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.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Since Bobby Left… 

A few weeks ago I prematurely waved the white flag of surrender on the Phillies season after they elected to deal Bobby Abreu and others away. What chance did they have, I figured, if management was already conceding defeat on the season and 2007, and was already looking forward to 2008? I must admit to being pleasantly surprised. Since the trading deadline passed, the Phillies have been red-hot, jumping back into the wildcard hunt and slicing down the gap between them and the wildcard from seven and a half games to just two and a half.

I was curious about how the Phillies have done offensively since the deal and I was very surprised by what I found. Yes, Bobby Abreu was a terrific hitter for the Phillies and they will miss his bat, but since dealing Abreu the Phillies have led the N.L. in scoring by a wide margin with 99 runs to the Dodgers 75. Yes, they have been the best, the most dangerous, team in the NL since the end of the day on July 31.

The Phillies have also led the N.L. in OBP, Abreu’s bread-and-butter, by a wide margin: .384 to the Dodgers .375. Despite losing Abreu’s patient bat, the Phillies were tied for second in the N.L. in walks with 61, just four behind the equally red-hot Dodgers. The Phillies also led the NL in slugging percentage. In August, the Phillies had have bettered the opposition in home runs 24 to 17, in OBP .384 to .300, and in slugging percentage .502 to .404 …

Confused about what I’m talking about? Here are the stats I refer to defined:
Gross Productive Average (GPA): (1.8 * .OBP + .SLG) / 4 = .GPA. Invented by The Hardball Times Aaron Gleeman, GPA measures a players production by weighing his ability to get on base and hit with power. This is my preferred all-around stat.
On-Base Percentage (OBP): How often a player gets on base. (H + BB + HBP) / (Plate Appearances)
Slugging Percentage (SLG): Total Bases / At-Bats = Slugging Percentage. Power at the plate.

The long and the short of it is this: no one man is above the play of the team in the sport of baseball. I was stunned when the Seattle Mariners made the playoffs in 2000 after dealing Ken Griffey Jr., to the Reds and getting what seemed like little in return. I was even more stunned when they let A-Rod walk and proceeded to win 116 games in 2001. When Bobby left, other Phillies started to pick up the slack:

In the month of August Jimmy Rollins hit six home runs and had a .734 slugging percentage as well as a .473 OBP. J.Roll’s GPA has been an ungodly .396 in August.

Ryan Howard might battle his way into the MVP race if he keeps his torrid pace up: in August he has hit six home runs, twenty-three hits, nineteen RBIs, with an OBP of .493 and a slugging percentage of .729. His GPA is a Barry Bonds-like .404 …

Other stellar performers include David Dellucci: 16-of-38 with ten walks, .540 OBP, .842 slugging percentage, .454 GPA, five home runs and twelve RBIs), and Shane Victorino: 13-of-45, .375 OBP, .643 slugging percentage, .330 GPA, two home runs, two triples, four doubles and eleven RBIs. Considering that the Phillies are counting on Victorino and Dellucci to replace Abreu and (probably) Pat Burrell in 2007, then I would have to say that the Phillies future is bright.

The decision to deal Bobby Abreu and the success the Phillies have had since then might spur further change in the offseason, i.e., it might hasten the departure of Pat Burrell. Pat has declined somewhat in the month as well, hitting just one home run with five RBIs, and going 10-for-39 at the plate. With Dellucci and Victorino playing so well in the outfield, perhaps Pat’s days are numbered.

Last night's game was a real jewel for Jon Lieber. This is the sort of game that I thought he'd be hurling every week when the Phillies signed him prior to the '05 season: he threw lots of groundball outs, struck a few guys out and didn't allow a single walk. 71% of Lieber's pitches last night were strikes. Today Scott Matheson goes for the sweep at 1:05. If the Phillies win today they will have a tremendous amount of momentum for the wildcard run. Sweeping the best team in the NL will do that.

I know this much, since Bobby's been gone I have renewed vigor in this team!

and I like Abreu...just not meant for the Phils anymore.
I think this pretty much proves that it was never Abreu's fault that the team didn't make the playoffs. This guy couldn't hit for everyone else. It's not his fault that 5 guys are now hitting the hottest they've hit all year. People that say that just lose points in my book.
It's the Ewing Theory(tm Bill Simmons)
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