SI Writer Gives the Phillies No Respect, We Blast

We're not ones to blast folks for making predictions.  No one, not you nor I, can accurately predict sports.  If we could, we would all be rich.  But when someone's prediction is so deeply seeded in moronic logic, well, then we're going to tear them a new one.  

Joe Sheehan, an experienced baseball writer for, gave his top ten predictions for 2011 and said the Phillies will win less than 96 games.  We dissect.

The Phillies will win fewer than 96 games. 

Oh goodie, do tell us how, Mr. Joe.

That figure is the current line for the Phillies' 2011 win total set by your finer, ahem, establishments.

A gambling man, you say.  Go on.

It's easy to win December: make the biggest trade, sign the biggest free agent, lose the least talent, and no one is shredding their elbows or having trouble locating their fastball or just plain feeling old. It's harder to win September, when stat lines give way to baseball games, bad bounces, human frailty.

Right.  That same human frailty suffered by this current group of core players that has led them to a record of 72-38 in September (.654 winning percentage) since 2007?  

It was three years ago that pundits — myself included — were raving about the Tigers' 1,000-run offense in the wake of their trades for Edgar Renteria and Miguel Cabrera. That team won 74 games, finished last and fell just 179 tallies shy of a grand.

So let's just throw out that four-consecutive division title track record, shall we?

This isn't to say that the Phillies aren't the best team in the NL or won't win the NL East for the fifth year in a row.

Woop, I'll remove it from the trash.

It's merely an acknowledgement that despite adding Cliff Lee, they're an aging team that had some injury and performance issues last year… 

That "aging team" won 97 games last year – the most in baseball- despite suffering from injury and performance issues (which were tied to said injuries).  Imagine if they were even remotely healthy. Off the top of my head, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Placido Polanco, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz (that's the entire infield), Shane Victorino, Ryan Madson, Joe Blanton, Brad Lidge, and others all spent time on the disabled list last year.  Other than Rollins and perhaps Lidge, none of those injuries can even remotely be attributed to their age.  Ankle sprains, torn tendons, bone fragments, concussions- none of those arise from normal wear and tear.

and whose bullpen is always an adventure.


Brad Lidge: 27 saves, 2.99 ERA, 1.22 WHIP

Ryan Madson: 64/13 K/BB ratio, 2.55 ERA, 1.03 WHIP


It's a lot to ask these four starters — three of whom will be at least 32 years old next year — to carry the roster. Halladay, Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels have combined for more than 60 wins in any season just once, in 2008.

They also played for the Blue Jays, Indians, and Astros those years.  In fact, no one is asking anything of them.  Just go be yourselves- and by default they will be the best pitching staff of all-time.

The 1993 Braves had four starters younger than all four of the Phillies' hurlers, and they made 142 starts and racked up 75 wins for a 104-win team. That's the gold standard in the free-agent era, and it will remain so a year from now.

And they lost to the Phillies, all because of the human frailty you described in the first paragraph.

The Red Sox will win the World Series. Paralleling the Yankees' path in 2009, the Red Sox add the top free agent and top trade target in the game, making themselves significantly better after an injury-plagued off-year. The additions help spur them to the best record in baseball and a romp through the playoffs, yielding a third World Series championship in eight seasons.

But… but you just said December acquisitions didn't matter?  And why is their injury plagued year not indicative of a larger problem, like you said it was with the Phillies?  That best record in baseball?  The injury plagued Phillies had it last year.

What a dumb piece from a supposedly knowledgable writer.


27 Responses

  1. Yes, how dare someone take the “under”, which Vegas essentially gives the Phils a 50/50 shot of achieving.

  2. “Hmm, everyone is calling the Phillies the favorites to win in 2011, so if I write an article saying they WON’T, I can get some attention.” -Joe Sheehan

  3. Hey, Kyle. That was a great disection of this writers predictions. You must have done great in biology class. 🙂 You’re also 100% correct in your pointing out the inconsistency and inaccuracy of his statements. Most of the injuries that the Phillies suffered were a result of playing the game hard and had nothing to do with age. When it comes to some writers, their bias is quite blatant!

  4. I agree with Kyle that his (Joe Sheehan) logic is horribly thought out, and I will also agree that it isn’t a stretch that the Phils only win 93 or so games next season. Hardly a disappointment.

  5. He used the exact arugment for why the phillies will be bad to say the red sox will be good…obviously he is bias against the phils and towards the sox…and the addition of an ace pitcher helps a team a lot more than that of a player who gets to bat once every 9 batters and plays one of 9 positions on a field

  6. I DO think the Phils will win the NL East and make a strong playoff run.
    I don’t think that they win 96 regular season games. That is a tough number to hit, even for excellent baseball teams.
    Agree with Kyle’s disection of the writer’s piece – his logic is poor.
    If you want a legit reason for them not surpassing the old 96er – try something like “they have yet to replace Werth’s production and the protection he provides the big lefties.”
    Hopefully they can pick up a RH OF for Big Joe.

  7. Phillies are becoming too popular (dare I say?) and now writers are hacking them down. # of wins doesnt matter, just make the playoffs as healthy as possible and get the trophy and title….enough said. Dont kill the S{‘s or starters, keep mixing in the bench players, and get into playoffs with positive momentum…and let the SI writer look like the fool that he is.

  8. “It’s easy to win December: make the biggest trade, sign the biggest free agent, lose the least talent, and no one is shredding their elbows or having trouble locating their fastball or just plain feeling old. It’s harder to win September, when stat lines give way to baseball games, bad bounces, human frailty.”
    Funny how this applies to the Phillies, but not the Red Sox 🙂

  9. I busted out laughing after the fifth paragraph, and couldn’t hold myself together long enough to finish the rest.

  10. Who cares what people are saying. All that matters is how the Phils play from April to September.. and October. They could win over 100 they could win 95. Its a long season lets just see how it plays out. I am excited though for the upcoming year

  11. Agree with you 100%. The moment I read his Red Sox prediction, I was wondering the same thing as everyone else: why does this thought process apply to the Phillies and not the Sox?
    One thing that a lot of reporters fail to mention when they go right for the “age” thing is that many athletes don’t hit their full potential until their early 30s. It takes long enough to break onto a team, mature enough, and finally learn how to play the professional game.
    The Phillies are in prime position to win another World Series.

  12. this guy is dumb the redsoxs didnt not get the top free agent in baseball the phillies did and it dosent matter if the phillies lost werth they really didnt have anybody in 2008 and won the whole thing and boston chokes every years sorry did i say that

  13. this is funny. the phillies won 97 games last year, with hamels struggling for the first half, and no roy oswalt until the very end of july, not to mention joe blanton, kyle kendrick and jamie moyer. this guy is a damn fool. hell, you might see 50 wins combined with halladay and lee.

  14. Now all we gotta do is get rid of Dead Weight Ho-hum Howard (also known as Got ‘im Looking Howard or Why Did They Pay So Much For a Guy who Humps Eagles Cheerleaders and Hangs Out at Eagles Games instead of Batting Cages Howard) and maybe people can take our hitting and fielding seriously. Sheesh.

  15. Who give’s a rat’s butt about 96 wins, if you get another World Series Trophy, Mr. Sheehan!

  16. I’ll give you some predictions.
    Cole Hamels wins 27 games and the Cy Young pitching in the 4 hole.
    Ben Francisco has a breakout, All-Star campaign. 30-30 would not surprise me.
    Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee also win around 20. (say 15+ each)
    Ryan Howard hits 45 HR’s.
    Chase Utley wins the league MVP.
    J-Roll returns to form.
    Polanco’s elbow falls off…literally falls off his body.
    Phillies win 108 games and the World Series.
    Put that in your pipe and smoke it Sheehan. Copy and paste this shit into a word document and holler at me in October KS!

  17. Looking through baseball-reference, I can’t find a team that will be as old as the Phils this year (average player age should be around 32-ish, it was nearly there last year) who won a championship. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but you are dealing with a team whose core should be in the decline phase of their careers aside from Cole.

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