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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 26, 2006

Wait 'Til Next Year! 

With the Phillies 6-5 loss to the Arizona D-backs last night I think the Phillies have determined that they will be sellers rather than buyers at the trade deadline. Simply put, this team has thoroughly played itself out of the post-season race. As I write this the Phillies are sitting thirteen and a half games out of first place in the NL East and seven and a half out of the wildcard. Let’s chronicle the Phillies litany of woe:

-The Phillies sit in tenth place for the wildcard.
-The Phillies are just a game and a half ahead of the fifth-place Nats.
-The Phillies have fallen behind the Marlins, a team in the beginning of a rebuilding process.

Just to go .500 this season the Phillies are going to have to play some pretty good ball: they’d need to go 37-28 (.567) down the stretch to go .500. They haven’t shown me that they can play with enough consistency to finish with a winning record, let alone make the playoffs.

So that’s it. I am essentially declaring the Phillies season over. There is little to play for at this point beyond improving the team for a run in 2007. That is what Pat Gillick and his crew must do, and past history suggests that Gillick took Polonius’ advice to his son in Hamlet too seriously: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” Now is the time to be a seller: the Tigers are desperate to make the playoffs and would probably pay any price, the Mets want to win badly, the White Sox are in the fight of their lives, there are nasty races in the Western divisions of the NL and AL. This is the time to sell.

This team needs to be blown up and rebuilt. They really only have five players who I’d deem untouchable: Cole Hamels, Jon Lieber, Chase Utley, Bobby Abreu and Ryan Howard. Everyone else, and I mean everyone, is expendable. If Gillick doesn’t deal Rheal Cormier, Arthur Rhodes and Tom Gordon on this pitching-starved market for prospects then he is a fool.

If Gillick can unload Aaron Rowand, I say take it. Rowand has been killing the Phillies offense with his free-swinging style and his much-ballyhooed defensive prowess is utterly undeserved based on his performance this season. Rowand is not the answer in centerfield.

I am loathe to see Pat Burrell leave town, but I am a realist. If dealing Burrell can get major help for the starting rotation, then I’d support such a move.

So that’s it, Phillies fans. Get ready for the firesale. Wait ‘til Next Year.

Comments:
Damn, that just leaves Pawnking as the lone optimist out there. And I bet he's wavering.

I'd still keep rollins myself - his defense is good, and I'm convinced his hitting wouldn't be an issue if its further down the lineup. At this point, with Jon Lieber only getting older and not trying hard to keep himself fit, certainly not being good for longer than 5 innings, I'd happily sell him now.

But it does feel that Pat gillick is in a strong position - as you say, the market is starved for pitching, and if his method (as stated publicly) is to gather a large number of pitchers and see who will stick, then now is the time to start. Especially if they're young.
 
I have to take Ryan Howard off the untouchable list. He really doesn't contribute that much offense (.216 batting avg with runers in scoring postion)and has marginal fielding capabilities. He might bring the pitching talent that's desperately needed.
 
Lieber? Really?

I agree about Utley, Hamels, and Howard - keep them. If Myers didn't beat his wife, I'd say keep him too.

My guess is one or two small trades are made involving Phillies, but nothing significant. At this point nobody seems willing to give the Phillies anything of significance. And honestly, who on this team (besides the aforementioned untouchables and Abreu or Gordon) can really get you a whole lot in return?

Waiting until the contracts of Lieberthal, Wolf, Bell, et al to come off the books at the end of the season is where we're at.
 
I personally can't fathom a reason to keep Leiber around. I know you're partial to many of baseball's more obscure statistics (and no doubt enough exist that point toward keeping Lieber), however I just can't rationalize hanging on to an agining #3 starter (and let's all be honest, #3 is a generous classification even in a weak pitching pool). At his best this year, Lieber performed ineffectively regardless of the Phillies woefully inadequate run support. Gillick would be wise to hold onto the middle infield, and although I still haven't completely jumped on the bandwagon, Ryan Howard also (a week-long visit to spring training told me all I needed to know about Howard's questionable work ethic - see Cecil Fielder or any other morbidly obese power hitter of the late 1980's -read Kevin Mitchell-for a peek into Howards future). Hamels might yet develop into a useful lefty as long as the Phillies coaching staff refrains from tinkering with his mechanics like they tend to do with all of their "phenoms" (Ashby, Grimsley, etc.). Bottom line is Gillick might best engage in an Oakland style fire sale with any teams out there willing to serve up warm bodies for this "superstar" lineup. Then he'd ought to start handing out walking papers to the entire coaching staff who've had plenty enough time to bungle their way out of playoff contention. Keep Ramon Hernandez though since he's the only righty in the Phillies bullpen that seems to be in demand. Flat out this club is a mess, and short of folding the franchise and starting anew I feel it'll be three years before anyone can count on a productive summer out of this team.
 
baseball fantasy in signAny one using the phrase "easy as taking candy from a baby, has never tried taking candy from a baby before.baseball fantasy in sign
 
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