General Discussion – Week of 6-30-2014 – Nautical Edition

On the road with the Marlins and Pirates this week.

Here’s a question: Do Pirates fish? I mean, they probably do, right? Plunder is one thing, but fishing means never having to steal food from someone, and instead focusing on all the treasure. Imagine being the pirate left behind when the gang leaves because you were in the kitchen looking for a snack. That’d be super embarrassing.

Also, I wonder if Barkhad Abdi likes baseball. Strikes me as a soccer fan, but maybe that’s just me stereotyping.


129 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of 6-30-2014 – Nautical Edition

    1. Apparently, It’s ok because Sanatana and SIngleton are striking out at around a 30% clip. Still, Tommy Joseph is the man! Such a good trade!

      1. Anonymous the strikeout rate on t hose three Santana, Singleton and Springer is really high, I thought it was higher than thirty percent,

        1. Strikeout rate is overblown if they are hitting balls over the fence. We have a 1b who k’s more than anyone but was about as prolific a run producer as there was for a time.

          1. Some truth to that. But over 30% is problematic. Even Howard’s career rate is “only” 28% and was lower in his prime. In his MVP season it was 25.7%.

            As for Singleton, my prediction is that he gets his rate under 30%. If not, his chances of being even a decent regular, let alone a star, are limited.

    2. Amaro logic: He was not on the PTBNL list by accident. I don’t know where that rumor began, but it is wrong. It was our intent to all along to overpay.

  1. I love the recent string of people giving the thumbs down click to anyone who mentions how incompetent and terrible this organization has become. Sorry, its true. Having said that, lets get Jake Fox to the majors!

    1. It’s because it adds nothing and everyone knows all the mistakes that have been made. No one’s mind is being blown when the 77th person says “Amaro Sucks” or “How’s that Pence trade looking now? Guess we messed that one up. RIP Phillies.” Wow. Way to go anonymous commenter. Thanks for the valuable insight. It’s annoying to read on every single thread. Do you really think those comments add anything? Go to or something for that crap.

      1. Yes. Even I, not one to understate the impact of that particular trade, don’t find those comment enlightening.

    2. Really? Do you REALLY think that people on a Message board dedicated to the Phillies minor league system are ignorant of the negative impact the trades have had?

  2. Mds13 Your so right we are beating a dead horse. No matter how we talk, or react in attendance it wont change, the way they do business. Amaro was on wip today. he is disappoint but attendance will affect how they do things. is kind of the way I read it, but that is my take. The part that gets me so frustrated is how Angelo Cataldi says Hinkle is a ass cause he doesn’t tell you want he is doing and Amaro is open. Big deal. he is a moron but will talk on radio. I Just cant see Amaro making the right moves to bring us back. Hope for everyone on here and all the fans I am wrong.

    1. I’m far from a defender of the regime and have discussed Amaro to death but to be fair they have changed the way they do business at least a little in terms of draft strategy, the LA market, not trading prospects for at least a season, at least paying lip service to analytics, etc. Too little too late for success in the near term? Of course. But the BP, a decent looking Asche, and an improving system are positives that we weren’t sure about in April

  3. People are entitled to use this site to air their feelings. I usually ignore the negative to be negative remarks, but I wouldn’t want to ban them.

    1. People are entitled to air their feelings and I’m entitled to downvote them/deride them for it. This isn’t a therapy website. If they need help with feelings they should look elsewhere.

      1. Nobody is asking for your therapy. Since when did this site become strictly for those those that are blinded by the organization? If I’m not happy with the GM or the direction of the team I’m going to air my complaint.

        1. No. It’s just your absurd theory that anyone who doesn’t feel like listening to someone complain for the 5,000th time about RAJ is “blinded by the organization”. Get over yourself. You’re not a prophet leading us sheep to the promised land. We get it. We know the farm is crappy and the team is worse and that is heavily influenced by trades made by RAJ over the last three years. WE. ALL. KNOW. Why do people feel the need to say it over and over and over and over and over and over over and over and over over and over and over over and over and over over and over and over over and over and over over and over and over over and over and over over and over and over over and over and over again. Do you think if you complain on a Phillies Minor League website enough to strangers that agree with you that RAJ will change or get fired?

          1. Plain and simple, it’s the reason for the state of the current team (and for at least the next couple of seasons). While I find it amusing, I’m not leading the #fireruben train, just following it. I’m also not dumb enough to think all the moves over the years were solely RAJ. I personally think Montgomery is the most overrated sports figure in this city, and that he gets a pass because he’s “loyal” and is a “good guy”. Maybe the problem is that he’s more loyal to folks like RAJ than he is to the fans that pay for this slop of a product!

            So yeah, I COULDN’T CARE LESS what you think of my opinion, and i’ll continue to state it. What I know is that I have ZERO faith in their ability to turn this around by moving some of their overpaid bumb veterans for any decent prospects, and that’s if after their “evaluation” process (as if the last 3 years weren’t evaluation enough) they decide they need to move some guys.

            They’ve admitted that they lack a “plan”, they scoff at stats such as walks, OBP, and apparently defense, and they’ve admitted that their #1 concern is selling tickets. I’m sorry, but from what I can see, there isn’t much positive that can be said.

            I don’t want to cause any uproar/drama on the site. Sorry to anyone offended.

            1. No anon…they don’t scoff at defense, they try to improve it and until 10 games ago it was one of the better ones in the NL.
              But Howard got balls hit his way and lo and behold it has slide the slippery slope downward. But exclude Howard from the equation and the occasional runner taken advantage of a Revere lob, then their defensive metric is fairly decent.

          2. I guess because the Phillies owners, their kids, the GM and other execs keep saying inane things, which suggests that they don’t understand their problems at all. Also, because no matter how many problems there are, so many posters are knee-jerk supporters of the owners and execs. The constant repetition or recounting of the problems may not solve anything, but neither will the rose-colored declarations that all is well, we’re doing a slow rebuild, there’s lots of strength on the farm, it’s really important to hold the core together…

    1. Not unless they are completely blown away. He’s young enough to still be a major part of the team post-rebuild.

    2. No, unless we get a huge/sure thing return. Hamels is young enough to build around. I wouldn’t trade Lee either. Just coming back from an arm injury, we’d get like 10 cents on the dollar for him. A team needs 5 starting pitchers and will make major use of at least one other in the course of a season, so keeping Hamels and Lee isn’t going to block anyone or keep the Phillies from picking up a bargain SP. Holding onto vet position players totally blocks the position. We may not think anyone in the system is ready, but someone might surprise, or our scouts might find a good AAAA or off the injury heap dumpster dive like we had with Werth and have missed with some of the guys who went through Allentown and then on to success elsewhere.

  4. Did anyone see data leak out on who the Astros were trying to trade? One deal was Stanton for Correa and Springer, another was alhteer for Norris who was traded to Baltimore. interesting. Teams weren’t happy it leaked out.

  5. For those seeking good news, Zach Green was named BP’s minor league hitter of the day. Let’s hope he stays healthy and keeps up his recent good streak.

  6. While I wouldnn’t down vote anyone on this basis, a related issue is that, IMO, Amaro overall has taken more criticism than justified over his trades. That despite how bad that one trade was. Breaking it down:

    (1) Trades of prospects for veterans – really on the whole, with one massive exception (Pence), he did well.

    (2) Trades of veterans for prospects – one couldn’t exactly call him successful on these trades, but if one takes a realistic view of what one can expect in terms of return for veterans with limited periods of control, and accounts for some bad luck, he doesn’t deserve nearly the criticism he gets on this front.

    (3) Other trades – only one of signficance that I can think of, but it was a good one, acquiring Mayberry for nothing.

    On the whole, take away the Pence trade and it’s an okay record. Now, as I’ve made abundantly clear, I think he has other big faults. But his trade record is not his worst characteristic.

        1. Or most other trades for that matter. How about half a season of Beltran for Wheeler or Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter for Koji Uehara, or how about the Justin Upton trade, the Miggy trade.

          The list of bad trades and bad signs is a long one and no team is immune from their share.

          Krist the HOF Gillick traded Gio Gonzalez for for Freddy Garcia with Gavin Floyd after we got him and Rowand for Thome.

          How about Cargo and Huston Street for a rental of Holliday. Shizza Beene might have won a WS by now if he kept his pieces in place long enough.

          Here is a good one Carlos Gomez from the Mets to the Twins for Johan so they could pay Johan $140M to pitch well for a couple seasons. Wait it gets better the Twins then trade him to the Brewers for J.J. Hardy.

          Then as the Astros leak will point out the many other deals just waiting for a counter sig that we don’t get to hear about.

      1. Well there’s two issues here – hindsight and with what we knew at the time. In terms of the latter, meh. Mildly disappointing but only that. Again people have unrealistic expectations of what even a very good pitcher with one year of control at a market salary (or close to it) generally commands on the trade market.

        In hindsight it obviously looks worse, but that’s partly a matter of bad luck. Sure, none of those guys was an “A” level prospect even at the time. But if either Aumont or Gillies had hit their ceiling, then that trade would be looking pretty darn good right now. And even now, Aumont is the kind of pitcher than still has a shot of finding his control (or enough of it to be a very effective reliever), and if that happens, on a purely value basis, it could STILL turn out to be a decent trade.

        1. Look at you being all optimistic on our second favorite canadian I’ll give it a thumbs up.

          1. Thanks. 🙂 Look at it this way: one year of Lee was worth 7 WAR (yeah, I know you aren’t a metrics guy but go with me for a minute). If Aumont becomes a quality set up man (unlikely but not impossible), he could certainly generate that much value or more over his pre FA years. AND at a lower salary.

            1. Whoa big fella who ever said I wasn’t a metrics guy? I’m of the Tony LaRussa Buck Showalter school of metrics which is let’s not let our organization get so caught up in it that we can’t see the logic of human element.

              Great article by Tony in case you are interested in how he plans to evaluate where the D-Backs are and where they are going and how analytics will fit into their future.

        2. lmao your not kidding, How in gods name can you come up with if ,sure all trades start with if these guy is the guy we think, trouble is they both have had there chances and they stink. Aumont is a head case, I Just cant believe you even went there. BAD LUCK its a matter of bad talent evaluation, was Gillies hurt or just bad, on the field and off, should have know that if they did there homework, just like they should have know that they were getting damage goods from white sox,, aumont was in Toronto system they knew that he was, smarter talent guys. I really believe you work for the Phillies, lmao saying Amaro trades were as bad, is like saying that lawyers isn’t bad he only loses 1 of 5 cases, trades are only part of the job, and he blew a large trade, didn’t evalutate moss, miss on others two. went out and build the worst bench in baseball.

          1. I have often thought that other team’s are more accepting of youthful high spirits and acting out on frustration than the Phillies, who seem very quick to suspend players to whip them into line for things unrelated to their play on the field or game prep — things like arguments with their host families or a team bus driver. A lot of talented, successful young prospects are going to have an overly-confident strutting character. Young twenty-somethings, of any profession, are going to sometimes get drunk, sometimes get into verbal disputes, sometimes say impolitic or very rude things, rebel against authority, etc. This may happen more now than it did in the past, but it’s always been a part of growing up. Phillies management seems to feel they must break the kids to their will. That’s partly why we made such a hash of the whole J.D. Drew situation and why we, despite that sort of shenanigans or miscommunication likely not being at all uncommon, were the team that ratted out two draftees to the NCAA.

        3. This is true. Revisionist history gives Aumont and Gillies far less talent and success than they actually had when they came to Phillies organization. They progressed not at all with us. Some was injury bad luck. Some was likely less than optimum development staff. It’s not just the guys we traded for. Look at all the guys our scouts thought had great talent who developed not at all. Look like Domonic Brown, our highest rated prospect since Hamels, doing a total crash and burn. That is not all on the GM making bad decisions. We had guys in our organization who understood the Seattle organization and its prospects. Not everyone was available, but they chose who we should get. We got real talent. A ton of talent has been injured or failed to develop in the Phillies minor league system. Also, a lot of kids have been jerked around. As many have commented on young players on the major league Phillies and I’ve observed by attending Reading and Allentown games, our players don’t seem to know basic fundamentals. It is uncanny how in Allentown and Reading the opposing pitchers are far better bunters than our guys. Some of our baserunning is just zany. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence that our scouting and minor league staff isn’t all it should be. The only winning seasons, as in above .500 not winning the league, which Allentown has had was when Sandberg was the manager. Minor leaguers on the Allentown to Philly and back trolley have said that they found the coaching to be very inconsistent, with conflicting advice from coaches at different levels.

          1. Scott Proefrock thought Aumont, Gillies and JC Ram were pretty decent prospects at the time..

    1. Larry. The Lee trade to Seatle was a disaster. Aside from the three non studs they received back…. It forced the Phil’s to trade for Oswald during the following mid season. Therefore, using Happ and Villarreal for the Oswalt trade. This trade would not have happened if they never traded Lee. Finally, the other negative of the Lee trade was when the Phil’s decided to resign Lee the following off season it ended up costing them a first round pick. All of it was unnecessary in hindsight.

  7. On the subject of the Pence trade, is moving Tommy Jospeh to another position (left field?)a consderation in order to lessen his chanes of a concussion and to get his bat in the lineup up with the Phillies?

    1. My opinion it is not an option. He might be worse than Ruf out there. 1B maybe but then he has to profile like Napoli which I don’t think is out of the realm of possibility.

      If you have not seen Joseph hit in person it is something to see. His power is the real deal.

    2. Is he ever going to hit well enough to make it as a left fielder? I doubt it. His bat plays at catcher, but I really doubt it will play if he has to move to LF or 1B. Can he even hack LF defensively?

      1. allentown…the organization seems to be getting potentially full of slow-footed heavy-hitting leftfielders or first basemen.

        1. Sandberg likely can stay in RF. Possibly even Cozens. I don’t think LGJ makes it at all with the bat, so he doesn’t count. Hiciano likely LF. Encarnacion probably limited to 1B. No reason Brown can’t play RF. Perkins I guess any corner OF. Pujols and Tromp likely either corner. Ruf 1B. Dugan either corner. Zach Green likely ends up in either corner. Unless Asche or Franco traded, Franco at 1B. Altherr and Quinn contesting CF, with Tocci a couple years behind. The majority of these guys are likely bench or not major leaguers at all, when all is said and done. Of the new guys Aaron Brown either corner and Rhys Hoskins 1B. The other draftees not enough pedigree to worry about for now.

    1. It doesn’t. Any change in ownership likely occurs within the existing ownership group. If some owners want to unload, I suspect the Middletons will be happy to buy them out.

    1. He should DH. We don’t want to risk another concussion. We learn today that Ruiz has also had a history of concussions and is having more serious problems with his present concussion than previously thought.

  8. Brad, this topic should be called the “Gripe Discussions of Past Actions” or “Hindsight is 20/20 Vision” thread.

      1. And gets everyone worked up for no reason so please stop crying over spilled milk. I would prefer to see who we can reasonably get for some of our veterans and some forward thinking about the rebuild/reload process. As a Baltimore native who now lives around Philadelphia I don’t understand how you expect to have the best of everything all the time. Lastly, I find the fan base is either too hyped up or too negative – there is a balance which Baltimore has more of than Philadelphia. Nothing is as rosy or dark as it appears.

        1. I think those who see the view as dark react to the rosy posts and vice versa. The Phillies present and near future seems to me to be undeniably dark, so I find the super-rosy posts to be very annoying. I imagine those who can’t tolerate other than positive thoughts about the Phillies are equally annoyed by my posts. The ‘negative’ posters are also set off by the totally inane excuses/positive comments that RAJ, Monty and the other PTB come out with on all too regular a basis. Until there is an actual plan to turn this team around, and the PTB and the posters who support them are pushing the same-old, same-old as either a nostalgia trip or a substitute for any creative thinking, I find it hard to not respond negatively. I find the suggestion that we are doing a ‘slow rebuild’ to be ludicrous. We are doing nothing but retaining and filling in old vets around the old core. Yes, some minor leaguers are moving up, either as injury replacements or into the odd position, but it is not a rapid flow and has yet to include a single truly impactful player. To be honest, it is less of a flow of young talent than the Braves or most teams have year-in and year-out, so it’s hard to describe it as a slow rebuild. It is what is business as usual for 90% of organizations. Yes, the Phillies have stepped back from the ledge where they threw away multiple draft picks to sign FA and a lot of minor league talent to acquire guys to gild the lily on the major league team. Given the Phillies current situation, that represents a blindingly obvious change to make, but just because it is a change does not make it a slow rebuild. That is a con.

    1. It’s not 20/20 hindsight if the dumb decisions were called out as dumb decisions at the time they were made. It’s also not ‘past actions’ if Monty is calling for more of the same to preserve attendance. We’re coming up to international signing day tomorrow — let’s see how active the Phillies are. There are a couple of Cuban OF on the market. Let’s see if we get one of them. Let’s see if we ended up using our 5% allowable overage on this year’s draft bonus pool. Let’s see if the team actually makes a significant trade or two before the deadline. In other words, let’s see some more actual evidence of change in direction by Phillies management. Especially, let’s see what personnel changes occur among the player development and scouting staff this off-season and whether the team rationalizes it’s huge number of senior advisors, reporting to both RAJ and Monty. I’d like to see RAJ and/or Monty gone this winter and would also like to see a new scouting director to replace Wolever. This is an organization that is very badly in need of change and very little change has happened.

      1. You do realize the Phillies and baseball in general is big business – don’t you? Changes happen slowly in a large organization.

      2. Allentown, you are one of the more reasonable posters and you make many good points. The past actions can’t be undone which was my point. Hopefully they will learn from their mistakes and make good International signings, spend their entire allotment wisely in the Domestic and International draft money. As far as any major moves internally by the Phillies, you may see moves but Monty and RAJ are probably not going anywhere which will not make you happy.

  9. Will someone pleeeeeease comment on the catcher we got for Ronny Cedeno instead of complaining about our crappy GM?

    1. It is the ownership actions that have hurt the team for the better part of 31 years. Please google and read “The Phantom Five” article from Philadelphia Magazine about the ownership. Lastly, David Montgomery has forced Amaro to sign Howard, Rollins, Ruiz and Utley to extensions. So what do you do when your boss tells you to do something?

      1. Monty is doing this because he thinks it is what fans want, makes the owners seem generous, and is good PR. That is precisely why these actions need to be challenged. The message has to break through the Phillies management bubble that fans want a winning team, not a nostalgia-fest and that these actions are seen as stupid and not reflecting well upon ownership. I don’t blame RAJ all that much. I think he has done what all Phillies GMs have done in dealing with the silly restrictions and decrees from ownership. I totally share your view on this. You should know that I was pilloried over the winter by Larry M and most of this board for voicing this exact same view. People want to believe that RAJ is the problem, as Wade is the problem and that our owners just sit back and let the GM run the baseball side of the organization. I understand why people want to believe this, since nobody can force an ownership change, while a fan revolt could lead to the firing of a GM. I also realize that RAJ makes a ton of inanely stupid comments, much of which are in the cause of shielding ownership. What the owners want to do must be done and then must be explained as what the GM actually wanted to do, with no blame drifting back to ownership. Unlike a lot of really meddling owners, who love the limelight, Giles has been burned by the blowback from all his bad decisions when he was his own GM. He and the other owners are now shy of the public glare. They still want to pull the strings, as when Giles demanded that J. D. Drew be drafted ‘for the good of baseball’, even though he had no intention of paying enough to sign him, and then stepped in and soured negotiations, when it looked like there was a small chance they might succeed.

  10. A new article in today’s Philly Inquirer look under the header “Looking to restock, Phil could be selling. just about says it all I think they be going after Fa in the off season. Only if they can trade some of the bigger contact’s . tomorrow is the international opening to sign FA as Matt a said before there in on Latin ss is rated 10th by BA and 15th by Mlb . There is nothing out there on any Cuban that there tied too.I heard there waiting for 2016 that when the Comcast money comes in and they can op out of Howard’s contact. I hope they go after a stud pitcher.

      1. Which means a great first round pick again next year, and the following year in 2016. Hey, wasn’t that the Wash Nat’s strategy!

        1. Well, that is the bright side to the current mess, although the same result could be achieved better and far cheaper.

      2. allentown…….Ruben to JIm Salisbury yesterday:
        “We have to improve in our offense. We’re not getting enough offensive production. Pitching and defense has always been the theme, but we’ve been so inconsistent offensively, that’s got to be one of the priorities moving forward.”
        ……….Ruben has a plan and will precede to attack accordingly

    1. Part of this was sort of surreal, with RAJ suggesting that he may be looking to add offense for the current season. Huh? The current season is toast. We’re on the road for the next 9 games. Really aren’t even many opportunities to sell more tickets by maintaining this charade. Surely RAJ wouldn’t consider trading for a doomed ‘shot’ this season would he? Is our ownership/management that dumb?

    1. OMFG you people are the worst. This is the worst “discussion” on any Phillies board that I’ve seen in years. WE ALL KNOW AMARO SUCKS. Now can we move on to the players????

      Not one goddamn comment about the only trade we’ve made all season. I’m done with this site. On to Crashburn I guess. It’s been a fun year reading y’all but I’m out.


      1. The Raywilly trade? He’s catching depth at AA. What do you want? In depth analysis of catching depth?

        I said “depth” three times. Exciting.

        1. Lame. He’s got better offensive numbers than any catcher in our minor league system except Astudillo. You might mention that.

          1. He’s a 24 year old repeating AA and at the time of the trade he was doing about the same but really slightly worse than he did the first time with the bat by wRC+. He hits for almost no power. Is that actually better than any non-Willians catcher in our system? I don’t think it’s better than Deivi Grullon, I don’t think it’s better (adjusted for league/age) than Gabriel Lino, and I don’t think it’s better than Andy Knapp.

            Also, he throws out runners at less than a 30% clip.

            So compare him to Sebastian Valle, maybe – Valle hits for a good bit more power, hits for a good bit less average/OBP, but throws out runners at a significantly higher clip. Is that a prospect? He’s going to back up Logan Moore at Reading until Rupp or Hill or Joseph is back at AAA or Joseph is back at AA.

  11. Ty tim now my blood pressure is so high, I need to see my doctor. The one thing that I haven’t heard from the ruben fans is , he has the third largest budget to work with. doesn’t that count for something? and he stilled screwed up this team, And to have the assets he has makes it even worse.I really for my health need to stop comments, I am so angry that they had a chance to do something here that all the other philly teams never did, build a dynasty. that 08-09 teams with a right move here or there could have kept going.

    1. roccom….maybe some good news for you, today opens the International signing….maybe, just maybe,Ven ss Gamboa inks, keep your fingers crossed.

    2. The only way they could have created a dynasty was if they continued down the Yankee Way of overspending and buying out bad personnel decisions. It appears ownership started down this path but then stopped which has created the contract issues we have.

      1. No, that is not entirely true. There were two huge errors. One was the premature giant contract extension to HOward. The second was being really, really cheap on bonuses for draftees and international youth talent when MLB had essentially no hard spending limits and the Phillies were rolling in cash. The 3rd killing mistake was the Pence trade. None of these major errors required Yankees-level spending to fix. Not extending Howard until they needed to, at which point it would have seemed a glaringly bad idea, would have actually saved money. Rebuilding the farm would have cost only an extra $2 mill a year. Not trading for Pence would also have saved money. The problem has not been a failure to spend enough overall. The problem has been spending in really stupid fashion. I said when Ruiz was re-signed that it was a deal that would work for year one, then be an albatross for two seasons. It now appears that I was too optimistic. What organization with any smarts at all gives a 3-year contract to a very old catcher with a history of concussion problems. A history they kept secret until yesterday.

        1. I don’t buy they couldn’t have kept a dynasty. first if they signed Werth for instance, and never made the pence deal. then don’t sign Howard like the cardinals did with pujois, right now we would have Cosart instead of 8 million to Kendrick’s, and singleton for Howard, and Santana . Villar as a bench guy in the wings, prospects and money to fine tune or am I wrong. or instead of Werth. signed a cheaper guy. use money on the Cuban outfielder Oakland got, other alternatives, would have been there. But the more I read the more it seems Montgomery forced the moves, Ruben made in contracts, if that is true, Ruben isn’t to blame for a lot of the issues with this team, but its a big if, in my mind. I must say this I am getting too angry and ranting I don’t mean to rant, sorry to all especially Larry, But to be long time fan of all the teams this was the first time we could have kept it going imo. with just some good talent evaluations,

          1. They didn’t need to re-sign Werth. All they needed to do was NOT think that they could replace him with Mayberry/Francisco. That’s the same offseason that Cuddyer and Beltran signed (and I think Willingham). If we had even a decent replacement, there is no need for Pence.

  12. I don’t really see how Amaro needs more time to see what this team is. This team is WHAT it IS and HAS BEEN for close to two and a half seasons now.

    The Phillies have been over .500 exactly *FIVE* days since the end of the 2011 season. (3 in 2012, one last year, and the day after the opener this year)

    This is not a good team. This is not a winning team. This is not a playoff team. It hasn’t been for quite some time and with the moves Amaro is making (or not making) it won’t be for quite some time.

    1. I’d imagine the ambiguity is partly meant to create leverage on the trade market. If holding on to players past July 31 is a viable option, teams are going to be more likely to sweeten the pot in deadline deals.

    2. Amaro is just proving to the ownership that the team is competitive but not good enough to win games against the better teams. The rebuilding will start soon but not as fast as some people would like.

      1. I had planned one of my long posts on this, but time does not permit. Some of you wil be glad about that

        Let’s start with the caveat that there is plenty wrong with the organization, from talent judgment to development issues, and plenty of reasons for pessimism besides that, including the dearth of young talent at the major league level and upper minors.

        But I find tedious and unhelpful the focus on the fact that Montgomery won’t use the term rebuild. Now, obviously none of us are party to the relevant policy discussions or party to trade talks with other teams. So ALL of us are left to speculate. But looking at the team’s actions over the past 1 1/2 years … I can see plenty of things to criticisize, but no evidence that the team isn’t “rebuilding,” whatever they call it. If anything, the contrary is the case. The FA signings especially are more consistent with a “rebuild” strategy that a “win now” strategy.

        As to the statement that attendance is an issue, I’m not sure why that is supposed to be bad. Attendance does effect ability to finance a large payroll (and amateur talent). Allentown himself has said (correctly) that rebuilding does not necessitate a 100 plus loss season. So Montgomery also wants to avoid that – why is that inconsisteant with a rebuild?

        Now, it IS inconsisteant with a tear down, but it’s clear that few of us are REALLY calling for a tear down, and that most of us want to trade veterans only for a reasonable return. What evidence is there that the team isn’t willing to do that? General statements about not rebuilding are not evidence of that, espeically in light of more specific statements about willingness to be sellers.

        Now, OF COURSE I disagree with the posters caling for the team to reload for another playoff run with the current core. But it’s fairly clear to me that that is not the organization’s strategy.

        If (say) the team turns down a top prospect for Utley (assuming willingness to be traded on his part) at the deadline, then I’ll be the first to criticisize them.

        Okay, moderately long after all.

        1. I think the Phillies approach is definitely not ‘win now’ although it does seem to be ‘pretend to be trying to win now and keep all of the core as a marketing ploy’. There is a middle ground between ‘win now’ and ‘rebuilding’ and that is where I think we are stuck. Muddling through and being unwilling to pull the trigger on moves that would forward a rebuild is not rebuilding, not even a ‘slow rebuild’. We are a last place team, pretending otherwise, with RAJ suggesting in his latest interview that he might even try to add offense to help this season and that he hasn’t given up on 2014. Now, that may be and probably is just a smoke screen, but really, there are not all that many home games before the trading should begin, so why the smoke screen, if that is what it is? But you are correct, I and others are allowing past Phillies behavior to make us prejudge what will actually happen at the trade deadline. What happens then and how aggressively we spend up to our quota in the current international amateur signing season will tell us a lot. In my gut, I fear that Phillies brass are determined to hang onto all of the core, regardless of offers received, because they see it as a good marketing strategy. And yes, attendance is important, but attendance is already suffering because the team is so bad. I don’t think attendance will be kept up by the nostalgia effect. They need to field at least a .500 team to stop the drop in attendance. The current strategy, or what appears from the outside to be the current strategy — although Monty’s comments over the winter confirm that appearance, is almost certain to lead to a very bad year in 2015, with no obvious progress toward rebuilding. We’ve got a struggling Franco and an even more seriously struggling Biddle in the high minors, that and the injured Pettibone and Morgan are about all we have to hope for by way of reinforcements in the next almost two years. There will be other help at the fringes, like Perkins and Sev Gonzales, but that’s about it realistically from the farm. A little longer wait and you get Crawford and Altherr to help around the edges and possibly Quinn, but this is no sooner than toward the end of 2016. Probably Nola by then, as well.

          1. See, here’s we we disagree: I think this is speculative at best. We certainly agree that many of the public statements are about marketting rather than the “real” strategy. Let’s look at what they do, not what they say. What they did in the past off season has actually worked out pretty well – and doesn’t interfere with the “rebuild.” Plenty has gone wrong in the past year, and some of it reflects badly on the organization, but IMO none of it is consistent with your speculations abvout strategy.

            Look, I think we can all agree that no strategy, no matter how brilliant, is going to rescue the franchise int he short run, and you correctly state some of the reasons for that. Let’s criticisize them when they make mistakes (and they will!) instead of speculating about the strategy behind the words.

            Finally, regarding the current core … Lee and Ruiz are probably not marketable for injury reasons, Hamels you wouldn’t trade, Howard is untradeable … I think you agree with all of that. Who is left in the “core?” Utley, Rollins, arguably Papelbon even though he wasn’t here for the glory days. We’ve gone around and around on these guys, and our personal opinions are similar on all three. But at the end of the day, the only guy who might get us a really good return is Utley. And yes, IF you are right about his willingness to be traded, and IF we get a good offer, and IF we turn it down, I will join you in condemning the organization. But that eventuality aside, the question about retaining or not retaining the current core is … without much practical impact. (Incidently, my guess is that they would trade Rollins and Papelbon in a heart beat, if there were decent offers on the table. But yes, that’s speculation also.)

      2. And more specifically regarding the next ten days …

        Does anyone really think the team is going to go on the kind of tear in the next ten days that might convince Amaro not to sell – even assuming that he is not just blowing smoke? Again, if it happens and if he announces that the team won’t be selling, then we can all complain (and justifiably so).

        1. If they went 7-3 or 8-2 there’s no doubt in my mind that they will NOT sell

        1. romus read the scouting report on this kid. Not a offensive player, hope he becomes one, we need offense.

          1. rocco….no power, but already a switchie…Phillies do not need to ‘force’ him to switch, ala Roman Quinn…makes good contact…great speed and plus arm and glove….long-range outlook, IMO, could see a move to 2nd if JPC is the guy for the next decade or so. .

        2. Good signing…first I thought he be a $1M-$1.5M guy, but then relized his ranking.
          But thats a great deal with over $2M left in allocation.

  13. Roccum try a broader perspective. The Red Sox for instance didn’t even make the playoffs in 2012 but won the WS in 13 and project to possibly not make the playoffs again in 14. They are all over the place with their prospects and can’t seem to make up their minds about Bogaerts, Betts, Middlebrooks etc…

    You want to talk about being jerked around how would you like to be Xander or Jackie Bradley Jr.

    Its not all sh!ts and giggles every where else either

    1. i guess the Sox can do that when you have a few WS rings in the last 10 years…they seem to get a pass from RedSox Nation

  14. When you’ve pitched the way they have pitched without Lee its kind of hard to give up on the season. Perhaps with a little more production from Brown and Asche now finally getting into a comfort zone everything comes together.

    Or not and we get some decent offers for some of our inventory. I mean what do you want them to say “yeah we know we suck so we are going to try and talk Utley into a move as well as some others. We are going to fire Sandberg at the end of the season as well as Jordan and Woe-lover” and start fresh.

    Its absurd to take anything any GM says in the midst of a bad season with anything more than a hair in your corn flakes.

  15. LOL do you think Dombrowski is going to say yeah my idiot owner (Illitch) was responsible for giving Fielder that contract but I bailed his arse out by taking advantage of that dope in Texas who thought he knew better than Nolan Ryan on how to run a franchise.

    Not gonna happen.

    1. Obviously every GM has to cover his owner’s behind. That doesn’t mean we have to ignore the problems caused by ownership and pretend that firing the GM will fix the problems.

      1. Well sure.

        But let’s try to be fair in WHAT we are criticizing. Increasingly the playing field on amateur talent is level enough that past errors in spending in that area are much less of an issue going forward.

        Talent evaluation and development remain real issues. Amaro DOES have to take much of the blame for that, though I agree that expecting better if he is fired is likely wishful thinking. While I still disagree with your speculation as to the extent to which the ownership is “hands on” in those areas, it does appear that they are basically happy with the status quo. If Amaro is fired, I expect that they will make a “traditional” and uninspired hire to replace him.

        1. What perplexes me about the Phillies Org Chart and Chain of Command is that Ruben was promoted to SR VP of Operations and few years ago, while also listed as the GM. And Monty, the President, dislikes the job of ‘firing’ friends, as he has said it was the worst thing he had to do when he let Ed Wade go, then, does Ruben fire himself from one position?

          1. I see it as the Flyers protocol….Holmgren leaves the GM position, steps upstairs and hires Hextall. The Phillies already have that Philadelphia precedent in line.
            Amaro replaces Monty and hires his own replacement as GM. My guess.

  16. Firing ruben isn’t the answer if what I said previous is true about Montgomery,

      1. Ha the problem with the way things are run over there is no one is ever truly gone thus nothing changes. They are so loyal to a fault its not funny anymore

        I’m all for John Middleton buying them out if it were possible strip out all the nostalgia in the FO and let’s go to work with a top 5 budget.

        You can bring those guys back for wall of fame ceremonies and stuff just don’t give them an office in the Bank and don’t allow them in on the discussions relevant to today and the future.

        Hire a baseball mind you trust and let him run the show. If you’ve done your due diligence on the hire you don’t need a bunch of consultants floating around and filling your head about what they think he should be doing.

        Heck I thought monkeys were going to come out of my but when they let the Comcast Deal go through with the canning of Wheeler.

    1. Glad to see Altherr back up with the big club….maybe he will get some playing time.

  17. 2016 will be better Comcast money will be here and Comcast will have a say in the baseball dept.The phillies will sign FA in the off season if they trade some salaries .Believe it or not Utley is not the Phillies biggest chip.Sp as well as a Closer and Hr power are more in need right now.Utley has slowed down since his hot start. The Dodgers have Ken Gordon , S F has brought up thier #1 pick in Panik that leaves Oakland which needs closer much worse then a 2nd baseman. Plus Beans against Amaro who wins.Look who’s out there Price, Lester. Ian Kennedy, Dave Murphy, Prado, Any Cubs pitcher. Which player would you throw prospects at ?

    1. ‘Which player would you throw prospects at?’…..ahhh, I guess Marlon Byrd is not one of the answers? But then, there can be Antonio Bastardo….who isn’t looking for a hard-throwing lefty…maybe the Yanks could be a taker..

  18. rocco….Phillies spent total of $1.65M approx on Gamboa, Brito, and Nunez…that leaves them about half-way to their allocation.

  19. The Samardzija-Addison Russell trade is the latest example of the difficulty in assessing the value of talent in today’s trade market.

    The A’s are getting 50 starts from Samardzija this year and next. They will pay him maybe $13 million. For that, Billie Beane, a smart man, was willing to trade one of the top 10-15 prospects in all of baseball, a guy who will stick at a premium position and who will be in the majors next season.

    Cliff Lee is a better pitcher than Samardzija. The A’s would be getting 50 starts of a higher quality from Lee, if healthy, this year and next (plus another 35 starts in 2016 if Lee were to insist that his option vests). Lee would be paid $37 million the rest of this year and next or about $24 million more than Samardzija (plus another $27.5 million in 2016).

    Obviously, the Phils would have to eat salary to make the deals comparable, but not $24 million this year and next since Lee is the better pitcher, say, one WAR better per season or $10 million better over the rest of this season and next. This is not an exact science, but, perhaps, the Phils could have gotten Addison Russell by trading Lee plus $14 million in cash for this season and next (plus another $12-14 million for 2016). (Since the A’s would be getting 2 1/2 years of Lee vs. 1 1/2 years of Samardzija, maybe Lee alone would be enough to get both Russell and McKinney.)

    Because Lee is hurt, the Phils could not make this trade with the A’s. However, discussions about Lee’s trade value were going on long before his injury, and the Samardzija deal, involving a smart GM across the table, is proof that it would have been possible to get a top prospect for Cliff Lee.

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