Saturday, October 8, 2011

NOT BITTER: Just disappointed at how the Phillies' season ended. Look: this was a marvelous season, and it was wonderful being able to come home every night and watch a really good team composed of likable, outstanding players usually win.

We knew they could have been a little better offensively, but that was the reason that Hunter Pence was added to the team, and on the whole he did not disappoint. In a five game series, weird stuff happens.

So Raul's gone, and Roy Oswalt's not quite worth the $16M his mutual option requires. (Would he sign here for less?) Ryan Madson should be re-signed. The big question, obviously, is Jimmy. JIMMY!! And I don't know what to say. He is not worth the five-year deal he seeks at this point in his career, yet someone will offer it to him. If that's the case, so be it, and I will be grateful for the years he's been here. But short of Jose Reyes, anything else will be a severe talent downgrade.

In the meantime, apparently the playoffs can proceed without any AL/NL East teams. Who knew?


  1. Meghan10:11 PM

    Yeah, uh, go Tigers?

  2. JosephFinn10:20 PM

    My condolences, Phillies fans.

    And go Tigers, since i have to root for my division first.

  3. You know who's got to be unhappy right now?  Fox.  The one authentic breakout hit of the new season ("New Girl," though you can argue for "Broke Girls" being a breakout as well) is playing timeslot mambo for the next few weeks due to baseball, and you're dealing with the teams in the #5, #11, #22, and #38 media markets as players.   To be fair, some of those teams have substantial geographic reach (in particular, the Cardinals have a lot of area before you get to the next team in most directions), but even so...

  4. Anonymous9:22 AM

    The two best teams in baseball, including a Phillies team that was arguably one of the best teams of all time, will not be in the final four. This (combined with sports coverage that insists upon emphasizing small sample sizes instead of season-long statistics that might tell me something about players I've never heard of) is why I don't watch baseball any more. My condolences, but it's absolutely ridiculous to play a 162-game season, establish dominance as the Phillies have, and then force them into a 55/45 coinflip to see if they get to have another 55/45 coinflip to be in the World Series.

    I can see putting lots of teams in the football playoffs: notwithstanding the any-given-Sunday principle, the better team is usually going to win, and a 16-game season is fluky enough that the best team might not have the best record. The best team is going to win a 7-game series in the NBA 90% of the time, and home-field advantage means something there (though the regular season is for suckers). But baseball? Freaking coinflips.

    I guess I'm rooting for Texas now. But only through ESPN updates. I'm rooting for St. Louis to win the NL, because I don't want Bud Selig to be happy. I'll watch more football over the next three weeks than baseball.

    I hope Howard isn't too hurt.

  5. Sorry, Guest is me. And anyone who saw me on rsbb in the 1990s knows that baseball has real problems when they lose an obsessive fan like me.

  6. JosephFinn9:42 AM

    Well jeez, what's the point of the playoffs then?  Might as well have the top team from each league play each other in the World Series with no other playoffs.  I like how anything can happen and how a good team can simply be shut down by excellent defense.

  7. JosephFinn9:49 AM

    Christina and I had some fun trying to guess which market was which on that ranking of television media markets; I totally failed when it came to ranking Detroit (also, Philly being #4 surprised the heck out of me until I realized (and verified) that's pretty much eastern PA, southern NJ from Atlantic City and all of Delaware.

  8. Fred App9:57 AM

    First of all, if a team can't win a first-round playoff series, it's not one of the best teams of all-time, and it's debatable whether it's even the best team of this year. A five-game series is not a coinflip, and if the Phillies were so dominant, their chances certainly should have been better than 55 percent.

    This wasn't a fluke. The Phillies had real weaknesses. They were exposed in this series -- but, then again, they were exposed during an eight-game losing streak to mediocre teams down the stretch.

    Obviously, as a Mets fan, I'm delighted to see the Phillies choke. I mean, lose. But I do feel bad about Howard. The reports today say he ruptured his Achilles. I tore my Achilles a few years ago. It's not a fun injury, and the recovery period is long. I doubt he'll be ready for spring training, and he probably won't be at full strength until late next season. I don't wish that kind of injury on anyone. Not even a Phillie.

  9. Timothy S. Kocur12:24 PM

    Being Toronto people, I cheer for Roy Halladay, not the Phillies directly, but I was greatly dissapointed to see Halladay allow one run through eight innings and still appear hopeless.

    How about the way the Korean baseball league arranges its playoffs.

    In an eight team league after the regular season:

    #4 seed plays #3 seed in three game playoff
    Winner plays #2 seed in five game playoff
    Winner plays #1 seed in seven game World Series.

    This would see Yankees and Phillies guaranteed to make their CS and avoid annoyingly streaky wildcard teams like the Cards.

  10. Adam C.12:26 PM

    Ultimately, what it came down to was that once again this team could not get enough hitters on base and, when it mattered, could not drive in the ones it did.  Many people are pointing the finger at Lee for blowing Game 2, but we still had games 4 and 5 where we just didn't capitalize, either swung the bats too freely or, mysteriously, took too many good pitches. 

    Part of the problem, not to make excuses but just to reflect reality, was that a few of our hitters were worn down or had long-nagging injuries (including Howard, who had a series of lower left leg problems all season -- that's the achilles he blew out).  That's one part fluky bad luck, one part conditioning, and one part roster construction.  Power wasn't there when we needed it.  Think about some of those warning track balls that were hit by the likes of Utley -- do those go out in April, May, June, July? 

    Where we go from here is a much more convoluted question.  Agree that we can't give Jimmy a 5-year deal.  Agree that in an ideal world we'd keep (Scott Boras client) Madson.  But the focus really has to be on the offense.  Howard's injury almost guarantees that we need to shore up the corners much more significantly, in my opinion, than what our currently rostered options (BenJohnMonic FranBrownBerry) offer.  Polanco's health status just adds another question.

  11. The odds of a 102-win team beating a 90-win team in a five-game series is under 60%. The Cardinals winning isn't a fluke; they'd win 40+ out of 100 such five-game series.

    162 games of evidence says the Phillies are better than the Cardinals. That the Cardinals won three out of five games shouldn't change that assessment.

    The wildcard is here to stay, as are unbalanced schedules and three-hour-long average games. Fine. I can still miss the days when the regular season meant something. Yankees vs Rangers and Phils-Diamondbacks seems preferable to me than an LCS featuring a team that would've been in third place in a reasonably-designed division.

  12. Benner4:27 PM

    So, the Phillies lose Howard for the beginning of next season.  The Brewers and Cardinals to lose their first basemen for ever.  

  13. Question: who's going to pay for Pujols *and* Fielder? Yankees have Teixeira for $22.5M; Red Sox have Gonzalez for $21M; Phils have Howard for $20M; Tigers have Cabrera for $21M. Mets and Dodgers have too much in the way of financial problems. That leaves the Angels, Cubs, and Cardinals as teams willing to bid $20M or more for a first baseman. Maybe the Braves?

  14. lauri5:40 PM

    I guess I kind of get what you're feeling having gone through the 2001 mariners' 116- win season that didn't reach the promised land, but it seems to me that baseball needs the unpredictability of the playoffs given the severe inequity of team salaries. Without the wild card, we'd have the same teams win it pretty much every year and that would be far worse. And, yes, I'm just fine with having no AL east teams still alive.

  15. Adam C.10:08 AM

    I think there's a non-zero, and maybe even better than 50-50, chance that Pujols returns.  But yeah, Fielder will move on - his own teammates (Ryan Braun recently) are already talking as if he won't be back.