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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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Friday, May 13, 2005

Big Game 

So the Phillies lost to the Reds. We are now 7 back in the NL East and 3 & 1/2 behind the Mets for fourth. As Jim Salisbury writes in today's Inquirer, things are pretty grim and there is a lot of pressure on the team. My take:

-I'm oddly not that mad at Ed Wade. I think he showed a lot of saavy bringing Jon Lieber and Corey Lidle into the mix. The decision to offer arbitration to Placido Polanco and give such massive contracts to Jim Thome and David Bell back in '03 might look foolish down the road, but there is nothing that wrong with how this team is built.

-I'm bitterly disappointed in Charlie Manuel. The decision to platoon Utley and Polanco has been terrible, robbing the team of Utley's sorely needed bat. (And what was the idea with sending Utley to second base last night?!?!?) The team's decision to start guys like Perez while sitting Ryan Howard is baffling. Manuel's lineups don't make much sense either. This team is poorly managed again. It seems like Manuel has decided to over-compensate for Larry Bowa by turning catatonic. I like Manuel's approach better, but it seems like Manuel has no strategic skill. He doesn't manage at all.

The Phillies players are all ridiculously underachieving ... Thome's VORP is -3.2, Polanco is -3.0, Bell is -8.5, and Rollins is -7.3 ... so basically our whole infield unit is badly underachieving.

On the plus side Utley is 6.4, Abreu is topps amongst RF's at 14.7, and Burrell is 8.1 ...

I think tonight is the biggest game of the year for the team. We need Myers to come up big against Eric Milton. With the way Milton gives up bombs, the Phillies should be stacked to take advantage of the situation (i.e., I'll be baffled if Manuel plays Polanco instead of Utley). Tonight is the night to get on track, or the night to spiral out of control.

Comments:
The irony of the situation is this might have been Wade's strongest offseason. I also though last year was Bowa's best effort.
 
Of course Polanco will start tonight - Milton is a lefty!
 
I'd half-agree with you Jason. We did everything we could with the rotation, and I really thought that cholly would at least keep the team's hitting more consistent. 35 games say he can't, plus the badness with the hitting. Usually it takes until late july before I too sick with fear to log on and find out last night's score. Late april is a whole new low for the phils.

As for bo's best season, I thought it was his first. did pretty much the same in terms of w/l's got us within three games of winning a pennant, all with less ability in his team than he has now. Sigh.
 
sorry, meant . . . then *he would have had* now! on another note, has anyone looked at this site? http://www.pennant-race.com/ was mentioned in hardball times. interesting to see that this time last year we raised our game. so maybe you're right mike - maybe we put a run together and try to hang in till at least july.
 
Maybe I'm too hung up on this because I mentioned it yesterday too, but the inability to hit with runners in scoring position is killing this team. Maybe the stats guys have some way of proving that leaving guys at second and third is unimportant, but watching them leave guys on base is painful. I've always had a hard time listening to people say that striking out is no worse than making an out. When you're hitting this badly with runners on, putting the ball in play every now and then would probably help.

And maybe this sounds a bit basic, but this team just isn't fun to watch. I've enjoyed a handful of things so far: Burrell's first week or two, almost all of Lieber's starts, Utley proving that he's an everyday player, and Abreu the last week. That's it.
 
Third Basemen
NAME GP GS INN TC PO A E DP FPCT RF ZR
David Bell 35 34 286.1 99 17 77 5 4 .949 2.95 .828
P. Polanco 4 2 21.2 13 5 8 0 2 1.000 5.40 1.000
Tomas Perez 2 1 11.0 4 1 3 0 1 1.000 3.27 1.000
Team Total as 3B 37 37 319.0 116 23 88 5 7 .957 3.13 .846
ESPN FIELDING..... Could someone just document A) poor managing and B) poor base running I have never seen such poor fundamentals in each. As for something we can do - trade / give away Bell. He is a class guy, however his back is effecting his range as well. (even though RF and ZR are crude jsut look at it...! WOW - DO SOMETHING!

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"I'll be baffled if Manuel plays Polanco instead of Utley"...Utley sat, and I think we all are baffled...
 
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