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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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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Is It Over? 

There has been a lot of talk from the Phillies players and fans about whether or not this team has a chance to make the playoffs, from a blanket “We ain’t got a chance” from Billy Wagner to a recent Inquirer column advocating the team’s dissolution, people are ready to throw the towel in on this season. Not so fast:

-As I write this the Phillies are 42-42, a half game ahead of the Mets and nine and a half worse than the Nats. This is terrible news given the team’s swollen payroll, but not so bad. If anyone bothers to remember the Red Sox surged back from a similar deficit last July against the Yankees and nearly took the NL East.

And who says the Phillies need to overtake the Nats? Remember, this team is only five out of the wildcard race right now. They actually have the sixth-best record in the NL: aside from the Cardinals and Padres, no other NL team outside of the NL East is above .500 right now. The Phillies can make the playoffs.

-I think the Phillies should be active at the trading deadline and make some deals. Instead of doing their usual thing and deal prospects for relief pitching, I think the Phillies should deal David Bell (if possible), and Mike Lieberthal. This team needs help at third base and catcher if it is going to make the playoffs.

-Billy Wagner is a terrific, “lights out” closer. But I’d deal him for those defeatist comments he made. Having someone in your clubhouse bitching and moaning like that is unacceptable. If you want to play on a team that doesn’t have a chance, Billy, I’ll give you a plane ticket to Colorado to play with the Rockies. Pack him off to the Red Sox in exchange for some prospects to restock the farm system and give Ryan Madson the job. I think he’ll pick it up with virtually no slack.

-Please don’t deal Ryan Howard. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance from him and dealing Howard (especially with Thome’s struggles) would be waving a white flag of surrender in the face of Philly phandom. Don’t do it. Let him play. Give him a shot at third. Let him catcher for all we care: keep this talent.

-Is it possible for the Nats to continue to be 30-11 at home for the rest of the season? I refuse to believe it, but they keep on winning …

-The Phillies next thirteen games are all at home. If you want to count them out, wait until after July 24th to do so.

-The Phillies are in the Three Rivers for a four game set: for those with sharp memories you’ll pick up on why this is significant for me … Yes, I live in Pittsburgh (more specifically, a suburb south of the city called Dormont), so this is my one chance to catch the Phillies … sadly I missed games 1 & 2 (visiting family in West Chester over the Fourth and all: I attended the Birchrunville July 4 parade, by the way, which was a lot of fun), and I can’t catch games 3 & 4 because I’m busy at my job (I work for the Allegheny County D.A.’s office). I hate this new unbalanced schedule because it deprives me of the opportunity to see my favorite team if I have a scheduling conflict.

-For those from Philly out to scope out PNC Park, enjoy. It's a great stadium. If you want advice from me about places I like to eat here, scope out Roland's in the Strip District on Penn Avenue, or Primanti Brothers in the Strip. Can't go wrong, either way.

-More tomorrow. I’m baaaaack!

Comments:
Michael:

I agree with every suggestion you make vis-a-vis the roster, but I don't believe a team as inconsistent as this one can contend.
 
30-11 at home, and also 30-11 in "close games" are those Nats.

There's a very real chance they could win the division. Chad Cordero, their closer, deserves some consideration for Cy Young. He is by far the best relief pitcher in baseball this season.
 
I'm going to post something on the Nats later. They're all pitching. Clutch pitching. Their offense is pretty meager. All your favorite stats, Mike, ISO, etc. They're near the bottom in everything. I guess if NL East can somehow expose their pitching, they could crumble.
 
I'm trying to figure out a celever way to say this, but I'll go with this: The Phillies just aren't a good team. It pains me to write that because I've defended them so many times.

The Phillies have locked lots of guys up into long term contracts and aren't getting anything from them (Wolf, Thome, and Bell to name a few). Look at the corner infielders: Bell is being paid $4.7 million and currently at .258/5/29. Look at Thome at the other corner: $13.17 million for .207/7/30. I'd love to see somebody analyze corner infield production per dollar - I can't imagine anyone being worse than the Phillies.

If I could play GM and start from scratch I think I'd keep Abreu, Burrell, Utley, Ryan Howard, and Madson. Forget everyone else. Maybe keep Rollins, but he's going to be overpaid very shortly ($8 million a year). Lidle has been a bargain, as has Kenny Lofton.

Lieberthal for $7.5 million (that's slightly more than Burrell), are you kidding me - he's hitting .232/6/21? You could get that production from a AAA player for $7 million less (wait, they've traded all of them).

I hate to sound like one of those sports radio callers being negative, but it's just not going to happen. I'm not saying the NL East is loaded with tough teams, the Phillies just aren't very good.

And what's worse is that the Phillies aren't going to be very good for a few more years because of the way they've diluted the farm system for rent-a-relievers (who haven't worked out) and locked up average to good players for very good player money (I think Abreu is the exception).

It wasn't Bowa, it's not Thome, or the bullpen, the ballpark, rotation, hitting with runners in scoring position, or too many strikeouts, or whatever else. It's a everything.

I've been, and will forever remain, a die-hard Phillies fan - even living in Chicago now - but it's over (even if we played the entire second half of the season at home).
 
I'm sorry. They are done. It's unfortunate. But since they will be messed up for the foreseeable future, trade Wagner and let it ride.
 
Oh, and the ballpark should be altered in the offseason.
 
Sorry, but you can stick a fork in them, they are DONE!!! This team has no heart, no balls, no guts, I could go on and on. They take two steps forward and 5 backward.

I'm tired of this crap every year. Bowa was blamed unjustly when the real villian is Wade. He is the one that assembled this group and must go. No hope until we get a GM that actually has a clue (Hello Gerry Hunsicker).

And it pains me to write all that because I've only been a fan since I was a kid a looooong time ago.
 
Dormont, eh? I grew up in Brookline and still won't say out loud the name of the man who broke my 16-year old heart on Oct. 14, 1992!

I miss getting to play the Phils regularly, but maybe someday the Bucs will end up in the East where they belong.

Hoping for Zach Duke's first major league win tonight - he's the talk of the town right now.
 
Let not your hearts be troubled, my friends. The Phills will win again, and will make the playoffs. The problem isn't with the park, it's with the players, and the players are too good for them to continue their woeful ways. A hot streak against the NL East will have them back in playoff contention, never fear!
 
- The Phillies are not the Boston Red Sox

- If the Phillies are to make the playoffs, Washington will have to totally tank as the Braves will win
the division. That and the Phillies will have to play .625 ball to get the 90 wins that may be be bare minimum to take a WC. I dont see the Phillies doing it.

- Good luck trying to move Libby the cancer. Would the Dodgers take him?

- You obviously didnt read through the full text of wagners comments as the "We aint gotta chance" was in reference to how they are currently playing and he did say that they were a team capable of much better. I dont see comments as defeatist, but as somebody trying to fire up his teammates.

- Yes, keep Howard, and see if they
will eat a chunk of Thomes salary and move him to an AL team.

- The Phillies will probaly do well on the homestand, but they do not have what it takes for the long run and are likely to fade off and be out of contention by late-August/Labor Day. Hope I'm wrong.
 
Michael,

Good post, but they can't try Howard at third because he throws lefthanded.
 
.

Yahoo News - Oct. 13, 2005


Yahoo Japan steps up mobile content distribution (Reuters via Yahoo! News)
Yahoo Japan Corp. said on Thursday it had launched a mobile content distribution service, in which cellphone users can buy games, ring tones, news and other entertainment and information from 59 content providers.


Microsoft, Yahoo to link instant messages (USATODAY.com via Yahoo! News)
Microsoft and Yahoo will make their instant-messaging programs work together, a partnership that could give the companies more power to compete against market leader America Online. The companies expect the service to start by June 2006.


Yahoo to Bar Minor-Adult Sex Chat Rooms (Washington Post)
NEW YORK -- Yahoo Inc. said Wednesday it will bar chat rooms that promote sex between minors and adults and restrict all chat rooms to users 18 and older.

Today's News From & About Yahoo


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