young or J-roll can net us some decent prospects going to teams that need help at those positions / experience, especially since neither are too too expensive.

      • Cole

        July 3, 2013 at 6:18 pm

        Aside from maybe the Astros for Beltran.

  8. rednick261

    July 3, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    I agree with blowing up some of the core. I disagree with trading Utley unless he comes with a big haul, which he won’t. On the trade market, he’ll get some mid-level prospects and maybe a major league ready utility guy. His value to the team in terms of leadership and the fact that he is still one of the better fielding and hitting second basemen in baseball tells me that he could still provide value on a reasonable deal (I think a Victorino-type deal – 3/$40-ish million). To be quite frank, Ruben should be shopping Howard to AL teams looking for a big lefty DH and be ready to eat a ton of that contract. Michael Young can provide some value to an AL team, as well. Demon Young needs to be released and Mayberry needs to be playing RF. I’m still not 100% sure of getting rid of Rollins, despite his offensive slide.

    Getting rid of Hamels at this point by trade would not get a very good return because of the “what have you done for me lately” philosophy, so trying to trade him would be a poor choice unless they believe this is his new normal. Trading Lee, as much as I hate to admit it, would likely get the biggest return. Trading Papelbon at this point, seems like a no-brainer to me. He reminds me too much of Billy Wagner with his attitude and keeping him around isn’t going to help the team in any demonstrable way to get back in to contention even if it is going to happen.

  9. Ryan H.

    July 3, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    the only guy I wouldn’t trade is Lee. and maybe I am delusional too, but I think this organization can compete in the next couple of years. not this year. they’re obviously not competing this year. but you can retool with a few trades and compete next year for sure.

    • Alex Lee

      July 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      The Sox retooled by trading some and keeping some and were able to be competitive right away, so it’s possible. But they were able to move their biggest albatrosses (Crawford and Beckett), by packaging them with a guy whose still good (Gonzo). Cannot imagine the Phils can replicate that.

    • G7

      July 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      Lee, Utley and Ruiz should be kept..

      • schmenkman

        July 3, 2013 at 6:33 pm

        Barring a surprisingly high offer for them, I agree G7.

  10. Dylan

    July 3, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Papelbon is a must trade so is delmon young and michael young if there is a market. And I would attempt to trade ryan howard over rollins or utley. I think Jimmy and Chase are better to the phillies than the haul you could get for them.

  11. Gorgeous Costanza

    July 3, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Great article.

    Very refreshing to read an article that is showing some tough love for our beloved Phillies.

    I’ve had enough of sports writers trying to be buddies and protecting Amaro and Charlie (Hi Zolecki!)

    Let the gloves come off.

    And I agree that it’s unlikely that Amaro will do the right thing. Trading as much as possible.

    Which is ridiculous, considering how Boston traded big, dysfunctional, chunks of their roster last year with a great return.

    • Alex Lee

      July 3, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      Yes. Boston is the type of model they should be looking at. Shed salary, improve the farm system and then go into free agency and the trade market with financial flexibility and near-ready prospects to start the next era of Phillies baseball.

      • George

        July 3, 2013 at 7:03 pm

        No one will be able to do what the Sox did. It was the “perfect storm;” the Dodgers wanted marquee names at any cost. Boston traded players who weren’t so old and decrepit (except maybe Crawford), and they had some decent players already in place like their 2nd baseman and CFer.

        I wish people would stop using that Boston-Dodgers thing as the example teams should follow, because it’s totally unfair to compare any moves with that fluke situation. It’s like asking the sun to rise twice in one day.

      • Alex Lee

        July 3, 2013 at 7:50 pm

        Yeah I already say it would be extremely tough to replicate. But that type of creativity is something they need to strive for… and I really don’t think it’s as unlikely as you do. This made more sense a little earlier in the year, but what about packaging Lee and Howard in a deal and asking for nothing in return? Not saying it would work, but an AL team with big pockets may have interest. Same idea as Sox/Dodgers considering we’d still have Utley (if re-signed), Dom and Hamels.

      • Hogey's Role

        July 3, 2013 at 8:19 pm

        I like that idea Alex

      • George

        July 4, 2013 at 8:36 am

        Creativity like that only works when coupled with the stupidity of another team. Even the Dodgers are no longer that stupid.

        If you coupled Howard and Lee, you’d have to get something back. You might be ridding yourself of a bad contract, but you’d be giving away your best pitcher, someone who’d bring back a lot by himself despite his large salary. It’d be better just to DFA Howard and offer up Lee by himself. Lee would bring back more talent than he would with an albatross tied around his neck. If the team can afford to give away Howard, they could certainly afford to cut him loose altogether.

  12. VL123

    July 3, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Signing Howard to that contract was the dumbest idea ever. He’s OVERRATED. Sad that the rest of the veterans will most likely be traded. Amaro has driven this team into the ground.

  13. G7

    July 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    “2011 lineup wasn’t good enough to win a title.”

    How ridiculous is this statement, apparently the lineup was good enough to win over 100 games..which doesn’t happen every year..so I think the lineup was good enough to win a title!

    • Ryan H.

      July 3, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      seriously. what a bunch of nonsense. ppl want to tell themselves that luck has nothing to do with it. neither does circumstance. gimme a break. the 2011 team is the best team in phillies history. way way way better than the 2008 team by every conceivable measure. they just didn’t get the ball to roll their way in the playoffs.

    • Andrew from Waldorf

      July 3, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      The 2011 team was winning 100 games because of the staff from day 1.

      Again go back and read what I said all year.

      The line up particularly Howard was easily defensible.

      Lasrussa with a very questionable bull pen exploited it over and over again.

      How many times did Arthur Rhodes do 3 pitch strike outs after they basically pitched around the Phillies line up to get to him?

      That line up wasn’t good enough to win the FIRST ROUND of the playoffs with a top 5 all time greatest pitching staff.

      Yea they could have won 135 games. With that staff and a good line up they might have.

      But with the line up they had they were NEVER winning a title.

      These are the types of comments that piss me off.

      I predicted that series right down to 1-0 in game 5 BEFORE it happened.

      Oh but I am crazy. As ive predicted everything now for 4 years. Almost 100% correctly.

      • G7

        July 3, 2013 at 5:39 pm

        Of course the lineup was good enough…that’s baseball, which obviously you don’t understand the game..

      • Andrew from Waldorf

        July 3, 2013 at 5:48 pm

        No the line up wasn’t good enough.

        Looking back it wasn’t good enough in 2010 either.

        And here it is 2013 and tis same core players.

        If the line up was good enough in 2011 they would have won.

        Its not luck when they lose game five 1-0 and no one I knew was surprised.
        Most of the non kool aid drinkers saw it coming.

        But I digress.

        Believe what you want. Have had people in this very thread state this team can contend this year and Howard still has value.
        I stopped trying to correct everyone a long time ago.
        Think what you want.
        I wish I had been wrong and they would have won. And were still good now.
        Sadly I wasn’t.

      • schmenkman

        July 3, 2013 at 6:10 pm

        The best team doesn’t always win, of course. A 5 or even 7-game series isn’t evough of a sample for the better team to win more than – what? 60% of the time? Weaker teams win series all the time during the season, so it’s not surprising when it happens in the postseason, when teams are much more evenly matches.

      • Double Trouble Del

        July 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm

        Agreeing with Schmenkman on this one as the 2008 team was inferior to the Rays.

      • Publius

        July 3, 2013 at 6:33 pm

        “Oh but I am crazy. As ive predicted everything now for 4 years. Almost 100% correctly”

        laughin my damn buns off

  14. Hogey's Role

    July 3, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Is it a possibility that they put Howard on waivers, when that period comes, and if someone claims him we let him go, just to get out from under that contract?

    • Alex Lee

      July 3, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      I can’t remember definitively, but I’m sure we put Howard on waivers last season with no takers. Don’t expect much to change.

      • Hogey's Role

        July 3, 2013 at 5:37 pm

        Yeah that figures, so we’re pretty much stuck… what other potential prospects could be had

  15. Andrew from Waldorf

    July 3, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Yes it is a positive that Howard is out of the line up tonight.
    Let them blame the knee all they that want.
    Its a start and Id like to think they are reading me here for guidance 🙂

    Also waiving Howard is great no one is taking on the contract.

    His value is none.
    You will maybe at some time in a couple of years trade a prospect or 2 with Howard AND pay 15-20 million of Howard contract for nothing in return and gain some relief salary wise.

    so you would pay him 18 million to DH for the Yankees to free up 7 million of pay roll in 2015 or 2016.

    That’s his value. Trading him for Clayton Kershaw isn’t happening. OK?
    His value is less than 0 because no one will eat the contract, Not even the Yankees.
    To pretend there is anymore value is being silly.

    • G7

      July 3, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      Trust me..they are not reading you..stick to your fantasy league..

    • Gorgeous Costanza

      July 3, 2013 at 6:17 pm

      Good post.

      The Kool Aid drinkers need to not only look at the Phillies, but the rest of the division.

      Nationals and Braves are already better teams than Phillies. Mets have some promising young players with Harvey, Wheeler et al , so they may already be better than Phillies next year.

      And Miami could be a pretty good team in 2-3 years. Certainly they will be better next year than this year.

      So Phillies hanging on to the old guard will only prolong a much needed generation shift.

      It could get real ugly before it gets better.

  16. bacardipr

    July 3, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Rollins still has another year left of his contract. The offense is based around Howard. I think if he was still healthy and not struggling as much we could compete. The bullpen is a mess thats what costing us. They are hitting better but cannot seem to get them runners home. The offense is still based on the old model of hitting home runs and Howard been a elite (HR) hitter. If the offense is clicking the pitching aint or some other issues. They cant seem to get all facets of the game working together in one game.

  17. DavidE

    July 3, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Let’s see how the team is doing in the last week of July. Maybe the bullpen will get it together. They certainly have a lot of good arms out there. I didn’t expect anything out of J.C. Ramirez and he has gone 4 innings without giving up a hit. I am not surprised with the mediocre performance of the team so far this year. But let’s put it this way. When the team was 12 games under .500 at the trading deadline last year, nobody gave them any shot but they did make an exciting run. Things can happen quickly. The Dodgers, Angels and Blue Jays all looked like they were hopeless this year. Now those teams are possible contenders. In 2010, the Phillies were 48-46 and looked like a subpar team after a 1-6 stretch in Chicago and St.Louis. Then they finished with 98 wins even after getting swept at home by the Houston Astros. The Phillies have a good starting staff and could be much better if Hamels pitchers as he is capable of doing. This is a crazy game. Who could have guessed that the Yankees would be 5 games over .500 with Jeter, ARod, Texeira, Granderson and Youkalis out for most of the year? Last year, Eric Kratz and Keven Frandsen, gave the team a real spark that nobody could have expected. Things can change from game to game and week to week. Two weeks ago, Ryan Howard got on a tear on the homestand and pounded 3 homeruns and several extrabase hits. Last week, he couldn’t hit anything.

  18. Schufa

    July 3, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Unfortunately, Avisail Garcia is exactly the kind of non-prospect Amaro would target. Under 20 walks per season in the minors, doesn’t have much power, but he can hit for average and run a little. Just the athletic out-machine that Amaro lusts for. I fear it’s the best we can hope for in exchange for Jonathan Papelbon. There are only a few GMs dumb enough and/or rich enough to spend $13 M on a 60 inning pitcher. And the Phillies have one of them. Dreams of a blockbuster deal are just dreams. Simply getting someone to take on the salary would be an accomplishment.

    • Lefty

      July 3, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      I don’t care all that much for him either, I said so the other day. The Tigers are the ones that are desperate. They are facing a window similar to the one we had in 09, they have to win now. My (faint) hope is the Phils brass is telling them it’s Castellanos or no deal.

      Oh and believe me, Mr. pizza guy can afford Paps, he goes over the head of his GM and spends like a drunken sailor when he wants someone.

    • Double Trouble Del

      July 3, 2013 at 10:49 pm

      Why would Detroit want Papelbon when they could have John Axeford or K Rod or Bobby Parnell? One important reason is that Papelbon has taken the ball in big series before and succeeded whereas the others have not. The point is that desperate teams will overpay for a piece they perceive will put them over the top a la Hunter Pence and the Phillies in 2011.

  19. Double Trouble Del

    July 3, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Any doubts that this team is cooked have been put to bed over the last week. Howard at 20 million plus is sitting because of a left handed pitcher is starting for the third time in the last five games. Your 144 million dollar”ace” is pushing back a start to “clear his head.” If they are hurt DL them. i believe that the Hamels contract will become the Zito contract before long.

  20. Mongo

    July 3, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    They should trade Paps for Avasail Garcia and then trade him and Dom Brown to the Marlins for Giancarlo Stanton. Trade Utley for Joc Pederson. Your outfield will be fast and dangerous with Revere in the middle and really young. Trade Young and Rollins bring up Asche and Galvis. Try to get quality young relievers for each. Put Hernandez on second and platoon Howard with Ruf. If Asche and Hernandez don’t work out you bringup Franco and maybe sign a second base man. Resign Chooch and you keep your pitching staff in tact. Fire Manuel and Sandberg will take the young kids to the World Series.

    • Publius

      July 3, 2013 at 7:05 pm

      Wow I’ve never read a post by someone high on bath salts before

  21. George

    July 3, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    I find it absolutely amazing that people want Galvis at SS right now instead of Rollins. Jimmy might be a slacker at times, but he’s still playing good defense and has outhit Galvis by a mile both last year and this. (Galvis’s ML batting average is .218. I don’t feel like looking up his OPS, but with that average, it can’t be very good.)

    The team needs new blood, but I’d hope it’s not iron-deficient an anemic new blood.

    • G7

      July 3, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      Doesn’t matter..Jimmy is not a good role model..Galvis plays hard, and will be a solid defensive shortstop..

      • Publius

        July 3, 2013 at 7:46 pm

        lmao what a bunch of pseudo-racist tripe.

      • Hogey's Role

        July 3, 2013 at 8:24 pm

        That’s true if I’m gonna bring up bunch of youngsters I want them to learn from a guy like Utley, play hard and don’t take it for granted, lun ike some of our other “stars”

      • Hogey's Role

        July 3, 2013 at 8:27 pm

        Unlike.. must have had too much to drink already

    • George

      July 4, 2013 at 8:44 am

      Hey, in case anyone hasn’t noticed, Rollins is not the only alleged “role model” on the team. There are 24 other players, plus a manager and several coaches. Sometimes there’s also a lot to learn by watching how NOT to do things.

      • George

        July 4, 2013 at 8:51 am

        One other thing: Galvis might play hard and will be a good defensive SS. That doesn’t mean he’s good right now. He’s had limited experience above AA, and it’s pretty obvious he needs to learn a bit more hitting-wise before he’s ready for the majors.

      • Hogey's Role

        July 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm

        I agree Galvis isn’t the answer now… Idk if he ever will be, he’s good defensively, but his hitting is real bad and needs a lot more work to say the least

  22. Timothy Conaway

    July 3, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    You forgot to mention beloved Chooch, who has lost a step , an out at the plate and could not throw out my grandmother since his suspension…

  23. G7

    July 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Get real..

  24. George B.

    July 5, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Can anyone explain the justification of keeping Ryan Howard? How do you explain his inability to adjust his stance and swing to put the ball into left field? Is anyone tired of watching him strike out with men in scoring position or not hitting a sacrifice fly or how about not being able to recognize a ball vs. a strike? Trade this guy to the American League and let him DH, he isn’t making it as a clean up hitter now! 25 mil a year for a .260 hitter that maybe gives you a few winning hits a season, either trade him, renegotiate his salary or use him as a pitch hitter – at least it would only be one out a game.

    • schmenkman

      July 5, 2013 at 10:43 am

      George B.
      – he makes $20 mil this year, and $25 mil starting in 2014
      – for all his issues, as recently as 2011 he was the 2nd best hitter on the team
      – even this year, since mid-May he’s been the 3rd best hitter on the team, hitting .290, with a .360 OBP, and .489 slugging pct (.849 OPS)

      By the way, he has come up with a runner on 3rd and less than two out 25 times this year, and has gotten the run home 15 of those times, or 60% of the time. The MLB average is 51%. There are 108 players in the NL with 10+ of those opportunities, and Howard ranks 21st out of the 108 in getting the runner home.

  25. LW

    July 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Since their amazing start ended, the Braves have been as bad as us. Washington isn’t great either. We still have a shot, and selling will just cripple this team for years to come. When was the last time a team that sold everyone and fielded a minor league caliber club got anywhere? Look at the Marlins and Astros. Nobody signs with them either. I don’t know about some of you “fans,” but I don’t want to go back to the 90s and being a bad club

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