Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Poll Position

If you had your choice between playing a shoot-em-up zombie game, a racing game, pinball, or a boring role playing game like Final Fantasy, which would you choose? Today I am going to help you decide by comparing each of these games to our possible left fielders.

Pat Burrell- is playing the part of a zombie, as he's sucking the life out of this team. His batting average has fallen to .205, his homeruns are equal to Shane Victorino's at 8, he's managed only 31 rbi, and his OPS has dipped to .748. Basically, like a zombie, all Burrell can do any more is walk, and despite his 13.25 million dollar price tag, that's not enough for me to insert him into the starting lineup. Pat had been a WSBGM's favorite, as he was called our "boy", but like Corey said, "it's the end of an era".

Michael Bourn- now that he's getting more playing time, I will need to think of a proper nickname for him. I've pondered "Bourn Identity", but I'm sure the other schmuck bloggers will be using that. I've thought of "Bourn Again", but I don't want to get all "holier than thou on you". Then I came up with "Bourn to be Wild", and I think I'll stick with that. Anyway, Bourn is the racing game in this video game scenario, as he is the anti-Burrell in the speed category. Bourn's defense is superior to Burrell, his speed is disruptive, and he has upside unlike the deteriorating Burrell. In limited exposure this season he's batted .306, has stolen 11 bases without being caught, and has a respectable .791 OPS. The major drawbacks with Bourn are his lack of experience and lack of power (no double or homeruns in 15 hits this season, but 2 triples).

Greg Dobbs- is our classic pinball game, as he bounces around from 1st base, to 3rd base, to LF, and he's even played some 2nd base. This is one of Patty G's quality pickups, as he's played nicely for a waiver wire acquisition posting a .281 average with 7 homeruns, 30 rbi, and an above average OPS of .845. I want him in the lineup any time the Phils are facing a righty, but to be honest, I'd rather see him manning 3rd than in the outfield because that also means No-Hit Nunez or Wes Helms aren't stealing at bats.

Jayson Werth- is the boring role player game like Final Fantasy, but for the sake of this discussion, lets refer to it as "Phantasy". A phantasy is all Werth has left and indeed this may be his final one, because he's been pretty werthless with the exception of a few games. In 85 at bats he's collected a pitiful 4 extra base hits and struck out 22 times while batting .233 with a paltry .686 OPS. *Instead of posting an image of the real Final Fantasy video game, I opted for this more eye-friendly version.

Who should be the Phillies starting LF?
Pat Burrell
Michael Bourn
Greg Dobbs
Jayson Werth free polls


Game Thoughts:
*Chooch, or as Jacobin put it yesterday "Cooch", had an awesome game with 3 hits, 4 rbi, and a steal of home. This was the first steal of home since butt-plug Scott Rolen did it in 1997...thanks for erasing his name from that distinction Ruiz.

*Ryan Howard continues to be an all-or-nothing slugger, going deep in the 1st inning yesterday for a 2 run bomb then proceeding to whiff 4 straight at bats. That's now 17 homeruns and 76 k's on the season.

*Chase Utley is nothing short of amazing. He's is quickly climbing up the ranks of my favorite Phillies of all-time.

*Kyle Kendrick went from being fill-in 5th starter to needed 4th starter in the matter of about a week. His 3rd MLB start wasn't spectacular, but he kept the Phils in the game and ended up collecting his 2nd win.

*Grand Pappy Moyer vs. Aaron Harang tonight. Hopefully Jamie can baffle the Reds tough left-handed batters (Griffey and Dunn) or lull them to sleep, which ever is easier and more effective.



GM-Carson said...

My vote went to Bourn, as I feel the combination of his defense and speed will outweigh Burrell's ability to get on base (albeit only via 4 balls). He has the ability to be a sparkplug in this lineup, much the way Jimmy Rollins or Shane Victorino are when they're playing well. If Bourn can keep his average around .275 then I'm cool with him getting most of the playing time in LF.

Happy Camper said...

I'm quickly becoming a Bourn disciple (sticking with the holier than thou theme?). I like his abilities, and it appears that he has a more relaxed (yet unzombie-like) approach to the game and his teammates. The disruptiveness his speed causes is immeasurable, and something I wished Rollins and Victorino would provide.

I've always liked Burrell, and thought that with Bowa's departure, he would awaken to be a consistent power hitter. Not to be. I thought it interesting that Chuckles batted Werth late in last night's game, rather than giving Burrell a gift AB in a run-away game. Understanding he was going to sub Werth in defensively, I still thought it was a damning statement on the team's feeling for Burrell.

Bonus trivia - anyone remember the last catcher to record a steal of home?

GM-Carson said...

Trivia answer- Bo Diaz was last Phils catcher to steal home, all the way back in 1982. I love the 80's.

By the way Happy Camper, welcome of WSBGM's. Hope you come back around and become a valued commenter.

michael said...

to answer your question camper it was former Phillie "great" Bo Diaz way back in 1982. I also voted for Bourn reason being Dobbs should be at 3rd and Burrell and Werth(less) should be riding the bench for that PH when we are up by 10 runs.

GM-Carson said...

The best thing about last night was the return of Carlos Ruiz. After he hit that walk-off homerun about a month ago he went into a tailspin and also battled through an injury. Over the past week or so he's really started hitting better and that's well received because he helps out a lot from the 8-hole. Not to mention, it means less playing time for Rod Barajas.

GreggyD said...

I am excited for Carlos Ruiz. I've been hoping that he can play well enough to make him the regular catcher/keep Barajas on the bench, God I can't wait to get rid of that guy.

Excellent game last night. It's nice to see all of the elements come together and see what this team can really do. I don't expect a 10 spot everynight, but it was uplifting to watch.

I also have to give major props to Kyle Kendrick. He loaded up the bases in the top of the first, but only managed to give up one run, which was thanks to a sac fly. I know at some point he might not get the run support to negate his ERA of 5.00, but it's nice to see him putting out "decent" efforts each time he's on the mound.

And I agree with you Carson, Utley is definitely becoming one of my favorite all time Phillies. I'm glad that he's locked up for a long time. No one competes with him as my favorite player on this team right now. He just continues to bring it everynight. It's nice to see that someone continues to put it all out there each night, even after he signs a fat contract.

I also voted for Bourn, and I think his hitting will pick up as he gets more at bats. I don't know how his arm strength is. Has anyone noticed? I know it probably doesn't have the zing that Burrell's once did, but I can't imagine it being all that bad. It doesn't matter, I still want him starting in left over Pat "I lost my bat" Burrell and Werthless. Dobbs, or GreggyD2, definitely belongs at 3rd and nowhere else.

Jacobin said...

Bourn might not be putting up a great slugging percentage, but with his speed he's a good threat to swipe a base or two and stretch a walk or single into a virtual double or triple. In other words, I voted for Bourn too.

I'm in full agreement with the comments on Utley too. When they first called him up, I remember watching one of his at bats and noticing that he stayed in the batter's box the entire time. Considering how rampant it was to see every other player take mini hikes and readjust every piece of equipment between pitches, it really struck me right away that this guy had the look of an old school player.

Comparing Burrell to a zombie was spot on. And since zombies eat brains, we know Charlie Manuel will be safe.

Jacobin said...

Yesterday I mentioned that I believed the leading reason the Phillies didn't pursue Troy Percival was because they are cheap. I did not have any facts to back that up, however today I found a reporting of Percival's deal with St. Louis:

Percival, who received a $100,000 bonus when he signed his minor league contract, gets a $500,000 base salary with the Cardinals. He can earn up to $1.2 million in performance bonus based on games, getting the full amount if he pitches in 30. He also would get an additional $500,000 if he finishes 30 games.

Jose Mesa is costing the team $250,000. Troy Percival is going to cost the Cardinals at least twice that amount, and threaten to collect over $1M.

GM-Carson said...

Troy Percival has the opportunity to be a worthy investment or a costly risk, but it's one I wish the Phils would have taken.

I read that Myers and Gordon aren't expected back until post All-Star break now. The Phillies are such liars when it comes to injuries.

Bourn has the speed to swipe 75 bags some day if he gets on base enough.

Maria said...

My vote when to Bourn. His defense is better and with his speed he can get a lot of infield singles as well as doubles/triples.

How can you not <3 Chase Utley? It's good though that we signed him up for a few more years.

GM-Carson said...

The NL MVP race is going to come down to Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes, Miguel Cabrera, Matt Holliday, and Chase Utley based on #'s. However, I doubt the Rockies and Marlins will contend or even finish over .500, so that most likely excludes Cabrera and Holliday. The Brew Crew is almost a lock in the weak NL Central so Fielder has a good shot, the Mets will contend all season so Reyes will remain in consideration, and hopefully the Phils can make a run of it so Utley is high on the balloting come voting time too. Right now Fielder gets the nod over Utely, but Utley may end up having the better all-around season in the end, with Prince only bettering Utley in homeruns.

Jacobin said...

This bit of information regarding Chooch Ruiz's stealing of home against the Reds comes courtesy of the Daily News. I didn't draw the connection last night, but this does seem to be a strange piece of cosmic karma:

If only because of the shared name and service time, the play recalled the steal of home by Reds rookie Chico Ruiz on Sept. 21, 1964. Chico Ruiz' steal, with Frank Robinson batting, was an ill-advised play that won that game, 1-0, and started a 10-game slide that saw the Phillies squander a 6 1/2-game lead and lose the National League pennant.

Has Chooch Ruiz exorcised the demon of Chico Ruiz? Is there a demon of Chico Ruiz?

michael said...

if you follow that logic it would mean a 10 game winning streak for the phils since they were the ones stealing home this time not their opponent.

SirAlden said...

Bourn against Righties

Burrell against Lefties

goDuke said...

In case Burrell sees daylight today... you're my boy Burrell. If it works you'll all thank me... if not... what did I lose?

GM-Carson said...

GoDuke- if it doesn't work you lost respect. Just kidding...sort of.

GM-Carson said...

Current vote totals- Bourn 23, Burrell and Dobbs 1 a piece, and Werth with zero. Who the hell voted for Patrick?

Good news, Mark Buehrle is close to signing a 4 year 50 million dollar extension with the ChiSox, meaning the Braves and Mets won't be landing him.

Whelkman said...

Last night was the first time all season the entire lineup felt strong. Without snoozers like Burrell, Nunez, and Barajas in the lineup, I no longer felt the dread of wasting every third inning. Great job by Victorino. He seems the type who will produce anywhere in the lineup, and the bottom of the order needs his kind of direction.

I like Bourn batting second. If starting works out, he should bat leadoff; if he's mediocre, I'm afraid we'll see more of Burrell and/or Nunez.

On the topic of leadoff: Rollins really needs to stop swinging at the first pitch every single time; last night's GIDP was disgusting. It's one thing to swing at everything with bases empty but another thing entirely with two or three on. I know he's not used to seeing runners on from the bottom of the order, but Rollins should still know better.

Ruiz's stealing of home was ill-advised and very nearly failed. However, it's something this team needs to do more often. I'm tired of seeing someone stranded at third with less than two outs. Baserunning from third is generally pathetic this season. We either send guys to their doom or timidly hold them up on close plays. Still an improvement from Dancy's days, though.

GM-Carson said...

Whelkman, I agree if Bourn can bat around .275 with an OPS around .350 for the month of July, then I say stick him in leadoff and bat J-Roll 2nd. By the way, I too wish Rollins was stop taking ill-advised hacks at pitches and hitting into double plays or the pitiful lazy pop-ups. He's a tremendous talent, and I'm glad we have him, but he could be absolutely amazing if he only learned some plate discipline.

I'd like to see the Phils become more aggressive overall. The double steal with Bourn and Ruiz last night is a good start. Some squeeze plays would be nice, more steals from Rollins, Bourn, and Victorino, and hit and runs with players that make decent contact, because all that leads to more runs and disrupts the opposition's game plan.

Whelkman said...

Carson, do you mean OBP of .350?

Rollins is one of those guys I love and hate, often in the same game! He's way, way above average overall but frustrating with his holes. Thome is long gone, but Rollins is still pretending to be him. Even Burrell's given up on that one.

Also, Kendrick's first inning was amazing considering the run potential. Barring baserunning mistakes from the other team, one run is the minimum we could surrender with two hits and two walks.

Whelkman said...

...or an inconveniently placed double play, I suppose. Still very unlikely to give up less than one run.

furiousBall said...

holy wonder Pat can't hit...look at his batter introduction music (source Wikipedia)

2004: "Some Day" Nickelback
2005 and 2006: "Holy Diver" Dio
Late 2006: "Baby one More Time" Britney Spears
2007: "Dirty Laundry" Don Henley

Whelkman said...

Haha, that's just a ruse to work the ladies, furiousBall.

GM-Carson said...

Whelkman- yes, I meant on base % around .350, as an OPS that low would be worse than No-Hit Nunez's career mark.

Burrell sucks, and I'm all for trashing him now. It really scares me that we still have his worthless carcass around for 2008 as well.

Whelkman said...

In recent discussions I suggested that Burrell be relegated to undesirable duties in an attempt to get some value for his contract. Examples:

"Burrell! The team needs more Gatorade!"

"Burrell! Get everyone's dinner orders then go pick up."

"Burrell! The equipment manager has the flu, so I want you to wash, dry, and press the uniforms and get all these bats into the right lockers. Utley likes extra starch, and don't machine dry Howard's or it'll shrink!"

"Burrell! The bus driver needs help changing a flat."

"Burrell! Mesa's foot isn't feeling well and he needs you to rub it."

Jacobin said...

I'd be more than happy with a 10 game win streak, wouldn't you Michael?

Right now Burrell is a $13.25M doorstop. If I knew what would fix the guy, I'd be a millionaire. The suggestion of hitting him against lefties is good from the standpoint that he is a right-handed batter, but fails to take into consideration he's hitting even lower against lefties than righties this year.

GM-Carson said...

I really don't think Burrell should play much at all unless Bourn totally craps out. Burrell should pinch hit almost every game and get maybe 1 or 2 starts a week. I doubt he comes out of his funk this way, but I doubt he'd come out of his funk playing every day either.

GM-Carson said...

From FoxSports- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was asked if he feels he needs to do everything he possibly can because of his uncertain job status. His contract expires after the season. "I don't even want to talk about it," he said. "My team is more important than my contract. This is about my team and the players. If we win enough games and do good, things will be good and work themselves out."

*My take- this is a double-edged sword. On one hand I want Manuel's no-good-carcass out of here, but on the other hand I'm dying for playoffs which means a Charlie contract extension...yikes!

Charlie Manuel was asked if he could make Pat Burrell a role player, or if the salary commitment the Phils have made to him ($13 mil) plays a role in that decision. "I can do anything I want to," Manuel said. "Seriously, in this job, I can do anything I want to do. That can cause a lot of stuff, but I can do what I want to do. I can and I've got the [guts] to do whatever I want to do."

*My take- if you can do what you want to do, then how about speaking more intelligently you bumbling backwood bumpkin.

The Phillies hoped both injured closers would be back by this week. Instead, both could be out through the All-Star break July 9-12. Brett Myers, out with a strained right shoulder since May 24, would have pitched in a minor league game this week if his bullpen session went well yesterday. Myers will not pitch in a minor league game this week – or maybe next week, either. Myers remains on the 15-day disabled list with Tom Gordon, who landed there May 2 with an inflamed right rotator cuff. Assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Gordon is coming along steadily. He will throw to batters tomorrow for the second time. However, no time frame has been solidified for Gordon to pitch in a rehab game. Now, Myers seems even further away.

*My take- the Phillies organization are a bunch of lying bastards.

GM-Carson said...

I posted this over on BeerLeaguer and thought it was decent, so I'm posting it here too: I never thought this Burrell vs. Bourn thing would be such a big debate. Some of you keep holding out hope that Burrell will come out of this funk and post #'s close to his career norm. Is that possible? Yes, it's possible, but will it happen this season, and will playing him every day help him get out of the funk? He's had his chance, and he's blown it miserably. 2 abysmal months, and the fact that he doesn't bring anything else to the table if he's not producing the .850+ OPS are reasons he should be benched. We can all admit Pat defense is not good, with the exception of a decent arm, and that his speed on the basepaths is subpar. Therefore, if he's not producing at the plate, what value is he to the team in the lineup? The answer is none! Bourn is the rookie that has tremendous speed, great range in the outfield, and if he can keep his on base % around .350 can be an asset to this lineup, moreso than the current Burrell is.

*By the way, No-Hit Nunez in the lineup tonight...sometimes Manuel baffles me.

Jacobin said...

Sometimes Manuel baffles you? Just out of curiosity, when doesn't he baffle you?

Jarex said...

Bourn Again (in the lineup, that is)

Quite a relgious experience watching him turn walks into doubles - a miracle, I dare say.

Jacobin said...

Amen Jarex! Amen! We have a Bourn again left field!

GM-Carson said...

Gas-Can Geary is a piece of shit. I've had enough of him this season. He's given up far too many big hits and he's allowed tons of runs (some have been unearned because of "errors"). Seriously, right now, I'm hating Geary!

Bob D said...

Tuesday's game had the best lineup the Phils have. With Ruiz catching, Dobbs at 3rd, and Bourn in left - It was the one lineup I was hoping Manuel to use all season. I did go to the game and that double steal with Ruiz taking home was something. Bourn is really fast and he has my vote. And by the way - he probably has the best arm in the outfield.

Bob D said...

Howard's all or nothing continues for the 2nd straight day 2HRS, 7SO - 3 of them called 3rd strikes. Maybe he took pointers from Burrell.

Jacobin said...

Yeah, Howard struck out three times, but the third time wasn't as much on him as it was on a suddenly very liberal high strike zone. I guess the home plate umpire had late dinner reservations.

GM-Carson said...

The homeplate umpire, Jeff Kellogg, was pinching the corners all night, then all of a sudden he extends the strike zone on Howard...that was a bullshit call. I hate it when umps make blatantly obvious wrong calls.

GM-Carson said...

Vote totals: Bourn 42, Burrell 5, and Dobbs 3. Nary a vote for Werth-less. Who the hell keeps voting for Patty Pop-Up?!