Friday, December 07, 2012

Heading Down

If rumors that the Phillies are about to acquire Michael Young are true it will be ` pure Ruben Amaro move, and this a day after he broke the mold by trading for Ben Revere.  Young, by all accounts the consummate professional, is a player who appears to be in decline.  Should his current trajectory continue downward, he would be yet another attempt by Amaro to squeeze one more year (or two!!!) out of a stop-gap infielder.

The Phillies would be better off starting Kevin Frandsen, which is why they won't!

The Revere Is Coming! The Revere Is Coming!

Newly acquired centerfielder Ben Revere has been compared to Juan Pierre.  Let's look at the film.

By all accounts Revere is an outstanding fielder.  And Pierre?  Never more than adequate.  Revere has a weak arm.  Check.  Revere can burn up the bases.  Check.  Revere is a slap hitter.  Check.  Revere has yet to hit a home run in nearly 1000 major league AB's.  Well, Juan isn't the second coming of Babe Ruth but once in a while he has an accident and the ball goes over the fence.  Hard to imagine in 1K AB's Revere hasn't had at least one!  Revere bats from the left side and wears his hat slightly tilted in the same orientation.  Check.

Was this acquisition the answer to the Phillies' needs.  Not entirely.  Film clips of Revere show a hitter who reminds me more of Michael Bourn, the centerfielder whom the Phillies happily decided not to overpay.  And there is the key.  Revere is cheap.

Speaking of costs, what about the two pitchers the Phils gave up?  Vance Worley never impressed me.  He may have pitched through an injury most of last season, but what I saw was an average arm with limited stuff.  Batters had figured him out by last season and it's quite conceivable the Phils' alleged brain trust figured that out!  The other pitcher the Phils traded was Trevor May, who prior to last season was one of their top prospects.  May had a losing season at AA Reading last year and walked a lot of batters in the process.  (Yes, Virginia, there is a connection between free passes and losses.)

On balance this looks like a good trade to me.  The Phils' alleged brain trust resisted the temptations to land an unpredictable outfielder (Upton), an overpriced one (Bourn) and a completely risky one (Hamilton) who wasn't really a possibility in the first place.  Perhaps they were constrained by dollars alone (the Braves outbid the Phils for Upton's services), but this time it looks like Ruben Amaro did his due diligence.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


While we were sleeping the Phillies went from a team players wanted to play for to a team viewed as past its prime and no longer a desirable home address.

Free agents signing multi-gazillion dollar contracts can afford to leave a little on the table in exchange for a chance at the post-season.  No one realistically views the Phillies in that category any longer.  With too many holes and too many ifs, the Phils have entered rebuilding mode whether they publicly admit it or not.

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I always rooted for Shane Victorino.  Sure, he made his share of bonehead mistakes, mostly as a base runner, but he was a high-energy guy with good skills.  BUT $39 million for three years!!!!!?????  What could the Red Sox have possibly been thinking?  My guess is they suspected the Yankees were about to sign him and struck preemptively.

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Andy Reid is firing coaches and players before this dismal season ends in a pathetic attempt to lay blame anywhere but where it belongs, at the feet of the guy who hired/signed them in the first place.  Time's yours, Andy.   Time and material.

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I saw a promo picture from the Sixers the other day.  It might have had something to do with the 50th anniversary of the franchise here.  Is that possible?  Anyway, the real point of this little rant is that in the back row stood Andrew Bynum.  So I guess I can stop asking if anyone's seen him.  There he is.  Standing around and doing nothing.