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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Saturday, August 07, 2004

The Trend is Nothing Good ...  

Sorry for the long delay, I’ve been busy with moving and helping my fiancée finalize some of our wedding plans. It has been tough, but I’ve finally carved out a few minutes to chew on the Phils woes. Good news is their sweep of the Padres helps them quite a bit in the race for the wildcard and keeps the team’s bizarre dominance of NL West teams (17-5; 39-47 against the rest of baseball) alive.

Individual stats… (team v. team, later…)

Starters: (GPA / ISO / RC27)
Thome: .334 / .340 / 8.61
Abreu: .332 / .226 / 9.48
Bell: .271 / .171 / 5.43
Burrell: .283 / .196 / 6.20
Rollins: .250 / .127 / 5.05
Polanco: .241 / .095 / 4.12
Lieberthal: .248 / .169 / 4.23
Byrd: .207 / .075 / 2.79

Bench: (GPA / ISO / RC27)
Michaels: .253 / .083 / 4.71
Glanville: .203 / .054 / 3.02
Utley: .261 / .221 / 5.23
Pratt: .219 / .037 / 2.73
Perez: .241 / .205 / 4.47

What the stats mean:
GPA (Gross Productive Average): (1.8 * .OBP + .SLG) / 4 = .GPA
ISO (Isolated Power): .SLG - .BA = .ISO
RC27 (Runs Created per 27 Outs): ESPN’s formula for Runs Created is simply too complex for me to replicate easily here. This is their stat based on what a hypothetical team of nine of the same player would score.

Byrd has played four games in his return engagement from Scranton. Thus far: 3 for 14 (.214 BA), with two runs and two RBIs. Too soon to tell. Let’s see if he starts drawing walks. He has none thus far.

Thome: .154
Abreu: .181
Bell: .109
Burrell: .150
Rollins: .069
Polanco: .063
Lieberthal: .068
Byrd: .071

Michaels: .184
Glanville: .058
Utley: .028
Pratt: .045
Perez: .106

Misc. thoughts: … Jimmy Rollins hasn’t drawn a walk since July 23. That’s 56 AB’s without a walk … On the plus, side, he’s gotten hits in 15 of his last 17 games, so he has been getting on base, but the question is if he’ll continue to do so consistently … Thome has 6 RBI’s in his last 17 games, and hasn’t had a multi-RBI game since July 17. Meanwhile, Burrell's been hitting .221 since the beginning of June (so his trip to the DL might be a blessing in disguise ... ), etc. Yeah, I’d be nervous right now if I'm Ed Wade and Larry Bowa. This team is starting to seriously slip at the plate. Don't be fooled by the fact that they are in second right now. This team will finish third.

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Thursday, August 05, 2004

Salisbury: Blame the Players... 

Jim Salisbury complains in today's Inquirer that the players deserve a fair amount of the blame for the Phils woes. In support of that argument he notes Burrell's June / July slump and the Phils pitching implosion as the proximate cause of the Phils problems. While I agree that the Phils pitching has been the cause of their inconsistent performance in '04, I still have to point the finger at Bowa: his constant screaming at players and micro-managing "small ball" has hurt this team pretty badly ... I'll expand on this topic sometime soon.

Good to see the Phils win two from the Padres. This is a team we are competing against for the wildcard, so it is good to get some traction. I wonder if the division might be a lost cause. The way the Braves are playing, nobody is going to catch them.

Sorry for infrequency of posts but moving out of my apartment is going slowly. Check back for more on Monday.

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Monday, August 02, 2004


The Red Sox defense-oriented deal has me intruiged by the Phils defensive situation. Check out the differences between Utley and Polanco:

Zone Rating:
Utley: .878
Polanco: .824

Fielding Percentage:
Utley: .973
Polanco: .994

Hmmm... Check out Aaron Gleeman's analysis of the dealbetween the Red Sox / Nomar / Twins / Cubs ... lots of people are involved ... just read Aaron's article.

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The Bowa Career Deathwatch begins... 

I was reading that Tyler Houston took a few shots at Bowa in his baseball columns for a Las Vegas newspaper. More fuel to the fire...

Meanwhile, Monday's Inquirer is replete with talk about the imminent demise of Bowa's coaching career, as well as the distraction it has been for the team. Robert W. Keidel, a professor at Drexel, wrote an interesting piece suggesting that Bowa and his temper are better suited to coaching football instead of baseball. I doubt the Phils will fire Bowa in the regular season, but if they failed to make the playoffs (which is appearing increasingly likely), then I'd count Bowa out as the first manager axed in October.

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Sunday, August 01, 2004


Burrell had another good news / bad news month. Bad news: his BA was .221 in July, a hair better than the .220 he hit in June. Good news: his OBP continues to be about .100 higher than his BA. Bad news: his slugging percentage slipped below .400 for July.

Burrell: (GPA / ISO)
April: .276 / .132
May: .372/ .334
June: .245/ .170
July: .248 / .164
Season: .283 / .200

The Phils are fifth in NL ZR at .854 … Baseball Tonight mentioned that the Red Sox wanted to improve their defense, which is why they did the deal to get Gold Glovers Doug Mientkiewicz and Orlando Cabrera from the Twins. How bad are the Sox at D? Dead last. Thirtieth out of thirty: .818 ZR, narrowly worse than the Pirates NL-worst .825 ZR. It is going to be weird seeing Nomar (Nomah!) in a Cubbies uniform, but I think this deal will make the Sox better.

I’ve been keeping track of walks per plate appearance. It’s an interesting stat. I like to see guys walk often and it seems like Abreu, Thome, Burrell and Micheals excel at it … btw, Barry Bonds leads the majors with a mind-boggling .373 BB/PA:

Abreu: .180
Thome: .157
Burrell: .157
Bell: .112
Rollins: .071
Polanco: .065
Lieberthal: .065

Micheals: .185 (Michaels would be 3rd or 4th in NL if he had enough PA's)
Glanville: .063

Bench / Scranton:
Byrd: .075
Pratt: .106
Utley: .029
Perez: .047

Alright, I’m off to bed …

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Ed Wade: Kinda missing the point... 

I saw in the Inquirer today a quick note regarding the unease of Phillies fans about management's reluctance to make any deals at the trading deadline. Ed Wade defended the Phils refusal to make a big deal, stating:
"I think we've improved our club," Wade said [refering to the team's off-season deals]. "Now it's up to us to move forward and play to our capabilities."

I nodded my head, reading that, ready to interject with a comment that the problem was that the Phils management hadn't done enough to keep pace with our competition for the playoffs, but the article proceeded to make my point for me. The Cubs-Red Sox-Expos-Twins Nomar, et al deal was a good example of the kind of risky, aggressive decision-making other clubs make that the Phils are reluctant to follow. I'm not saying that the Phils need to be so aggressive (prudence is better than rashness), but the team's caution runs the risk of becoming paralysis. Do we want to be like the Mariners? A team that failed to make deals in '02 and '03 and then ran out of steam against the A's, a team that seems to thrive on late-season deals? Don't mortgage the future, but make some informed decisions in the here-and-now:

Those are my thoughts on the matter. Well, let's see what we can do against the Padres...

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