Thursday, August 09, 2007

Phlashback Phriday

Benito Santiago
Lots of things happened in the baseball world this week. Former Pirate and former normal-sized human being Barroid Bonds broke Hank Aaron's homerun record. The Phillies have jumped into the Wild Card chase and to support their cause they traded for strikeout machine Russell Branyan. Steroids. Strikeouts. Phillies. Hey, sounds like Phucco great Benito Santiago to me.

Santiago signed as a free agent for $1.7 million in 1996 after a year with the Reds and caught 136 games. He had quite a good year, as his .264-30-85 lead the Phillies in home runs, RBI, OPS, and strikeouts. However, it wasn't enough to overcome a less than stellar supporting squad and the team went 67-97 to finish 29 games back of the Braves. He obviously had enough of the Phillies excellence after that and signed a two year, $6.5 million dollar deal with Toronto after the season.

Santiago finished his career after playing 6 games and earning $2.1 million with the Pirates in 2005. He won four Silver Sluggers, 3 Gold Gloves, an NLCS MVP, and had had 5 All-Star appearances. He also played a major role in the BALCO steroids scandal. He, along with then Giants teammates Armando Rios and Bobby Estalella, testified that they took steroids given to them from Bonds' trainer Greg Anderson.
Branyan Quickie
In 2000-2002 Branyan hit 60 homeruns, over half of the 118 total he has hit since his debut in 1998, clearly the best three year stretch of his career. No surprise his manager for those years was Fuqua himself, which explains this quote from the skipper: "If I know the guy, I don't look at that," referring to his .197 average. "I don't grade the guy out that way." So he doesn't use performance and productivity to grade his least that explains why No-Hit Nunez still gets playing time. But, what does he use to evaluate players? Favorite color? Shoe size?
Minor Bucco Update
Pirates first base farmhand Steven Pearce is freaking tearing it up. He started the year in A ball, and has worked his way up to AAA, where he is 10 for his first 28 with 2 jacks. Overall, he is batting .347 with 27 homers and 100RBI (as of 8/9/07) across three levels. He was 22 coming out of the University of South Carolina, but his quick rise through the system this year has made him a bonafide power-hitting first base/right field prospect. Of course, GM Dave Littlefied is not quite as impressed. He had this to say about Pearce.

"He's grounded into 11 double plays already this year, and as you may know, double plays are worth two outs, not just one. So every double plays cancels out one hit. And if you cancel out 11 hits, all from his time at AAA, he would then be -1 for 28, which is a -.035 batting average. I don't think anyone hitting below zero is much of a prospect."

I look for Pearce to get demoted to the Gulf Coast League or traded to the Cubs for Bobby Hill...



GM-Carson said...

It's still hard to believe Santiago hit 30 jacks for the Phils that season. Then again, Mike Lieberthal did that too one time.

David Littlefield is an idiot. The sooner he's kicked out of the GM chair in Pitt the better.

GM-Carson said...

I wonder what Fuqua's favorite color is...hmm...possibly clear. Clear is like blank, and blank is what is in Chuck's head.

BenJah said...

a double play cancels out a player's hit?? it might negate a team's hit, but WHAT?? that shit don't make no sense!!

not to be ignored: kendrick had yet another good start. he seems to be getting better every time.

SirAlden said...

Say something nice about "fog-horn leg-horn" GM Carson.

Won't you be amazed when his hitters, "not 50 cent - 50 mil" Rowand, "the natural" Dobbs, "Werth-some", the resurgent "Pat-the Bat", "someone's finally at the" Helms, and "Boom-Swish-Walk" Branyan, take us firmly into the playoffs.

You cannot argue that the hitters who will lead the National League in runs for 3 years in a row have not benefited from "fog-horn leg-horn's" calm parenting and advice.

"Fog Horn's double switch issues were taken away from him and given to Jimmy Williams, much like Bobby Wine was in charge during the glory day of the 1970's and early 80's as the bench coach.

I see alot of the moves now as Bill James influenced, i.e. you use your reliever at the most emotional turning point moment in the game (and that might be in the 7th inning). If we can think back to Milwaukee, when we stormed back 6 runs, and the brain trust put Myers in to pitch in a tied game on the road in the 9th.

Just think what would have happened if Mesa had lost it in the 9th after the storming back. In this case, shutting the team down, was the Bill James Call. Losing in the 12th would be better he would argue. I was happy Myers was brought out, showing the effort deserved the recognition of Myers being brought in.

We can argue to we are blue in the face, but I watch alot of other teams, and this is exactly the kind of move Bobby Cox does all the time, Willie Randolf always burns his bench, and they both are seen as genuises.

Sit back and enjoy the ride, there is a great chance we will stumble and be out of this thing right quick, but we may not be. Three years running top National League run production is a good thing.

Not making pitchers better means "bomber" Dubee needs to go.

Third Base Coaching and Double Switch Planning have not been in "fog-horns" portfolio for at least 18 months.

Here is hoping that Endy Chavez who was also taught to hit by "fog-horn leg-horn" does not come back to lead the Mutts to victory in September.

Arguing to hold the bench back one day and then arguing that it needed to be used earlier the next is great fun, -- kick the dog and pee on your grumpy neighbor's onion patch through the fence at midnight when there is no moonlight - but give the West Virginian his due.

P.S. have you checked out Tadahito Iguchi's .388 Batting Average and .988 OPS since he was acquired by hmmmm let me see -- Pat Gillick?! Maybe Tadahiti loves to hear "fog-horn leg-hor's" fluent Japanese with a Drawl....

goDuke said...

Just pray that Iguchi plays third when Utley returns.

GM-Carson said...

Ok, first off, Corey and I have always been willing to conceed Manuel is a solid hitting coach. Problem being is that he is our manager, aka Dude in charge. He mismanages bullpen and bench, this much cannot and should not be argued because it is obvious.

Secondly, Iguchi fell into our laps because Ken Williams, ChiSox GM, offered him to us, Gillick didn't go out and seek him. Dobbs (waiver wire) and Moyer (August trade) have been the only real successes of Gillick's GM tenure thus far. Alfonseca is doing well, so I'm willing to give credit to Gillick for that too...but really a good bench player, marginal reliever, and old starting pitcher are all Gillick has done well in 2 seasons...c'mon now!

Jacobin said...

Willie Randolf is touted as a genius? Are we back to talking about how great a hitting coach our manager is? Because I conceded that one a long time ago. There is no argument that Charlie is a fantastic hitting coach.

GM-Carson said...

By the way, Gillick was quoted as to saying he doesn't think Iguchi will be used at 3rd by the Phils. This is foolish, as when Utley returns they need to find a place in the lineup for Gooch, and trying him at 3rd base is most logical...of course that might explain why the Phils don't see it that way...retards!

GM-Carson said...

Bobby Cox is an awesome manager, and you cannot convince me otherwise. Willie Randolph on the other hand is not a genius in my or many others' book...he simply has a big payroll with a lot of talent.

Jacobin said...

I see the roster moves made for bringing Branyan on board were sending Geary down to AAA and removing Zack Segovia from the 40-man roster.

Corey said...

wow, where do i begin?

werth and helms leading us into the playoffs? huh?

the best point made by siralden was that manuel is a better manager because one of his duties (double switch) was taken away from him and is handled by somebody else. or course, i'm not sure if pointing out that manuel can't do something and that somebody else does it better is the best way to argue for him...

if manuel taught chavez to hit, why did he hit .215 with the phillies? rick downs, maybe. manuel, no way.

comparing the managerial capacities of manuel to bobby cox un-freaking-ridiculously-ludicrous. and i'm not even going to get into the job gillick has done with this bullpen. haven't we gone over this already?

GM-Carson said...

Maybe Corey and I should collaborate and do a combo piece for the blog with the focus being on "through the eyes of the blind" and talk about how everything Manuel, Gillick, and company do is totally awesome and even throw in some kudos to Barajas, Nunez, and Eaton.

BenJah said...

siralden -- all that word-space and no mention of draft picks??

GM-Carson said...

So what do we think will happen tonight? Chuck James usually pitches well against us and the Braves offense is much improved, so I'm guessing a loss, possibly of the blow-out variety...yes, even with the Savior Cole Hamels on the mound. Hope I'm wrong, but I'm not very optimistic about this series at all.

Reagan316 said...

If Hamels just gave up 4 runs in the first inning, I don't even want to see what this lineup does to Eaton tomorrow.

BloodStripes said...

Good win Phils. Woo hoo!

Wagner just blew a save. Go Florida, win it!

SirAlden said...

After a game like that I really miss... "and put another one in the Win Column for the Phightin' Phils!!!"

Jacobin said...

I agree. I might be in the minority, but I liked Scott Graham. It's nice to see Billy Wagner blow some important games for the Mets like he did for the Phillies and the Astros before that. Any night is good when the Phils win as the Mets and Braves lose!

Jacobin said...

Let me add that they had to win tonight with Vuk going on the wall of fame. I also see that the Braves put Dotel on the 15-day DL (that makes me feel better about that move), but Rowand's blurred vision problem kind of makes me wonder... what the hell is going on?

BloodStripes said...

I also miss the saying "put that one in the Win Column for the Phightin' Phils!!!" It would always cap off a good perfectly.

Graham was alright. The ice-cream add was annoying but the calling of the game was good.

SirAlden said...

I argue most respectfully, that what kind of pitching coach does not know that Garcia is not 100% so poor fog-horn has to confront him in the runway.

I also believe that Gillick took the bench decision making away from fog-horn long ago and gave it to Williams.

SirAlden said...

As for Gillick he has done lots of stuff noone credits him for, that did not mortgage our future.

The bench assembled this year is better than the last decade.

Hamels (jumped two levels)
Iguchi (should not be 0 credit)
"Boom-Swish-Walk" Branyan
The back up catcher insurance of Barajas.

Are all mature, smart moves, that were made by Pat Gillick.

25 million dollars in Payroll Room next year. 20 million dollar in Payroll Room the year after.

Saved 37 million dollars on Abreu, and got what seemed to be a LOOGY in Smith before he blew his arm out. Noone is mad at the Braves when they trade for someone and he injures himself. Or the Yankees 40 million bucks for Pavano.

Rebuilt Rookie Leagues, Low A, and High A, next year AA Reading.

4 first round picks in the last 2 years, after 1 first round pick in the previous 3 years.

What my point is, is Gillick is mature and driving the family station wagon safely. Just like any dad for no credit from the bored teenage brats in the back.

Sure we should have gotten someone with a pulse for Padilla, but I think that was Green's doing.

Gillick also signed a bunch of retreads he knew, none of which worked out that first year.

And noone is giving him credit for the Garcia Trade. In that he was injured goods on arrival, I do not believe that to be true. He injured himself in spring training just like Howard and Gordon.

If Garcia had been last years Garcia we would be in first place now. Noone credits Gillick for being patient and not trading away good pitching prospects, he should be admired for protecting them and not trading them.

And - we have Model Dictator thanks to Pat, never forget that.

SirAlden said...

If Iguchi can play 3rd he will.

If he can't do it he won't.

It is up to Iguchi, I am sure if he can do it at a Helms level, he will beg to do it if he can.

This is not a Gillick conspiracy, Iguchi has stated consistently that he cannot play 3B but they are working on it.

SirAlden said...

Oh BTW Eaton a Gillick Move Sucks.

SirAlden said...

Nunez not a Gillick move is better than Tomas Perez.

SirAlden said...

My main point is this - Fog-horn Leg-Horn has over seen three first place finishes in run scored.

The pitching coach has to go.

Gillick is not harming the future (aside from Eaton), and the franchise is healthy, not like the 90's.

SirAlden said...

Also does fog-horn leg-horn have anything to do with Pat Burrell's #1 batting average after the All-Star break?


SirAlden said...

9 Phillies (well 8 Phillies and Barajas) on the disabled list ATM.

SirAlden said...

* Plugged-in St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz speculates that manager Tony La Russa will decide to return to the Cardinals next season. The guess here is that, if he does, third baseman Scott Rolen won't be back.

GM-Carson said...

Sir Alden was a one man posting machine...thanks for the comments bro, way to boost our stats. Anyway, you keep talking about all this available payroll for next season. I ask- who the hell are we going to spend it on? Next season's free agent class is very weak in places we need help (3rd, 1 outfielder, and pitching all-around).

That game was strange last night. Both pitchers were horrible in the 1st then were lights out the rest of the way. A win is a win, and even better against the Bravos with the Mutts losing too.

GM-Carson said...

Bad news- Shane Victorino's return has been bumped back. No surprise here, as the Phils brass has been lying to us all season about injuries. Vic is now expected back by next Friday at the earliest.

Rowand's blurred vision may be a big problem as he had to leave after the 1st inning yesterday and he may be missing a few games as well. I hope he didn't give himself a concussion slamming into that fence in Milwaukee...dammit Fence-Face!

Bob D said...

Vic's delay is nothing more than an extra 3 days of rest prior to a rehab assignment.

I am concerned about Rowand. I wonder if this is an effect to the face injury from last year?

SirAlden said...

Thanks for the question GM "farts flowers" Carson.


I have told you this before, I have a friend who is working in the Red Sox front office, and they are crying because they want Miguel Cabrera 3B then LF, and they believe the the Phightin' Phils (he mentions Gillick has been saving up) have the inside track.

I believe the trade will go something like this - 2B Adrian Cardenas Monsignor Pace HS, of Miami Lakes Florida, plus 3 good minor leaguers for Cabrera.

Then it will be followed by Carlos Carrasco plus Savery, plus 2 good minor leaguers for LHP Johan Santana.

Next year we will finally have good things to trade.

And you heard this here first as well, Freddie Garcia and Bobbie Abreu will be back.

GM-Carson said...

Actually, Sir Alden- Corey mentioned Bobby Abreu coming back. And at a discount price I certainly wouldn't mind.

Now for the crazy shit you said---you think we're getting both Johan and're f'n nuts man! I like your optimism, but you're in a fantasy world right now thinking we have a shot at both of them let alone one of them. Keep dreaming brotha!

GM-Carson said...

By the way, we may have Gavin Eaton pitching today, but he should still get the win with Lance Cormier and his 15.98 era pitching for the Braves. I want a 10 Spot for the good guys!