Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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Monday, June 07, 2004

Oh the joys of inter-league play!  

(Sorry it has been so long … looong weekend with graduation and all of that. I’m pretty drained.)

When last I looked the Phils just finished being swept at home by the Mets. No disrespect to Mets fans, but … ugh! That is pretty awful. I’m pleasantly surprised to see that the Phils are still just two in back of the fish and that they split their series with the Braves in Atlanta. Quite frankly, things could have gone much, much worse than that. Getting swept by the Braves would have had catastrophic consequences for the Phils: a seven game losing streak, four games behind the Fish … fourth place behind the Mets … those two wins were big. Now onto inter-league play …

I appreciated the novelty, when inter-league play began, of seeing the Mets and Yankees square off. Now I just sort of shrug my shoulders. How excited am I by the White Sox – Phils? Not very. There hasn’t been a great historical rivalry between the two cities, between the players, there isn’t bad blood between the White Sox and Phils, they’ve never met in the World Series before … It is just hard to sit down and feel shivers down my spine seeing the two teams play the way I have when the Phils played the Yankees or Red Sox … or when I went to last year’s Pirates-Red Sox “turn back the clock” night commemorating the centennial of the 1903 World Series … Honestly, it is just another series, except that the Phils get to play an extra bat because they are playing in an American League ballpark.

ISO (as of June 7, 2004):
Thome .320
Abreu .257
Utley .214
Burrell .213
Lieberthal .191
Bell .174
Rollins .108
Polanco .090
Byrd .090
Glanville .056
[SLG – BA = ISO. It calculates extra-base hits by subtracting singles.)

I suppose that I should include Glanville in my numbers because he’s been playing so much but, as you’ll see with the GPA stats I’m befuddled by Bowa’s decision to play Glanville:

GPA (again, as of June 7, 2004):
Thome .344
Abreu .321
Burrell .309
Bell .281
Lieberthal .242
Rollins .237
Utley .231
Polanco .215
Byrd .209
Glanville .194

Let me start by noting that Utley’s OBP has plunged fifty points since the beginning of the Mets series, which has badly impacted his GPA numbers: I’m disappointed that he’s only drawn three walks in ninety-eight at-bats. Even Glanville’s draw four in nearly half as many.

Speaking of whom … coincidence that the Phils have lost the last six games he’s played? I think not. I don’t understand the decision to play Glanville: he contributes little to the Phils lineup. It isn’t even like he has much of a track record: his respectable career batting average of .280 comes attached to a career OBP of .317 (career GPA: .239) … He doesn’t have much pop from the plate (career ISO: .108) … he isn’t much of a table-setter, he doesn’t have power … he just doesn’t contribute much of anything to the Phils lineup … I’d like to see the Phils hit Utley or Bell second for this series and give Byrd another shot at leading off and playing centerfield. Maybe have Pratt catch and DH Lieberthal to give him a few days to hit without having to squat behind the plate …

Hey, thanks for all of the comments about stats and Moneyball (which I finished today, by the way: my full thoughts on Lewis’ book are on their way). I love the contributions everyone makes to my blog, and I appreciate the interest everyone has in what I have to say. It means a lot to me.

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