Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Accountability

Before Kei Igawa's start on Friday night against the A's, there were whispers in the media that if he had another start like his first (5 innings, 7 earned against Baltimore) he could be sent to the minors. The Yankees paid $26 million to negotiate with Igawa then gave him a 4 year, $20 million deal. That's $46 million, 1 bad start, and 1 threat of demotion. The message, to Igawa and the rest of the team: you will be held accountable for your performance. There are no free passes in New York (Except for Jeter. You think Yankee fan would boo A-Rod if he had 5 errors in ten games?)

Meanwhile in Philadelphia, relief pitcher Ryan Madson, coming off a season in which he posted a 5.79 ERA, gave up game winning home runs in the first two games of the season. What was the Phillies response? A little bit of nothing. Some cliche comments about confidence and how Manuel "[has] to give him a chance." Those chances have resulted in 6 runs in 7 innings. Stellar. But will we hear talk of Madson getting traded, demoted, released, etc? No, because that is not the style of the Phightins. We're more likely to hear either 1) everything is fine and Madson is good because he had a good season 3 years ago or 2) it is somebody else's fault that Madson can't produce. Basically, he's not going anywhere. No one ever does...

It's not in the Phillies' nature to hold members of the organization accountable and be punitive for poor performance. Just take a look the last two seasons.
- In 2005, David Bell hit .248 with no power and played less than superb defense, yet he was given the starting job in '06 without competition or thought of change. The only challenger, Abe Nunez.
- Speaking of Abe Nunez, he hit .211 last year. Yet he's back on the team this year, so he can come in and play third in late innings and get the occasional start. They could have found someone else to do this and hit over .210, but it seems once you're on the squad, you're there until your contract is up or you are traded.
- Arthur Rhodes - Rhodes showed early last season that he didn't have it. Yet he pitched in 55 games, posting a 5.32 ERA. We could all see Rhodes wasn't going to turn it around. Could the Phils? Yeah, probably. They just don't do anything about it. It's easier for them to run a loser out to the mound 50 times and watch him implode than admit they made a mistake and pull the trigger on a move.
- Ryan Madson. No more excuses about going back and forth from starter to reliever being part of his problem. The problem is he sucks and he, the Phillies and his supporters can't forget 2004.

I'm a die-hard Yankee hater, but I think the Phillies could learn a lesson from the Bronx Bombers. Accepting poor performances from players and valuing past accomplishments, experience or other various intangibles over actual productivity has to stop. It seems they would rather have a team that they know is bad (Rhodes, Madson, Nunez) in favor of a team that might be good (so long Chris Coste, Clay Condrey.) At least we know what we are going to get...

Corey

38 comments:

BloodStripes said...

Your right Corey. The Phils need to be harder sometimes on these guys. Give 'em a good kick up the arse now and then when they are not performing. They get paid the big bucks to perform, so when they don't, they need to be held accountable.

GM-Carson said...

Hey, our team may suck, but our ballpark eats have won an award on the Food Network Awards. Now that's something to brag about.

I'm a hard-ass, I'm not for the caudaling of players. I'm not saying they need their asses chewed out for every strikeout or error, but an overall message of urgency should be felt. A 3-8 start does not lead me to believe they're feeling the heat at all. Charlie is a schmuck...he pussy-foots around things too much.

My guess is, that Madson is out of options. Well, he's not doing this team any good, so it's time to cut bait with this so called "relief pitcher"...he ain't bringing me any relief when I see him warming up in the bullpen, more like heartburn!

GM-Carson said...

Proof that some Phans are retards (from Phillies.com)- "Let me start by saying I love reading the mailbag, and check every day for a new one. Anyway, here's something I've been thinking about and was wondering what your opinion is. What would you think about having Jon Lieber close? I know he didn't want to go to the bullpen, but the added responsibility might make him happier, and putting Flash Gordon in the setup role could give him fewer innings and help protect his shoulder. Lieber has excellent control, works quickly, and could make a great closer."
-- Kevin H.

*I'll convert to a Mets fan if Lieber becomes closer.

Corey said...

carson, i'm glad you brought up the "out of options" argument. i've heard about a dozen times in the last few years that one player was kept over another due to the better player having options. it makes me sick. they care more about options than winning baseball games. who cares if we lose madson. it's addition by subtraction. i hope madson is out of options and they release him. he is this year's gavin floyd. i won't let up until he's gone.

GM-Carson said...

Think about this, there was the very real rumor that Gillick didn't trade Ryan Madson this offseason for Ryan Church because Madson was "too valuable" to the Phils. Are you f'n kidding me?!

goDuke said...

I have an option for you... have the GM's come in as the setup man and closer instead of Madsen and Rhodes.

GM-Carson said...

All I got is a fastball and changeup to offer, much along the lines of the maligned Madson. Corey had a decent curve, but his arm is out of condition, much like the Twinkle Gordon.

Moe Ville said...

The Yankees starting pitching has a few injury problems. Leiber was a pretty good pitcher for them a few years back. Has anyone heard any rumors that the Yanks might be interested? I know, by now, he has zero trade value.

GM-Carson said...

I'd do Scott Proctor for Jon Lieber in a heartbeat. Proctor isn't anything amazing, or anything that the Yanks couldn't easily replace...so lets make a deal!

michael said...

do you guys still think leiber and/or rowand will be traded some time soon? i don't think they will and if so it'll be for nothing.

GM-Carson said...

I don't think Rowand is going anywhere. If Lieber has a few good innings in the pen or a half way decent spot start he may be traded. I hope he's traded for something half-way useful, because right now he's a 7.5 million dollar waste of a roster spot.

kentucky phils phan said...

good post, it's true...it seems so often that the phillies just settle for being mediocre.

michael said...

judging by gillick's record of trades so far with this team expect a AA relief pitching filler who will be cut from the team by next spring.

furiousBall said...

If Ryan Madson were banging Mariah Carey like Jeter was it might be cool to fuck up like he has. Actually, I don't think it's cool to fuck Mariah Carey, she's crazier than a shithouse rat.

michael said...

well as long as you make a lot of money and the fans keep coming does it really matter what the record of the team is and if they make the playoffs..yeah playoffs are extra revenue for the club but they can get away with being average as long as they're competitive. thats basically the front offices stance on it. they are probably the most political baseball team ever, from who is the manager, gm.. its all very weird how they conduct business. the reason Cholly is the manager is because he was Jim Thome's boy and then theres the conspiracy theory of why Gillick is the GM because they really want Amaro but he was too closely connected to wade that it was too soon to put him in charge because they figured the fans would completely turn their back on the team.

GM-Carson said...

Every time I reload the page, I look at the title of today's entry "Accountability". There's a reason we boo as Philadelphia fans, not because we're assholes or unknowledgeable, but because we're passionate and want a winner. Enough of this losing bullshit, and lets get down to playing quality baseball and winning ballgames...something this team SHOULD be doing! Bums like Madson should be demoted, traded, or released. If you ain't helping us, you're hurting us.

Jacobin said...

I think the political organization is a direct result of the team being run by a junta of non-baseball people. Professional sports teams need to be guided by a benevolent despot.

I know the Philly papers gave a listing of the mystery group that owns the Phils a few years ago, but I am not seeing it. However, NBC10 has an archived story that purports to name the ownership group (though it looks like less people than I thought were owners). Who owns the Phillies?

GM-Carson said...

Wow, this is some highly intellectual conversation going on here today. I feel the need to ruin it with a poop comment or gay joke, but I guess I'll refrain.

The "mystery owners" are a problem. I'm not saying the owner need to be at the forefront of the public eye, but it would be nice to put a face and a name with who is ultimately responsible for bring the city many years of futility. To me, it seems like they're a collective group of cowards. Sell the Phillies to someone who cares about winning. Winning will bring revenue. The current group is happy because they're making their money without producing a postseason/legit contenteder/winner every season. If the Phils struggle for the entire season, surely attendance will dwindle hurting the owners' bottomline, but for now they're sitting pretty both nameless and faceless without worry of losing a red cent.

michael said...

we need someone with the passion and money of steinbrenner and mark cuban without the annoying needing face time and having it be about them all the time. i don't need to see an owner in the dugout or screaming at the umps. the team would then be embarrassing to root for. i honestly don't ever see them selling the team sadly, they've have made sooo much money from this team unless something happens to them personally such as the case with the tribune co. selling the cubs the team will be all theres. i wish i had money to buy the team..i'd start by firing everyone in the building except for harry kalas and larry anderson.

GM-Carson said...

Speaking of Larry Andersen, I miss hearing good ol' L.A. on the t.v. I know we complain about Wheels and Sarge a lot on here, but rightfully so. Larry keeps it real, and I love that. I'd love to have Krunk, L.A., and Kalas all in the booth for all 9 innings. Let Wheeler do postgame interviews and bring back Tomas Perez to pie-face him every time.

michael said...

hahaha, i love it. too bad kruk has his cushy espn job and nutrisystem commercials he don't need us anymore. i know harry kid calls games for tampa i wonder how he is?

McD said...

I really enjoyed reading your piece today Corey, and I could not agree more with you.

As I wrote on my blog last week, the one constant over the past 25 years of Phillies mediocrity has been the ownership. Since Bill Giles and David Montgomery bought the team in 1981, the Phillies have an overall sub .500 record with just two playoff appearences. However during the same period, the value of the team went from $30 million to over $400 million!

Obviously the number one priority of David Montgomery and his junta is to make money. Now there is nothing wrong with that philosophy considering we live in a captilastic society. Nobody expects baseball owners to run their teams like a charity.

The difference with baseball is that you have a responsibilty to the fans to put a good product on the field. Baseball is not some average product that people can live without, it is a vital part of our culture and national identity. It is a passion for many people, myself included. The Phillies ownership group is personally letting all of us down.

Owners like George Steinbrenner and John Henry are also very concerned about making money, but also want to win! While I do not like Steinbrenner or the Yankees, I do respect The Boss' desire to consistently produce a championship caliber team.

The Phillies ownership has made it clear that making a profit is all they really care about. Remember that back in the late 90s, this ownership group seriously tried to convince the fans that Philadelphia was a small market city akin to Kansas City or Milwaukee. As I have said before, as long as David Montgomery and his junta are running this team there will be a tidy profit, but no parades down Broad Street.

A new leader is needed for the executive management of this team. Under Montgomery and Giles a culture of mediocrity has thrived in South Philadelphia. It is time for a change.

Bob D said...

How about Ryan Franklin: 6 innings ERA 0.00

Bob D said...

They should've stuck with Urbina he's got what? a 14 year contract.... err.. I mean conviction

SirAlden said...

We have a weak bullpen and a weak bench. Period End of Story.

Trades need to occur so that will be room for new arms in the bullpen. Lieber,and Madson, do not allow us to have a look see with people like Castro, Binsenius, and Durbin. We need to give up the farm to trade for someone like Cordero and cycle in these new guys and give them a shot.

People need to be cut for space on the bench. Bourn should go down for at bats with Ottawa and Robinson should come up. Barajas, should and can be replaced by Coste and then Jarmillio later in the summer. Werth and Dobbs should get significant platoon ABs to see what they have then they should be run out of town if they don't produce.

I really believe in Gilick in that he has removed the straight jacket we were in, the fact that he tries his old boy network and comes up with duds at least shows me he is trying.

If we get trading - we will be in great shape. If not we will be stuck in the mud.

David

GM-Carson said...

Looks like we actually might get a game in tonight. 2 days without baseball...I've got the shakes worse than Robert Downey Jr. in rehab.

michael said...

the phils will not get cordero for anything less than chase utley or cole hamels atleast. the nats gm is rediculous it will be the same as what happened with soriano last year he'll have cordero on the block until the deadline and nothing will happen because he'll want a lot of top talent for him.

Jacobin said...

That was very well stated MCD. I'd also suggest that at least under Montgomery there has been this attitude where the front office needs to prove it is smarter than its fans. So when the fan base clamors for someone like Jim Leyland as manager or laments about the ineffectiveness of certain players, they won't make those changes. This regime has been paranoid, political, and relatively snobbish for a long time.

Oh, and the Giles comment about Philly being a small market still gets me steamed. Philadelphia is the largest Major League Baseball market with only one team. All of the larger markets have two teams!

michael said...

well...we USED to have the A's

McD said...

You are so right Jacobin. David Montgomery has this smug, "I know better than you" attitude that drives me crazy. He has shown time and again that he is either not capable or willing to put a winning team on the field.

I could take the arrogance from Monty if his team had made the playoffs more than once in the past 25 years. But it is tough to be told you are an idiot from somebody who has no credability.

GM-Carson said...

I remember that numb-nuts' comment about the Phils being a "small market team". Bull shit! Philadelphia is the 5 or 6th largest city in the United States. You put a winner that will go into the postseason out on that field and the city will shell out the money and show up and watch the games. Hell attendance is great now, imagine what it could be if we won consistently. Imagine the increased marketability of the team too...freakin' dumbass owners!

Jacobin said...

No reason to imagine what happens with a winning team Carson, we can look at the numbers. The Phillies attendance number in 1993 was 3,137,674. They outdrew that only once since then, which was the inaugural season at Citizen's Bank Park. During the "small market years" as the Vet came to a close, they drew about 1.7 million a year (with the exception being the final year of the Vet, which brought in 2.2 million fans).

Attendance numbers do not lie, you can go back over the history of this team and see how many more asses you put in the seats with winning. I realize the modern athletic model is to get people to the event with promotions, give-aways, and a general carnival-esque atmosphere, but absolutely nothing draws like a winning team.

I've made it through about 8 years of post-high school education without taking anything harder than a survey algebra math course. If I can figure out the surest way to make money is to put a winning team on the field, why can't these business minded dumbasses that own the Phillies see that?

Los said...

Lesson learned from the Yanks? Didn't they already learn that one by overpaying Pat Burrell?

Jacobin said...

So... tonight's game is making me appreciate rain outs. Nice to see the team is picking up where they left off before the rain outs, that would be how they are continuing to increase their horrific left on base tally.

Next month we'll probably hit .800 with runners in scoring position... eight hits for the 10 times we'll have somebody at second or third for the entire month.

BenJah said...

well...the management might not understand accountability, but the phans sure let these guys have it. here's my suggestion:

rowand
utley
howard
burrell
rollins
helms
ruiz
victorino
p

Jacobin said...

Here are some gut wrenching numbers. The Phils fall to 3-9. They lose the game 8-1. Their only run came on a bases loaded walk, which means the team went zero for every single chance to drive a run in. 12 more men left on base!!!

This is no longer a LOB situation. I think we need a special stat for the Phillies, still left on base (SLOB). Because I'm pretty sure that there will still be guys on second and third when they return to Citizens Bank Park.

Skeeter said...

Want to know how bad the game tonight was? After the 7th inning, I turned on HBO and watched Brokeback Mountain instead of the game.

THE PHILLIES ARE GAYER THAN TWO BUTT HUMPING COWQUEERS!!!!!!!!

GM-Carson said...

As gay as Brokeback Mountain was/is, at least there was 2 sets of woman boobies in the movie, the Phils can't even offer me that. The Phils suck. We're in the basement of the NL East. The f'n Nationals have a better record...sickening.