General Discussion – Weekend of 7-24-2014 – Fire Ryne/Trade Deadline Edition

Here’s a fresh open thread for general discussion. And here’s my #HotTake for the day – Ryne Sandberg should be fired for allowing Burnett to throw that many pitches with a rain delay in the middle when the club is trying to trade him. Six innings of shut-out ball proved the point. Seven was ridiculous. Eight was borderline negligent. Phillippe Aumont was fresh in the bullpen to give you two innings, and the game was meaningless to the season.

In general, I don’t care for Sandberg’s managerial style. Last night with two men on he had Darin Ruf bunt so that Andres Blanco could take a crack at Madison Bumgarner. The guy’s barely allowing any baserunners all night, and you want to give him an out against one of your “better” bats so a guy who until two weeks ago hadn’t seen the big leagues since 2011 can take his chance? No. Bad. Also, there’s this, from Jim Salisbury this spring, partially quoting Sandberg’s book:

Sandberg became fed up with the game and abruptly retired, walking away from nearly $16 million, in June 1994.

“I was caught between two generations, the one I came up with, which still cared about the game, and the one I left behind, which hardly cared at all,” he wrote in the book. “In the ’90s, I saw too many guys having fun after losses because they got a few hits or did something good for themselves. That didn’t appeal to me at all. There’s a lack of respect today for the game and for each other.”

So as I read that, he retired in 1994, in part, because he was a petulant child. Respect the game or I’m taking my ball and going home. That’s Brian McCann stuff right there – the stuff I would make fun of for being over-the-top “fun-police” activity. Unwritten rule enforcement, except instead of standing up to it, he walked out on his team while he still had gas in the tank, (he came back for two years and put up 3.2 bWAR in 1996, so he clearly wasn’t done).

Do you really want that guy running what’s supposed to be a modern baseball club? I don’t. Maybe I’m just jealous of the clubs around the league with forward-thinking managers and front offices, but to me, Sandberg is the wrong guy for this generation of baseball. Also, the return we got for him in trade was really lousy, and I blame him a little bit. Ok, not really.

Anyway, that’s my rant for the morning. For more #HotTakes, check out the comments on this thread, I imagine.


158 thoughts on “General Discussion – Weekend of 7-24-2014 – Fire Ryne/Trade Deadline Edition

  1. Brad….have to somewhat agree about Sandberg letting or defering to his veteran pitchers and their high pitch counts….wasn’t it after Lee’s 130 or so pitch count in a May game that his elbow troubles began to occur?
    I do not get why he lets them go to the 120/125 threshold. And he has done it with Hamels also.
    I still want to give him a pass for this year and next…I remember how bad it was under Charlie back 8/9 years ago and how everyone wanted him gone.

    1. Pitch counts this year

      Lee 128
      Kendrick 123
      Roberto Hernandez – 5/9 – 99 5/11 – 11
      Hamels 133, 125, 125. 120
      Burnett 131 (including a 59 minute rain delay)

      Felix Hernandez – no games over 116
      Kershaw – no games over 115
      Tanaka – no games over 116

      looking at the top 10 in pitches thrown in MLB this year
      Quintana – 121
      Shields – 121
      Price – no games over 120
      Dickey – 121
      Verlander – 122
      Schzerzer – no games over 118
      Kennedy – no games over 117
      Cueto – no games over 120
      Kluber – no games over 114

      fire Sandberg

      1. That is very troubling stats.
        I wonder what Ryne is thinking!
        The pitching coach has to have some say in it also.
        That extended Lee performance in May may have contributed to his elbow issue and actually hurt the team’s chance and also Lee’s return value in a trade.

  2. Good piece! Honestly, though, Sandberg is the least of the Phillies’ problems. I do like the fact that he’s basically kicked Howard to the curb.

    1. Just asking but where were these “critics” when we won 5 straight division titles? I don’t remember hearing from them at the time these moves were made. Again, the owners drove the train too long and it ran out of talent. All these moves make sense if they are truly selling the team.

      1. This is a “what have you done for me lately business.” That five year run is irrelevant now considering it was 3 years ago. They all deserve to be criticized because other than last off season their acquisitions have been questionable at best.

        1. Aces, it is unfortune that the Phillies started down the Yankee’s path of signing stars and then the new CBA took place and baseball still has guaranteed contracts. The new CBA scared off the owners from outspending their mistakes like the Dodgers and Yankees do. It looks like the Phillies are now rebuilding through the draft with little Free Agency spending.

          1. Though the Phillies have made a concerted effort to get back into the ‘big money’ game of the Latin market since the Tocci signing back in ’11..
            There is no reason for them to have taken such a long sabbatical – 2003/4 thru 2011 – from that talent rich market.

      2. I certainly criticized the Pence trade. Thought the other trades were fine. Also criticized losing the first rounder to sign Papelbon to that ridiculous deal.

        1. The only mistake in signing Papelbon was losing the low first round pick and they overpaid for him. However, if we signed and kept Madson to the contract he wanted then we would be paying for a injured closer. Papelbon has his quirks but he has been healthy and mostly effective.

    2. It’s a good article. And I think it captures the fact that Montgomery is at the root of the problem and that he carries with him the most dangerous threat – that he will continue to perpetuate a culture of out-dated thinking and analysis. You can always replace the GM, but if the man choosing the replacement is incompetent and, worse yet, encourages decisions by the general manager that are counter-productive, the GM is both not likely to be very good and also hamstrung by the foolishness of his boss.

      And by the way, I’m not suggesting that some of the silly things said about Montgomery on this site are true. I think he is well-intentioned, wants the team to win and is anything but cheap. But his approach and that of his hand-selected GM is completely out-dated and threatens to put this team into a decade-long funk.

      1. Boy you are not an optimist are you? Let’s see in 2016 or 2017 we potentially could see Crawford at SS; Franco at 3B or 1B; Asche at 3B or LF; Pullin at 2B; Quinn in CF; Joseph/Knapp at C; Altherr/Dugan/Perkins in the corner OF spots. As for starting pitching you could see Hamels, Nola, Biddle, Buchannan and someone else. The relievers can change but Giles, Diekman, DeFratus, MAG and Hollands are already here. Combine that with only Hamels commanding a large salary we will have a boatload of cash to spend on any player improvements. There is no way there will be a decade long funk and we could be competitive and exciting team to watch starting in 2016.

        1. or more than likely most of those players never really pan out. you could make up of team of baseballs top 20 prospects for 2016 and half wouldn’t be ready,but you believe all of this mediocre bunch of prospects will be ready. hope you’re right but i wouldn’t bet on it.

          1. Tom, lets say 50% pan out and combined with a ton of cash to buy Free Agents to fill the holes on the team. You still are in a very good situation and much better place than where we are now.

        2. Unfortunately, there’s not a legit hitter in the bunch. There’s not a single guy there who is a #3 hitter. Lots of maybes and some will be fine but we have no stars. Collier, Hewitt, LGJ, trades, etc Its not good

  3. Didn’t like the Sandberg hire at the time and he hasn’t exactly win me over so far this season.

    Salisbury’s reporting on Howard yesterday was interesting but can’t believe they’d eat $60M. Ryno sounds mentally done to me, or at least on the verge. Sad way to end his career in Philly

    1. He may now be mentally done. He’s been physically done since the final game of 2011. Ryan is a sad case. He seems a very nice guy and he has gamely trotted out there day after day. It was said after the fact that his legs were bad all last season. Probably this season as well. The owners want to trot out their prize signing, performance or not. It has been a very long time since there was any excuse to bat Howard against LHP. It’s been a very long time since it was clear that his body wasn’t good for more than about 100 games per season. The owners spent a ton of cash on him and they wanted to see his ‘name’ in the daily lineup. They wanted that more than they wanted to give the team a chance to actually win a game.

  4. Amazing how bad Phillies management + ownership looks in direct contrast to the forward thinking Eagles + Sixers. Embarrassing.

    1. i don’t disagree,but it’s a little early to start praising the sixers. let them show something first.

      1. Before you praise the Flyers too much it should be interesting to see how much power Hextall has especially when Eddie starts interfering again.

          1. Sorry to hear that but he was more involved in the personnel decisions than he should have been.

  5. Atleast give him the length of his contract before we jump to conclusions on him, it’s like in the movie moneyball when Arte howl says “this team is un-manageable..” or something close to that, it’s like that except the philles don’t have Billy Beane and nothing close to him. This team is un-manageable and it’s not his fault.

  6. Sandberg seems like a good guy and he was a great player, but I have to admit that I am flustered by his decision making a lot of the time. Last night: Let Blanco bat when all you need is a fly ball and you have Nieves (RH), Howard, Asche and Sizemore on the bench (granted, that also tells you how unbalanced the bench is right now – almost all LH – still, much better bats than Blanco); Let Burnett throw 131 pitches (1 less than career high) inc. sitting through a rain delay when you are trying to trade him; pitch Papelbon the night after he goes 2 innings when you are trying to trade him. Brutal.

    Also, they need a RH bat on the bench with some pop. Maybe give Fox a shot? What do they have to lose? Might be a good role player (PH) for them while Mayberry is out.

    1. Sandberg did a very good job at his minor league stops especially at Allentown and knew the organization. It is not fair to judge him with a team that can’t hit it’s way out of a paper bag.

      1. Allentown has never had a winning season when not managed by Sandberg. It wasn’t as though Sandberg even had better talent than the managers who lost.

      2. still, it isn’t wrong to question his moves. i thought when amaro went on his rant that it was kinda saying sandberg wasn’t in control of this team. seemed to me that should’ve come from sandberg.not amaro

  7. Hopefully when Ruben is fired the new GM will actually decide he wants to have a coaching search and bring his own guy in. Can’t believe we actually gave Sandberg the job without conducting a job search. Just goes to show you how terrible the organization is at actually running itself objectively.

    1. First step is a better chief executive than GIles or Monty. That’s the source of the general philosophy/guidance that all the GMs have had to live by. Don’t change the owner-dictated PHillies way and nothing changes. Management by a horde of advisors and meddling owners.

      1. This is probably true. Just hoping that maybe once they finally realize the mistakes they’ve made with Ruben they will cede a little more control to the next GM. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if they hired from within again for the GM job or any new GM hired would have to keep Ryne

    2. The not conducting an actual search this offseason is a very reasonable gripe. Sandberg might turn out to be a good hire and I hope he does, but I just thought that a first time manager was the wrong guy for a veteran team that was likely to require some creative management.

  8. It is hard for me to criticize Sandberg when he was given this dreck of a club. He has older players that think they are better than they actually are and refuse to be traded. His GM signed a ton of bad contracts and provided him with a weak bench.

    Management is scared to shake up the roster and the GM looks more and more incompetent with each passing day.

    I feel sorry for Sandberg having to deal with this circus.

    1. I agree. The finger points at a lot of the culprits. There are those who laud the loyalty that our vet players have to the Phillies, but I think their unwillingness to be traded and their desire to re-up in Philly point to a stronger desire to collect your salary in familiar circumstances and way too low an interest in winning. Being honest, anyone who wants to stay in Philly this season and next has winning very low on their list of priorities. On a losing team they have no real responsibility or pressure. All they are doing is adding a familiar name to the team. Some play hard, others don’t, some seem to maintain a positive attitude, others don’t, but none can have any expectation of contending for post-season during the remainder of their contracts. We truly have become the place where the baseball elephants go to die. It’s not Sandberg’s fault. Ownership is in its own wonderland. The players have lost the burning desire to win, which they once had in spades.

      1. I don’t think it’s fair to say that because the veterans on the club (Utley, Rollins) don’t want to be traded that they have no desire to win. They’ve played their whole careers with the Phillies and there is something to be said about guys who play on one team their whole life. They’ve built their lives in Philly and not wanting to move for a couple more years in the back ends of their careers to chase a ring they already have is understandable.

        The thing is I think Utley and Rollins want to win. They want to win on this Phillies team! They’re doing their jobs. The problem is management and other players aren’t. And to be a professional athlete sometimes you have to have some irrational confidence in yourself and your team. They might very well believe (along with management) that they’re just catching some bad breaks. They probably think Howard can still turn it around. It’s hard for them to comprehend how bad he is now. That’s their friend. They’ve competed in big games with him. They’ve seen how good he can be.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if in secret Utley and Rollins wouldn’t mind getting traded to the right situations though. Rollins indicated as much that if they blew it up he’d be open to getting moved. There is a certain amount of bad he doesn’t want to be a part of. But I think some of these vets truly believe that they could turn it around with some of the right breaks and some help from management.

        1. They are both extremely knowledgeable baseball players, who still have a lot of on-the-field ability. They could both be future managers if they chose to pursue it. They clearly know that there is zero chance of there winning in Philly, no matter how good they are personally. So to say they are driven to win today is a little silly. All the other matters that everyone mentions take precedence. It is like saying “I’d love to get the chance to play in another post-season, I burn for another championship, but not if I have to play in Oakland, or SF, or Los Angeles, or New York, or …” I truly am not criticizing their character, they have their rings, they are both very self-aware and know what is most important in their lives today. They are playing well and continue to put forth effort. They’ve clearly kept themselves in condition in the off-season. They’ve equally clearly decided that another championship isn’t that big a priority to them. I think a ton of players from last plays clubs would eagerly jump at the chance to be traded to a contender and have a chance to play a key role in a championship before their careers wind down. A lot of guys never have that chance. Ours have had several opportunities. Perhaps that is where the difference lies. We love the Phillies, we see that management treats the players quite well, but if we open our eyes and admit the truth, we know that any player signing with the Phillies the last two years was signing up to play for a bad team with no chance of winning. To elect to remain on the Phillies is to choose to play for a cellar dweller this season and next. Finishing your career with one team, when it was awful in your declining years was something that was much more common before free agency and player choice.

          1. Don’t players have the right to set up their future lives after baseball? Rollins married a local girl who has her own business with two lovely children. Utley has abusiness connection here with his father-in-law. You sound like Bob Ford of the Inquirer.

            1. They do but the team is their employer and has to come first. The team cuts your paycheck and you work for them.

              What would Rollins or Utley do if they owned a business post-baseball and an employee was more interested in setting up their post-Utley/Rollins business career?

            2. I never said they didn’t have that right nor that it makes them less of a character person. I am merely recognizing that these life events which have taken precedence over the burning desire for a championship, which they had earlier in their careers, is a real change in thinking. It is reasonable to expect that it makes a difference. It doesn’t stop them from being consummate baseball professionals, but I think it also wrong to say that the departure of that burning focus upon winning a championship won’t have any impact at all upon their play. Baseball is a long season and both Rollins and Utley start almost all the games. The grind is both mental as well as physical. It is hard to stay up for that many games, especially on a last place team and especially when you are used to playing on a winning team and have been to and won WS. I think that is one reason the PHillies hit record was such a goal for Rollins. It gave him something to focus upon and inspire himself during a long losing season. In the earlier days of his career, he always had personal numerical goals. This was before the Phillies recent golden age, so that was his inspiration to grind through 162 games at peak focus and performance. This year’s Phillies team seems to lack the emotional spark it had when we were winning. There are games when the team falls behind and the hitters seem to give up. I’m far from the only one to have noticed and remarked upon this.

              Successful athletes are very competitive and are driven by a goal they want to achieve. Something which goes beyond winning today’s game. It may be a personal stat goal, it may be driving for the post-season, it may be to push along your progress toward HOF. Being on a really bad team takes away the goal of reaching the post-season. I think it changes many players’ outlooks and does at least subtly effect their play. To deny this is to deny human nature.

      2. The main problem with this analysis is that the veterans are playing great, with the notable exception of Howard, who is physically broken, and of course Lee and Ruiz missed time for health reasons and may mor may not be healthy enough to play well now that they are back.

        So I don’t buy the “not playing hard” nonsense, not even a little bit.

        1. I wouldn’t say “playing great.” Utley was but not recently. Byrd and Utley are playing very good and I would say Rollins is playing average. The problem I believe is these players would be fine at different pl;aces in the batting order. There should be younger players in their prime batting 3,4&5. Utley should be batting second, Rollins seventh and Byrd actually is ok at 5 (6 would be better).

          1. Rollins has been playing like a top 5 SS in the league this year according to fangraphs. So yeah he’s actually been very good even better than Byrd (who has been good) but not quite as good as Utley this year

            1. I think you have guys like Utley and Rollins who are playing good but not great. Great relative to their positions but not at a superstar level.

              Byrd is doing a good job for his age and Asche looks like a rookie.

              The problem lies with the other half of the guys on the field who are just playing horrible.

              So what you are left with is half the team playing well and the other half poor. No superstars and nobody in the upper echelon.

            2. Outside of Brown, this team pretty much performed as expected and they are headed for 90+ losses.

              That is a sad statement on the way this club was built last season and this past offseason.

        2. No, the veterans are not playing great. Please take a look at the stats. Utley was playing very well through May. Since then, his OPS is less than .630. For the year, he’s 10O OPS points off his past great performance levels. His D has also slipped. He seems to be putting forth the effort, but is in obvious decline. Rollins had a really nice May, even with that, OPS down to .723. All that can be expected at his age and really not at all bad comparatively. The D has held up. So good, but not great. Likely even very good. Ruiz has missed half the season and has a .728 OPS — better than last year, but 200 OPS points south of what it was when he was great. Burnett has been very ordinary. Paps a little better than ordinary. Hernandez a bit less than ordinary. Byrd is having a very good season, but even he is off 50 OPS points from last year. So, no, the vets aren’t doing ‘great’. They’re doing better than most of the kids.

          1. Allentown,

            At work and not able to respond in detail. Perhaps for the best. Let’s seperate issues:

            (1) Biggest disagreement – IF I’m reading you right – is with the pretty clear implication that (alleged) mediocre/poor play by veterans is evidence of “not playing hard.” Actually, it was more than an implication as I re-read your post. This is utter nonsense, flat earth stuff, IF indeed you mean what you appear to mean. It’s the kind of crap you hear from ignorant talk radio “fans,” and I know that you are better than that. But if you tell me that you didn’t mean this, fine, we can move on.

            (2) That said, it’s true that, collectively, even excluding Howard, the vets aren’t playing quite up to the level that they were a few years ago. However,

            (a) You exagerate the degree to which this is true. (Partly I expect by not adjusting for context – declining scoring league wide. Rollins, for example, relative to league is having one of his better years as a hitter, with only the MVP year being meaningfully better, and is still above average as a base runner and defender.)

            (b) To the extent it is true, it is MORE THAN explained by aging and injuries. That is, their current performance levels – and Utley, Ruiz, Rollins, and Hamels are all playing at AT LEAST an above average regular level, and Utley an Hamels at a star level – are BETTER than one would expect given normal aging patterns.

            (c) If the younger guys were playing at all decently – say collectively below average but above replacement level – the team, despite Howard, despite injuries, and despite (somewhat) declining vets), would be in the playoff race. Maybe that wouldn’t be for the best, and I’m NOT one of the pollyannas who say that they should keep the core together to try to contend next year, BUT the main problem isn’t the veterans (and certainly not the utter nonesense of “not caring about winning,” but the fact that Amaro has not been able to plug in holes with even decent major league players.

            1. Well, I wrote a long response and it got deleted just as I was finishing, so I’ll be brief. I didn’t say that all the vets weren’t playing well enough to win if the rest of the team were better. Nor did I say the vets as a group weren’t trying hard or had a bad attitude. I have specifically and often singled out Utley as always giving his best and always having a good attitude. That’s not true of all of our vets. Papelbon has an awful attitude. Howard’s is not great and the fire seems to have totally gone out with him, reading his recent comments. Rollins has been up and down, and I don’t mean not running out every routine grounder and popup, which is the new baseball. I think Byrd tries always. Ruiz is an enigma. He got a season off to an awful start by being so lazy/careless not to apply for an exemption for his attention meds and getting a second suspension. He’s lost a lot of time this season and his stats are down.

              I didn’t say the vets had no interest in winning. I’m quite sure they would love nothing more than another post-season chase in Philly. The problem is, they can’t have both. If they want a post-season this year or next, they have to leave Philly. The fact that they don’t want to do that says that winning is not longer their number one priority. They understand the game. They know this season is a disaster. They know next year is very unlikely to be significantly better and certainly won’t see them in the heat of a pennant race, so… it’s move on or end their careers on a 95-game loser. Ruiz re-signed for this fate. Not something one does if winning is #1.

              It really doesn’t matter that the vets are playing well enough that an average rest of the team would be good enough to be in contention. The truth is that the vets consume too much of the salary budget for there to be any chance of a farm-poor team like the Phillies fielding an average rest of the team. Same for next season, with 9 guys sucking up virtually the whole salary budget. No vet can hang on for next season expecting to be on a contender in Philly. That is just a logical impossibility. You’ve said yourself that there is absolutely nothing that RAJ can do to field a contender in 2015. You’ve also said that the FA crop is sparse and expensive. To expect RAJ to plug in average major leaguers while paying as much as he’s paying to 9 guys is to expect the impossible. The 9 guys know that.

            2. I just disagree with most of your analysis of particular veterans. Strongly. Papelbon is a jerk, and enough of one that I wouldn’t want him on my team if I was in charge, but I see no reason to think it effects his performance. In fact, he’s shown a remarkable ability to adapt to diminished physical skills.

              Rollins is, like most players, Utley including, is up and down, but that’s the nature of athletes (and of random chance while we are at it). No offense, but I think it’s ridiculous to ascribe that to him not trying his best. If anything his unusual ability to avoid the kind of drop off usually suffered by players his age – middle infielders particularly – is extremely strong evidence of the opposite.

              As for Ruiz, what I find enigmatic are you comments – like Rollins, but maybe even more so (considering how tough catching is on the human body) the fact that he’s retained as much value as he has at his age is truly remarkable.

              So to sum up, I think you are WAY off base here – the actual evidence suggests these guys, as a group and along with Utley, have done an usually good job of fighting the ravages of time. Maybe some of that is genetics, and some luck, but, if we’re going to draw ANY inferences about how hard they work, the inferences would be positive, not negative.

              Howard is just plain physically broken, though in that case, I will admit that there’s at least SOME room to wonder if better conditioning might have helped. More likely, he’s just one of MANY guys his size who suffered an accelerated decline.

              But at a deeper level, I don’t really think this is what we disagree on. You just seem to have a problem with the abstract notion that players may prefer – for whatever reason – to stay in a losing situation. So what? SO WHAT? It doesn’t mean they don’t care about winning. Maybe they care more about not uprooting their families. Or whatever. Does it effect performances? No – you admit that about Utley, and, I think if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit that about the other guys as well. . So what? SO WHAT? It’s more of this pernicious notion that these are some kind of gladiators whose sole reason for existence is our entertainment.

              Honestly, I’m trying to be nice, but this crap makes me REALLY angry.

            3. YOu would be well advised to keep your anger to yourself and remain civil. You’ve said much of what I have. Family comfort with the community, not being away from family during home games, playing with the guys you’re used to playing with in a community you’ve gotten to know and like — those things are all now ahead of winning. It’s not unnatural, but a player with a burning desire to win will go where he has a chance to win. He will ache for that chance. For a guy like Rollins, a championship on another team is his ticket to the HOF, especially if it’s a bigger media city. It doesn’t make them bad people not to have the burning desire for a championship that they had before we won in 2008, but it does mean winning is farther down in their priorities than it once was.
              Various players at various times have themselves said that their thinking changed a bit after they had won their championship.

              It is a strange thing. The more expensive vets that were added, the less far the Phillies progressed in the playoffs. The more they expected management to add a guy like Pence to give them the dead lock edge. It was the very hungry, scrappy team, largely home-grown and dumpster dives, with some strategic FA and trade guys, who brought home the championship. That was a team that never felt any run deficit was too big for them to over-come. Looking at this year’s and last year’s team, that hunger and that continuing to claw for wins when behind in games has too often seemed missing. That is a team event, vets included. The team has progressively had a different feel about it.

              I haven’t said that our players wouldn’t rather win or lose or that haven’t held together well for their ages, but the spark they once had just isn’t all that evident. They are professional players and they handle themselves like professionals, but it really is different.

            4. None of that has anything at all to do with actual winning, at all.

              Playoffs are a crap shoot. A seven game series is as much luck as anything. It’s absurd to think that playoff “failures” after the WS win had anything, at all, to do with complacency or a diminished desire to win. That’s a just-so story, a morality play, that people tell themselves, but it has nothing do do with reality.

              Then the supporting cast got much weaker, Howard fell off a cliff, and, a DISTANT third, the other veterans suffered relatively gentle decline phases. And we are where we are now.

              Note that I’m not denying the importance of willingness, on an individual level, to do what it takes to continue to excel. It’s possible that SOME players may lose that (though for well over 95% of players it’s just the natural aging process), but it’s pretty evident that that is NOT what’s going on with this group, as argued above.

              AND more to the point it is entirely distinct from the frankly bizarre notion that it is somehow necessary for a player to put winning above all else. Honestly very few players in baseball history have done so, and I don’t consider it an even remotely desirable characteristic in a ball player. There are hundreds and hundreds of examples of ball players – most successful ballplayers – who had the necessary “make up” to excel and continue to excel, without the monomaniacal, tunnel vision focus on winning over all else that you describe.

    2. I don’t really feel sorry for Sandberg. I think he doesn’t have a basic understanding of how to manage the modern athlete. Although he probably fits right in with management that believes the team just needs to try harder and they’ll be good.

      The example Brad gave up at the top seems to illustrate his ineffective way of thinking. It’s the same type of thinking that made him and Bowa heap bs onto Jimmy Rollins in spring training. And guess what Rollins has been one of the most effective players on this team this year doing what he normally does. The old school, don’t have any fun, overwork yourself to the point of causing unnecessary injuries or (injury risks) just has very little to do with overall success of a team.

  9. Agree with letting Sandberg go. On one hand, I think a manager’s greatest challenge is keeping his team focused and in a position to produce to the best of its ability consistently. It’s what Charlie was best at, and it’s a little tough to say whether Sandberg can do that or not since this team isn’t very good. Still, I suspect that hasn’t happened. I don’t think this team should be as bad as it is.

    As far as his tactical managing, I think it’s clearly been pretty bad. Early in the season he seemed more flexible with his lineup, which was a good thing. As the season has gone on, we’ve seen certain guys kept in their spots despite poor production. Curious bullpen management, too. I can’t figure out why he’s basically refused to use certain young guys out of the ‘pen but he had no problem going to Jeff Manship so often.

    I will say that I can see what he was doing with Ruf/Blanco. Since it was a situation where it made some sense to play for 1 run, and Ruf hasn’t exactly been swinging a hot bat and was already 0-2 with a K. Then you’re just hoping Blanco doesn’t strike out. Oh well.

  10. I really am willing to give Sandberg a pass on most of the tactical stuff – except for the high pitch counts on starters. Most of that other stuff doesn’t make a meaningful difference over the course of a season. But endangering his starting pitchers’ health does matter, a lot. And I think he pretty clearly does that.

    As I’ve made clear in the past, the rah-rah play the game the right way stuff does bug the heck of me. In the greater scheme of things, I’m not sure it matters much though.

    I will say this much – you can’t really blame him for the poor results, and he ironically may be just the right guy for a young team. Which, one way or another, we’ll have soon enough (albeit not a very succesful one, at least for the next few seasons). IMO the only reason not to keep him on for now at least (managers do grow into the job) is his handling of starting pitchers.

  11. Not sure why I thought he would make a good MLB manager but I did. I’ve quickly soured on him as well. I think it will be another example of exceptional MLB players do not make good managers.

    Regardless of the roster he was dealt there are too many instances of him not making the right moves at the right times. Instances of him trying to play bad cop only to soften his stance and do the opposite of what he said he would do.

    Howard should have been batting 5th and being platooned for more frequently and Byrd while not an ideal 4 hitter was the best option there all along.

    C’est la vie the silver lining to being this bad is a catalyst for change and another high draft pick.

    1. That was me above incidentally and though I have soured on him I am not in favor of firing him. I just now have my doubts as to whether he will grow into the job.

  12. Here’s a thought for you – Rollins’ good performance this season refutes BOTH his critics, AND those of his defenders who got all bent out of shape for how he was treated by Sandberg and Bowa this spring (myself among the latter). He’s a hard working professional who doesn’t let unfair criticism effect his performance.

    1. This is true. The question is would things be different for him individually if he wasn’t playing as well as he is at this point. I think there is a chance that things spiral downward for players when their effort is being unfairly questioned and they’re playing poorly. For example: what the heck is going on with Dom Brown? I don’t claim to have any inside knowledge of what is going on in the clubhouse but it’s hard to imagine him playing this poorly (and I didn’t even have that big of expectations for him) if he was actually getting supportive coaching.

    2. I’ve always thought he was gonna be someone fans appreciate more after he leaves. He’s been so good for so long that people don’t remember what it’s like to not have a SS of his caliber. One of my favorite players and one of the best players in this franchise’s history

      1. Rollins has been an excellent SS, certainly the best Phillies SS ever. He is still a plus performer. He should be moved to a contender. He should welcome the opportunity.

    3. The Murphy article was very good. This is a limited partnership that includes John Middleton, a Billionaire who, along with the rest of the ownership group have inherited wealth. He is the one with business sense. I don’t know who inherited from Mrs. B or who is left from the Bucks, but unless new ownership comes in you are going to be stuck with Monty. Who is hiring this COO with analytics and game theory or production/value analysis in his background? That is the guy who should hire the new Manage.

      1. I think they will put someone like Wade or Gillick back in place but yeah the team needs new blood in the front office.

        They can hire the right analytical person without a problem. To say that they cannot because they do not have the background is incorrect. Someone gave guys like Beane and Epstein a chance and that is all they need, a chance.

        Will they take that risk? My comment about Montgomery and mediocrity was based on his track record going back to the bad teams from the Vet and the Phils pulling in 2.5 million fans. There was a point where they tried to sell everyone that they were a small market team.

        It seems as though the ownership is willing to tolerate mediocrity if they are not doing a fire sale. Does anyone believe that with almost $130 million committed to nine guys next season this team will be any better?

        1. The Phillies do have a full time Sabremetric/Analyst as of November 2013 and his name is Scott Freedman. Gillick is the GM that kept scouting a priority over analysis since 2006.

      2. Montgomery is recovering from cancer in his jaw and may want out of the President position. I can see a Flyers type move where the Phillies put Ruben upstairs and hire another GM. Ruben at least he understands the inner workings of the organization.

        1. That is sad to hear and I hope he recovers.

          As for having a full time analyst, you need more than one on staff. If you want to do it right you need a couple working on scouting, minor league players (track progress), major league team, and future opponents. Each area deserves one or more people working together as a group.

        1. Middleton and the Bucks’ partnership are the limited partners. They’re the ones who have the power to replace Dave Montgomery (and anyone else below him). In other words, you are wrong.

          1. In a statement, Montgomery said, “John Middleton is a limited partner with the Phillies and his personal and business interests have no impact on the operation of the ballclub.” That’s a pretty strong statement from the very mild mannered Montgomery. As you will soon learn, that is exactly what it means to be a limited partner, limited. But, if John Middleton could somehow grab a majority stake, he could have called the shots and told Montgomery to hit the road if he wanted.


            1. That quote doesn’t at all contradict what I said, and it’s not news. It’s a quote from when Middleton sold his cigar store business to Altria (or was it Phillip Morris?). He was just making clear that the decisions he makes with respect to his other businesses will not affect his decisions with respect to the Phillies.

              I don’t think that you understand how limited partnerships work. The word “limited” refers to the limited liability that limited partners have with respect to the limited partnership. As opposed to general partners, whose liability is not limited. The general partners make the day-to-day decisions. The limited partners make the fundamental decisions. The limited partners are generally passive investors, but they do generally have the right to overrule the decisions of the general partners by virtue of their voting power. The word “limited” has no bearing on Middleton’s decision-making powers. Between Middleton, Tri-Play (the Bucks), and the Betz family, they can do whatever they want, including firing Montgomery or anyone else in the front office — they just need the affirmative vote of a majority of the ownership interests, which probably means 2 out of the 3 have to vote “yes.”

            2. No G$, you are wrong. Giles and Monty do not have unlimited liability. All members of this partnership have limited liability. The difference relates to the partners’ tax situation. Monty and Giles are active partners. The others are passive partners, basically the same status as investors in a corporation. They are not allowed to be involved in managing the business.

            3. That post demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of how limited partnerships work, and frankly I don’t have the time to get into it right now. I’m not wrong, but whatever…

            4. Only thing I’ll add is that the Phillies front office page that you referenced in your post below specifically says that Montgomery is the general partners (which means unlimited liability). I don’t think that Giles is a partner at all anymore, so you’re right — liability is not an issue for him.

            5. I concur with G$ about limited partnerships and how they work. Let me add some points.

              A limited partnership must have at least one general partner, and a general partner’s liability is unlimited. To avoid the liability issue, the general partner is often a corporation or LLC. So, while the corporation, as a GP, has unlimited liability, the liability of the shareholders of the corporation is limited.

              It is quite possible that Montgomery controls a corporation or LLC which is the actual GP of the Phillies’ limited partnership. Same with Giles before him. Unless we see the formal legal documents related to the Phillies’ partnership, we can’t be sure, but things like websites or press releases should not be interpreted as being legally precise.

              Now for some speculation, based on news accounts I have read.

              I believe that Giles still retains an ownership interest in the Phillies. Originally, I believe Giles had no more than a 10% interest, probably less now.

              The Betz and Buck families, directly or indirectly, are the two largest equity holders. Middleton is in third place. I think the key to continued control of the Phillies is be on the right side of the Betz and Buck people.

              I don’t think that Mrs. Betz and the Buck brothers were baseball people. Giles, the salesman, was able to keep Mrs. Betz happy by plying her with those decadent bon-bons flown in from Pierre Herme in Paris on Mrs. Betz’ birthday (Against doctor’s orders, but we all know how naughty Mrs. Betz could be.).

              Giles played poker with the Buck brothers on Thursday nights, was their regular fishing partner, and helped the brothers with their WWII fighter plane collection by acquiring a number of hard-to-come-by additions. The Bucks were in Giles’ pocket.

              When Montgomery took over, he just followed Giles’ lead.

          2. Just the opposite is true. If, in fact, they are limited partners they are, by definition, NOT empowered to replace him. That would be the job of the managing partner or partners. Limited partners are not involved in the running of the organization or its business decisions, their interests are limited to economic interests (value of their ownership interest and right to distributions).

            1. Again, “limited” refers to their limited liability, not their limited decision-making authority. It is true that limited partners are generally passive investors — too much involvement in the day-to-day activities could lead a court to conclude that based on the facts and circumstances, they really are general partners notwithstanding the title. That said, they absolutely would have the power to (1) replace the general partner, and (2) overrule the general partner’s personnel decisions…

            2. GS….it might be semantics from when I mentioned ‘silent’ vs ‘limited’partner.
              “Definition of ‘Silent Partner’ -An individual whose involvement in a partnership is limited to providing capital to the business. A silent partner is seldom involved in the partnership’s daily operations and does not generally participate in management meetings. A silent partner is also known as a “limited partner”, since his or her liability is typically limited to the amount invested in the partnership. Apart from providing capital, an effective silent partner can benefit the enterprise by giving guidance when solicited, providing business contacts to develop the business, and stepping in for mediation when a dispute arises between the other partners.”

            3. I don’t feel like getting into a pissing contest with you. You keep making the same point over and over. I understand you think the Phillies owners are “silent” partners who contribute capital and do nothing else — I guess because they never talk to the media or otherwise have any public interactions concerning their ownership of the Phillies. It just isn’t true. As limited partners, they have the power to replace the general partner (Dave Montgomery), and having that power, you better believe they have the power to dictate who he hires under him. You can continue thinking what you think. I’ll stop now.

            4. And I’m not trying to toot my own horn or anything — I just want you to understand where I’m coming from. I’m a corporate and tax lawyer. I’ve set up more limited partnerships and LLCs and drafted more limited partnership agreements and operating agreements than I can count. The posts I made are based on my practical experience and not any BS that I read on Wikipedia or elsewhere on the internet. Take that for what it’s worth (nothing, I guess – lol).

            5. G$ – just read the PA statute – I see what you are saying. Agreed and, obviously, you draft these documents so I cede the podium to you. If that’s what you do for a living why would people quarrel with you about this? So weird.

            6. Thanks – I have no interest in arguing with people. I like coming here because the people who frequent this site tend to be more knowledgeable than most Phillies fans. But there’s just so much misinformation out there. So many people think that David Montgomery calls the shots. Please – he’s a puppet.

          3. Only thing I’ll add is that the Phillies front office page that you referenced in your post below specifically says that Montgomery is the general partners (which means unlimited liability). I don’t think that Giles is a partner at all anymore, so you’re right — liability is not an issue for him.

        2. Romus the way I understand the ownership is set up is this. There must be majority vote, giles, Montgomery, betz, Middletown and one other I believe, I thought that was the way it was set up.

          1. I’m pretty sure Giles has been out for some time, and Montgomery’s share is and has always been insignificant (1%?). I forgot about Betz. The three big owners are Middleton, Betz, and the Buck partnership.

            1. By the way, Claire Betz died in February (hence the CB patches on the Phils jerseys this season. Who knows what will happen to her interest…

            2. Partnership agreements usually have clauses governing the death of an LP depending on what is in the will, which usually parallels the LP agreement.

              Chances are it went into either a trust to be owned by someone in her family or the other partners get the first option at buying the stake.

            3. No, Giles is still there. Other than Monty, he is the only partner listed as an officer of the company. Go to the Phillies website and look at their list of executives.

            4. Giles is still there, but I don’t think he has any ownership interest in the Phillies anymore.

  13. Thanks for having some balls and taking a stand on the site. I don’t agree with you but I appreciate someone finally being tough on someone, anyone.

    We need more people like you and that guy always writing about how terrible Amaro is. He is 100% right- Amaro does suck and he will never pull off a good trade because no one wants to be the sucker and get played by a moron like Amaro.

    1. Brad a little confused by your remark. I didn’t like ruf bunting. why? you have second and third. bottom of eighth in tie game. and Dom Brown hitting all you need is a fly ball. pass ball. wild pitch. error. balk. to win. and two shots to win.

      1. Hmm…I can’t remember what you said. something i thought was a little snarky that kinda sounded like something you said the other day where you were digging on other commenters. i wasn’t trying to be a jerk. not sure where the initial comment went. guess it was deleted by the boss. sorry, riggs.

  14. I don’t know if Ryno is the guy who will lead this franchise on the field for a long time, but I do know that judging him based on what he’s accomplished with this group of stiffs is pretty ridiculous. Now the Burnett thing, that is just horrible and he should have been reprimanded. This team and organization is just a mess and it is not going to get better.

    I have a friend who is not attractive and dated a bunch of pretty ugly girls in his day. Then, for three years, he somehow pulled a perfect dime, and nobody knew how that happened. Two years ago, she broke up with him, and since then he is back to the 5’s and 6’s he was accustomed to. I fear that for the Phillies, 2007-2011 will be the equivalent to the three years my buddy pulled that dime.

    1. danurda…tell your friend the models and paint jobs might be different, but the chassis and motors pretty much work the same way.

        1. Wes…ugg:
          We both …roccom and myself…have a south Philly connection of sorts.
          For me….not the mob…not sure about roccom..

    1. Well, he’s a legit AAAA star or 24th/25th major league roster guy playing at AA – it’s pretty much what you’d expect him to do. The dude can really hit – it’s not a mirage.

  15. I’m indifferent towards Sandberg as a manager, he doesn’t exactly what a great group of players to trot out there every night. With that being said, he made the correct baseball move in that situation (if there were no outs, I don’t recall). You don’t leave Ruf up there (who is someone who K’s) to potentially ground into a double play or strikeout. You have him bunt to move the runners to 2nd and 3rd in order to A. Stay out of a double play from the next hitter B. Move BOTH runners into scoring position. This open up for many other moves from Sandberg with the runner on third with less then 2 outs. It also allows Blanco to shorten up his swing and him putting the ball in play should score the run (SHOULD). This is all a moot point if there were 2 outs when he had Ruf bunt.

    When your team isn’t hitting (either for the game or all season) you have to play small ball.

  16. I think it is a little too soon to say Sandberg is a bad manager. Idk of any coaches who could do a significant amount better given the roster Sandberg was given. I liked Manuel when he was here but he kinda let the veterans do there thing and that was it, I like that Sandberg is not afraid to mix up the lineup. Sandberg is in the hall of fame for a reason. He knows the game and how to approach it. I think that he deserves a shot to manage a possible contending team before we just run him out of town. He put in his time in the minors and work his way up to the bigs as a manager. A lot of people thought he would leave to manage an mlb team, but stayed to be our bench coach. While I do not think he is perfect, (example being letting burnett throw too many pitches the other night as he has done with hamels) I still think he could a good manager if given the roster to be successful. I blame ruben for the current state of the team and while I have your attention how about we all tip our caps to cole hamels. The guy continuously gets no run support, but pitches his butt off every fifth day. I love watching him compete, especially when he could very easily say screw this team trade me.

  17. So … Rollins currently projects to end the season with 3.4 fWAR. That’s not a straight line projection, which would be a little higher, but assumes some regression.

    If he finishes with that total, it will be the 14th best season, ever, for a 35 year old shortstop.

    Heck, if he finished the season right now, it would be the 20th best season, ever, for a 35 year old shortstop.

  18. Utley of course ranking even higher among 35 year old second basemen.

    Have we ever seen a keystone combination their age play so well? Unfair question in a way, SS/2B combinations that old are rare. But I think it is unprecedented. Well, except maybe for the 1993 Tigers.

    1. Why are you being downvoted? Utley and Rollins have had a really great combo season.

    2. Yup – the Tigers, I think that’s about it. You could argue Morgan and Concepcion, but it’s a small universe.

    1. Right on! Let’s keep moving our best bats down in the defensive spectrum and turning our best arms into relief pitchers! That’s thinking outside the box!!!

      Seriously, I know why he is playing first, and I’m fine with him learning the position, but I’d rather let him play third as long as possible or learn a corner outfield position.

  19. I am not a bastardo man . but he is left-handed and efficient most times. I keep reading he will be moved. Left-hand relievers are hard to fine. That being said what do you get for him. In my dream world I want a outfielder with some pop in a ball. wonder if that is possible?

      1. LIke to see if Marlon Byrd and Bastardo to the Reds can bring back OF Jesse Winker.

  20. The software just glitches on some posts. Unless you used profanity, a personal attack on another poster, or copied copyrighted material, I doubt very seriously that you were censored. I lost one of my posts this morning. Since it was one of my tamest posts and didn’t have any obvious infractions, I’m assuming it was just a software issue.

    1. The mods do delete some objectionable posts, but that usually is quite a slow process, with the offending post being up for a day or more prior to deletion.

      1. Also sometimes if a post is deleted the posts under it are deleted, too, just because they make no sense any longer. Not sure what you posted, ATown, but it could have been that or like you say, sometimes stuff just goes.

  21. Howard out yet again vs D-Backs tonight.
    Miley can be tough on him I imagine.
    Howard will have to play tomorrow or the benching controversy will reach a boiling point.

  22. I watched that Ruf bunt play and said the same thing, who gives away an out there in a tie game. I can see it if they were down 2 runs. I thought it was terrible strategy. And as far as 130 pitches for a 35 yr old pitcher we’re trying to trade……. I have to say I liked the hiring initially because I thought we were getting a guy who would motivate the guys to play the right way. Some of it is on the players obviously but where’s the leadership. Howard was up the other night with first and third one out in the ninth in a tie game, team in the shift. Would it really have been that hard to just bunt the ball to win the game. It drives me crazy that only a few “genius” managers still use the squeeze play. Its such as easy way to score a guy from 3rd with less than 2 outs. Frustration has taken over…….

    1. Wow terrible idea to get two runner in scoring position for you best hitter with runners on. boy I just don’t believe it. tie game bottom of eighth with pap pitching lights out at the time. all you need is a fly ball and others things like pass ball, balk, and its a bad idea, I just will never understand what people think is good baseball. that was a great move in that situation.

  23. USA Sports writer Gabe Lecques, writes as players age, eating their salary becomes a reality for MLB teams, and he gives the top eight candidates as examples:
    Phillies have two—Ryan Howard and Jon Papelbon.
    The others ARod, Joe Mauer, BJ Upton, and the LAD’s Kemp, Ethier and Crawford.

  24. Some people saying that Utley and Rollins (or anyone on the trading block for that matter) are not interested in winning anymore if they don’t wish to be traded…sounds so wrong to me. Just saying that these guys are ultra competitive so if they’re not winning they should want to jump ship is nonsense. Not saying that they’d be wrong if they wanted to be shipped to a contender, but wanting to stay says nothing about their commitment to winning.

    Sure, playing on a losing club has to be a drag. But maybe they think if they just gut it out this year, things will get better next year–I certainly don’t think so, and mostly everyone who follows the team doesn’t think so, but maybe guys like Utley and Rollins do. I mean, if I’m a player still producing at an all-star, or at least above average level, and I still have two superb pitchers heading my rotation and have a good bullpen, maybe I think that all my team needs is a key free agent or two to turn things around. Flawed thinking, but maybe that’s they’re mindset. Maybe they’re so competitive and believe in their abilities so much that they think their team is better than it is. Maybe they’re too close to the situation to look at it objectively.

    Or maybe they don’t believe that just being traded into a good situation has the same reward for them as building something, as making your own team a winner the way they did to start their careers. Maybe they think that part of the responsibility of signing a multi-year contract with a team is to commit to making that very team better over that time period. Maybe they don’t want to be the last piece to throw an already contending team over the top, but want to be at the forefront as the centerpieces of this team if it comes around again. Maybe they actually understand how much of a crapshoot the playoff are in baseball, and don’t think that giving up on an organization that they’ve played for their entire career is worth the possibility of being traded to a team that may be out after the wild card round. Or maybe, just maybe, they’re saying one thing to the media about wanting to be traded but behind the scenes have told the team that if you can get a good enough deal and at the same time send me to a contender, I’ll sign off on it….but don’t want to look ungrateful to the local fans by saying I don’t want to be here anymore.

    Since I’m not one of these players, and don’t have any idea what they’re thinking, I’m going to assume that since their still playing at the level they’re playing that they’re trying to win.

    1. I think each player is a little different situation. I see Utley as having a contract that can take him to retirement and he would be great to have around younger players. Rollins has only one more year and has to know Crawford is on his way. I believe Rollins should be able to play until he is 40 just don’t think it will be with the Philles.

  25. Peavy to Giants for a fairly good prospect and an okay one. But, Peavy’s contract done at end of year, unlike Phils contracys with extra year and the dreaded option. Is it possible they make zero deals?

    1. Escobar with a 60 fastball and Hembree with a 65 fastball.
      Not a bad deal at all for the Bosox.
      Can you imagine what Ruben can now get for AJ, Antonio and Marlon in the market place!
      Our farm system will go to the top ten! 😉

        1. He knows what’s important. He has all hands on deck to provide entertainment value, name recognition, and ticket sales for the current home stand. Gotta maximize the revenue. Prospects are only prospects anyway. If RAJ can’t turn in a respectable performance on the W-L sheet he’ll try to do it on the P&L statement. Teams are just asking for too many $ with our old dudes for RAJ to meet his target.

          1. Fortunately for RAJ, maximizing revenue thru ticket sales does not play a large factor in his decision making. The upper deck blue seats are full of empty people.

            1. I Wonder what the scouts thought after bastardo last two appearance. maybe we get a batboy for him. The announced crowd includes season tickets people who aren’t showing up anymore. The proof of how bad things have gotten will be the ticket renewals for next year. I thought this year 5000 didn’t renew, I Believe if I am not wrong, it went from a high of 24000 season tickets down to around 16000 or 17000.

    2. Peavy is 1-8 I believe with high era, teams are trying the Oakland way pick up guys like moss. and washed up pitchers and hope to get lighting in a bottle. That why you got to love the Yankees, they will pay the price to try to win. The teams right now are keeping there prospects because every prospects is going to be great. That is the feeling I get listening to guys on here. I saw the greatest player last night who we couldn’t get according to someone on here for any of our guys tumbo. doesn’t he look great.

      1. Well that will not be great news…looking for some change on the roster.
        I sure hope next season sees some personnel changeover.
        IMO…..I wold sell low and eat salary on some just to have them elsewhere in 2015, ie Paps.
        Bastardo doesn’t cost much as for salary so he could still be moved, however at a low return.

      2. Poor showings this week for the three guys I felt were most important to avoid implosions; Papelbon, Bastardo and Lee. Lee not necessarily an implosion but teams would be knocking on our door right now if he showed something similar to his 1st half. Each subsequent start for Lee is equally important though as he’s likely to pass through waivers unless the Yankees make a claim. Papelbon is an absolutely certainty to pass through waivers.

  26. Romus the more I look at this team. I Think why move guys, if we are getting low grade prospect. I wouldn’t move byrd, for 8 million no reason to move him unless we get a good lower level prospect, the only knock on him is he is hitting 220 with runners in scoring positon with two outs, why move lee, we have no one to replace him and the return wouldn’t be good. and the money saved on him would be spent where?? and how would it improve us? who replaces a lee. Herdanez type or Kendrick’s? Howard isn’t going anywhere, I would move Bastardo if we can a decent prospect. Pap contract would make it hard to move him. now we do have someone imo who could take over Giles or Diekman so we have his replacement hopefully. Amaro with his contracts has really hurt the ability to move guys, so in short we keep most and go one more year, when the buyouts and guys contracts wont hurt as much,

    1. rocco….this club’s roster, IMO, needs a cultural or sometype of personality makeover. Utley, Rollins and chooch are the only positional starting veterans I would try to keep.
      You ask who replaces Lee, Hernandez and KK?
      They are not long-term solutions anyway, why hang on.

      BTW….KK’s velo was at 91-93 the other day because AJ Burnett in one of their bullpen sessions showed and demonstrated to him how to use his lower body for more torque and push-off , a different positionong of his lifted left leg.. Why did it take anotehr pitcher like AJ to make and suggest this change and not Dubee and/or McClure!

    2. You move guys to gain salary flexibility. $129 million to 9 guys next season does not give you any real wiggle room on a rebuilding team.

      You don’t worry about replacements now since the season is a wash.

      You do gain the option of making additional trades or signing free agents in the offseason.

  27. Has anyone heard if the Phillies were in attendance for Rusney Castillo’s workout in Miami? I would hope that they seriously consider signing him as he may be able to help this team get better and younger.

    1. philabaltfan – it appears that all but two MLB clubs were in attendance, many with multiple scouts on hand. It would be depressing to learn that the Phillies were one of the only two clubs who were disinterested. It wouldn’t be surprising though either

      1. Steve, I don’t share your doubt as the Phillies were probably there to watch him. Whether they sign him is anyone’s guess but they will probably will make a fair offer to him given their outfield situation.

        1. They were actually one of the 2 clubs that weren’t there to watch them, ugh so depressing.

  28. It is being reported that Hamels is available for 3 top prospects. Who knows if this is true, but isn’t he the 1 guy who would command a return like that? I am a big fan, but realistically, there is no other trade option that could potentially matter to this team, even Utley

    1. He will definitely command the best return and may be the reason why the Red Sox traded Peavy. That still would not stop me from having a fire sale.

      Trade Papelbon and Byrd. Move Giles into the closer role and you free up a lot of salary this offseason to make some moves.

      This season is a writeoff anyway. Sell and position yourself for 2015 and 2016.

    2. I read three prospects weren’t enough on mlb. Its also reported other teams are saying the Phillies are asking too much for there players.The Phillies response was we only want a fair return. now isn’t that funny??

      1. The tweets that are coming out about the Phillies are hilarious. I expected this to be the case when you heard them linked to a team and then said team acquires a different player from elsewhere.

  29. Paplebon wont waive his no trade, if he is dealt to a team that wont use him as a closer. I just don’t get it. the big money they get and you cant move them, unless they say its okay, all that money I would play anywhere.

  30. Darwin Barney to the Dodgers and the Phillies will hold a private work out for Castillo

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