Monday, March 05, 2007

Theory

There's an old adage in baseball, "you don't win a pennant in April, but you can lose one", that rings so true. The past two Aprils for our beloved Philadelphia Phillies have been an identically dreadful 10-14. The past two Augusts/Septembers for our darling Philadelphia Phillies have been remarkable resurrection stories that concluded by falling just short of the playoff window of opportunity. I've been carefully listening and reading the theories to winning baseball over the years, and have devised that there are four main schools of thought when it comes to making the playoffs- getting of to a Hot Start, playing well during the Dog Days of Summer, ending with a Strong Finish, or All Wins are Equal.

Theory 1- Hot Start:

Why is Jimmy Rollins playing the role of cheerleader for the Phillies this spring? Because a hot start is important. Getting out of the gate running and building confidence through wins is crucial. Playing solid baseball in the early months (April/May) helps set precedent for the rest of the season. Think about the "hot start" in terms of foreplay...leads to bigger and better things. Example- Detroit Tigers hit the ground running to a 35-18 record in April/May and rolled straight into the playoffs.

_________________________________

Theory 2- Dog Days of Summer:

120 degrees on the playing surface can make it difficult to persevere. The days are longer and the nights are shorter, all the while temperatures continue to rise to scorching skin levels as buckets of sweat pour from the players. This is when the true character of a club shines through, are they warriors or weak. Winning during these times proves that the team has what it takes to thrive under heat. Example- the New York Mets flourished in the hot summer heat, coming out with a 39-27 record and ending up in the playoffs.

_________________________________

Theory 3- Strong Finish:

Keeping within striking distance is vital if you plan on making that late season push for the playoffs. The previous months all meld into one and suddenly you're looking at a month and a half season (mid-August through September). This is the time when pretenders are viciously separated from the contenders. Think of the "strong finish" as the "happy ending", whether that be a sundae after your meal at Friendly's or the finishing touch to a nice massage. Example- the New York Yankees brought their season to a final destination in the playoffs by playing 27-17 baseball down the stretch.

_________________________________

Theory 4- All Wins Equal:

It doesn't take a math genius to figure out that a win on opening day (April 2nd) is equivalent to a win on the final game of the season (September 30th). All wins are created equal, as they are simply a notch in the win column. It's nice to get off to a hot start, win during the dog days of summer, and finish strong, but the underlying theme is to win as much as possible at anytime. Example- the Oakland Athletics were pretty much even keel all season long and made their way back to October baseball, "it's a marathon not a sprint".

Which theory do you subscribe to?
Hot Start
Dog Days of Summer
Strong Finish
All Wins Equal
  
pollcode.com free polls


~Carson

28 comments:

Corey said...

props to watson and crick. those guys knew baseball, because their fathers knew lots about baseball. i guess you could say it is in their DNA...

Corey said...

is that watson and crick or "niles" from frasier and the lead singer of the talking heads?

anyways, back to work...

GM-Carson said...

Top-notch commentary Corey. Watson and Crick are our Double Helix boys!

By the way, I'm an "All Wins Equal" subscriber.

Fat Ted said...

I'm in the group that says "let's not fuck up and go on a losing streak at all this year"

GM-Carson said...

Fat Ted- good theory, I think you should publish an article on that notion.

I do want a hot start this year, just because the past 2 Aprils sucked.

goDuke said...

I like Ted's theory as well 162-0 regular season certainly has a nice ring to it.

furiousBall said...

As Mr. Miyagi said in the Karate Kid, "162 wins is unstoppable, no can defense" I might be paraphrasing here a bit.

GM-Carson said...

Furiousball- who the hell ever really understood what Mr. Miyagi was actually saying? Even Daniel-son was like W-T-F?!

GM-Carson said...

From the mouths of babes (Cole Hamels)- in an interview, he basically said he expects to win 20 games this season.

This statement, along with the Rollins statement, is fun and exciting. Shows that the team has confidence. It's ok to be cocky, as long as you can back it up.

From Buster Olney's blog- "In print, the words seem jarring: Cole Hamels, a 23-year-old with 23 major league starts, said Sunday he expects to win 20 games this season. For Hamels, he said, the expectations are "20 [victories] every year."
But maybe you had to be in the room to know he wasn't bragging, that this was really all about goal setting and about currying belief in what he can achieve, if he applies himself correctly. And Hamels appears to be doing everything he can to achieve those 20 victories: early arrivals at the park in Clearwater, Fla., 90 minutes to two hours every day in cardio work, a dip into an ice tub to help treat his aching back.

He is 6-foot-4 and seems to have the lean angular strength of a mountain climber, and on Sunday, he completely controlled the Yankees over three scoreless innings. He looks absolutely prepared to be a difference maker in the NL East this year."

Corey said...

"lean angular strength of a mountain climber" - buster sounds kind of gay here...

i'm with fat ted, avoid long losing streaks. also, avoid running gavin floyd out on the hill, that alone might get you to the playoffs.

GM-Carson said...

My thoughts on Jayson Werth- It may take all spring and early season for Jayson Werth to get his timing back. If that's the case, I suggest sending him to Ottawa for early season seasoning. I know it's premature and only spring, but it is reasonable to speculate his getting reacquainted period will take longer than just March.

Bob D said...

Simple philosphy, each day score more runs than the other team = wins. Everyone of these SP has legitimate potential to win 18+ games this year, especially with the offense this team has. That right there is 90 wins alone.

GM-Carson said...

Consistency is a key to winning as well. 10 runs scored 1 game and 2 the next will not get the job done in the long run. Starters on average giving 6 innings is also clutch.

GM-Carson said...

MLB.com rated the Phillies as the 4th best starting lineup in the majors. I understand their reasoning for not placing them higher, but I'd love for them to become #1.

"No one has a better right side of the starting infield than the Phillies' Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. The left side isn't too shabby either, with shortstop Jimmy Rollins and third baseman Wes Helms (who hit a career-high .329 for the Marlins last year and posted a .938 fielding percentage at the postion). The outfield is good but not great -- if it were, this lineup would rate a lot higher. The Phillies led the National League in runs last year and should score even more this season."

Skeeter said...

I also subscribe to Fat Ted's reasoning. I voted all wins equal but a hot April is crucial for the team because it will get the city behind them. The more fans that go and root for the Phillies (and not scream E-A-G-L-E-S) the better chances the team has at home. Plus it means I have more chances to witness a fight at CBP which is always great.

Sidenote about EAGLES chants: I HATE ANYONE WHO HAS EVER CHANTED THIS AT A PHILLIES GAMES! If you are guilty of doing this then you are just as bad as Gavin Floyd. And Gavin Floyd is bad...

GM-Carson said...

Skeeter- Corey knows how pissed I get about those f'n "E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES" chants. It's baseball a-holes, go chest bump your gay life-mate elsewhere!

michael said...

thank you! i share all the hate for that shit. the chant, the stupid song. and when people do it at phillies games, flyers, any other philly sports team event. it annoys so much and they all think they're being funny or clever. no your a douche, go watch the game at home.

Corey said...

i generally against the eagles chants, except in these situations:

carson is around. it pisses him off so much, it is worth it.

it is september, the phillies are 20 games out of the playoff chant, you get really drunk and section 713 (oh, the days....) and you lose your mind and start chanting out of anger that the phillies suck so much. (it has happened....)

otherwise, poor form.

Corey said...

wow. typo-mania. i'm fuqua-tarded today...

Skeeter said...

While I have never met Carson, I bet it would be hilarious to see him enraged by drunken idiots.

GM-Carson said...

Have no fear Skeeter, we shall meet some day. Corey and I are going to plan some WSBGM's tailgates and hopefully some of our readers will show. And yes, the sight of me enraged is funny and scary at the same time...I'm a big man.

Today's game- Chooch belts his 1st spring hr (encouraging). Rheal Cormier trade-fodder, Justin Germano, looked sharp. If Lieber is dealt, he most likely becomes our 1st option to fill-in. Rule 5 pick, Alfredo Simon, has absolutely sucked thus far...can we offer him back now? Rollins got 2 walks...holy shit! Utley and Werth picked up their 1st hits of the spring. Victorino continues to hit. Loving what I'm seeing from the offense so far. Trade-bait, Lieber, looked good today. All this in a losing effort, due to some piss-poor pitching by some Phils farmhands.

McD said...

Excellent piece! Please God let the Phillies have at least a .500 April. A sweep of the Braves to start off the season would send a message that this team is legit.

chuckm said...

The Phillies April torpor for the past 2 seasons werent pleasant to sit through, but the thing that really killed them was after they pulled off hot streaks in May, instead of cooling off a bit and at least playing above .500 ball, they turned around and totally tanked in June...As far as the EAGLES chanting, I was never so embarrassed to be a Phan as the time I went to Camden Yards to see the Phillies and numerous packs of bozos were chanting it all game. The Baltimore people looked on them as retards and I couldnt blame them. The worst thing about it was that the Phillies played a very good game and won. These assholes couldnt be bothered to get up and cheer when the Phillies had rallies going and didnt even bother to stand up for the final batter when Cory Lidle threw a complete game. Those idiots were like little boys showing each other their pee-pees and giggling. "Yo, I bet they can hear us on the broadcast duh..duh,. duh.

BloodStripes said...

A good April is very important but all up I like all wins equal. Just keep on winning 'em Phillies.

GM-Carson said...

I'm glad to read others share my loathing for the Eagles chant at a Phillies game. Although the Phillies haven't been in the playoffs since '93, they have been competitive since the turn of the century. Cheer the team playing dick-licks!

GM-Carson said...

Over on Phillies.com there is an article about how Jon Lieber is getting pissed about all the weight comments. Dude came in weighing 243 to camp...him and are the same size (I have a 1/2 in on him in height), difference being, I don't play professional baseball.

BGN said...

I heard a good theory

I think it was a guy from Scouts Inc that said this. He looks at teams that are likely to get 800 innings from their starters and targets those teams as likely playoff teams. The more innings over 800 your starters eat, the better your team likely is.

He mentioned in the NL East that he sees no way that the Mets get 800 innings from their starting rotation. He sees the Phils as much more likely to do that and therefore favors them to win the division. He did, however, call the Mets lineup "the best in the NL."

GM-Carson said...

I can see how 800 innings from the starting rotation would indeed help for a playoff spot.