Your Monday Morning Roundup

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Good morning, humans. A relatively quiet weekend in Philadelphia: none of our local teams traded for All-Star outfielders or position-defining cornerbacks. 

The Phillies took three-of-four from the Giants, though J-Roll™ walking down to first base for the final out of yesterday’s game left a sour taste in my mouth. This is the exact reason that despite being loved, he doesn’t have the sort of rabid fan base his double play partner, Chase Utley, has.  I can sort of understand not blowing your wad on every ground ball, but at the end of a close game, with a man already on base, there’s no reason not to sprint down the line. None.  


A couple of quick notes:

– I will be hosting a Phillies quizzo at Drinker’s Tavern in Old City on Thursday night. We’ll have four rounds, covering four different teams (08, 93, 80, and the current season). If you think it’s going to be easy, you’re sadly mistaken. Here's a link to the Facebook event.

– Philly Phaithful’s tremendous Good Game, Let’s Go Eat t-shirt is by far our most popular release yet. Get yours right here. Everyone else has.

– Get 25% off licensed glassware, Fatheads, and NHL and MLB dartboards at BC Sports. Click here for store locations.


The roundup

– We Zaprudered Friday night’s brawl

DeSean arrives. Polly to have MRI ( — old joke — ) on hip, he says it has nothing to do with Eli Whiteside sticking him at the line of scrimmage.

– Chipper Jones says Phillies are best team since the 2000 Yankees.

– In his defense of Ryan Howard, Mike Missanelli tweaked the SABR nerds by throwing out every buzz word sure to elicit a response (clutch, RBI, etc.). Thankfully, he stopped just short of describing a sexual encounter, something that would have undoubtedly sent the stat heads into a frenzy, for varying reasons.

David Murphy, in his nonstop quest to drip smugness onto every word he writes, took aim at Missanelli, making this the second time in four months he has taken shots at a colleague. If he worked for ESPN, he would be dead in his car somewhere:

Just did my morning reading. It appears stupidity has a new platform. Soon, there will be no escape from the lowest common denominator. As my man Jay said, dumb down for your audience and double your dollars. Shame that pros like @MikeSielskiWSJ are forced out of our market for hacks who can't write without dripping their clown paint on the keyboard. The same reason I rip Sarah Palin and cable news. My country is being dumbed down for profit and power.


Odd that a guy taking a moral stance on stupidity, profit, and power is talking about a sports column. I see your stupidity, David, and raise you a dose of perspective.

This is the problem with SABR folks and pseudo-smug tightly wound scriptuals: it’s a game. Our emotions about sports are as real as it gets, but at the end of the day, it’s entertainment. I whole heartedly agreed with the premise of Missanelli’s argument- I wrote just about the same thing here. Where Miss came up short was in completely misunderstanding the arguments over clutchness, RBI opportunities, and productive outs. That being said, his point was right on: Ryan Howard is one of – if not the most – productive player in Phillies history, and we’re going to argue over his on-base percentage, propensity to strike out, and WAR? What is that good for? Nothing. SABR nerds just have a problem with the fact that he doesn’t hit more doubles. And they also don’t take too kindly to tongue-in-cheek discourse, as is evidence by every Tweet they send…

– Dan Gross has a roundup of the attendees at UFC 133, including Charles Barkley, Randy Moss, and others.

– Our friends at Philsville Blog passed along this little tidbit this morning:

The Phillies averaged 4.3 runs per game in the 105 games prior to Hunter Pence trade. They’ve averaged 6.1 runs in the nine games since.


SABR nerds won’t be able to comprehend Pence’s value hitting behind Howard.

– Video of Howard at the MLB Fan Cave.

– Busted Coverage has video of a female Red Sox fan getting double dipped at Fenway back in 1997. Random.

– McDonald’s is coming out with a Phillies McFlurry. Per the release:

To celebrate the launch of McDonald’s new Phillies McFlurry, Ronald McDonald and the Phillie Phanatic will be at the South Philadelphia McDonald’s on Front and Oregon Streets on Monday, August 22, from 3-6 p.m. Customers will have a chance to sample the new product on site. In addition, the first one hundred customers to purchase a Phillies McFlurry will receive a McDonald’s-branded Phillies shirt, while supplies last.


– As you know, Jay Cutler broke up with Kristen Cavallari. Goodnight Snack put together some of her finer photographs

Great article by Bob Ford about Eagles backup quarterback Jerrod Johnson.

– A look inside the numbers: Cole Hamels.


20 Responses

  1. Just what I always wanted – a McDonald’s-branded Phillies shirt.
    What are the odds the Phillies McFlurry is better than the Shamrock Shake? I say not good.

  2. Hard to blame Murphy for not liking the new trend of having non-writers (or terrible writers, in Gonzo & the governor’s respective cases) taking up ink space in the local papers. It’s kinda sad to see.
    But him taking issue with Missanelli’s piece about the Big Piece is just stupid, IMO. He’s basically attacking the messenger, not the message. Last time I checked, that was bad logic & worse writing.
    Ironic. no?

  3. Agreed. But Missanelli is a lawyer and used to run the now defunct The Fan magazine. He knows how to write words down. Whether it’s good or not is a matter of taste.

  4. Does Gonzo still work for the Inky??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  5. Murphy is way too smug. He also did not want the Phillies to trade for Hunter Pence or try to acquire Oswalt last year because he thought the Phillies would never go over there budget.
    Murphy does not seem to have any common sence when it comes to sports and throws out tons of figures and stats to make it seem like he knows what he is talking about.

  6. totally agree on the Rollins point, wondered if i was the only one who saw that, if he puts half the effort into runnin to first he is safe cause the second baseman made a bad play.will he ever learn??
    as for David Murphy, he is a typical douche who thinks he knows everything because he writes a SPORTS column. Ur insignificant buddy, more than half the people in this country dont even read sports columns.

  7. I HATE SABR geeks. For 100+ year baseball has valued 3 major offensive statistics, BA. HRs and RBIs and 3 major pitching statistics, ERA K’s and Wins.
    All of a sudden over the last 20 years a bunch of nerds have come up with advanced calculus equations and have tried to discount everything baseball’s storied history is based on.

  8. SABR definitely has its place. Look, Billy Beane used advanced metrics and it helped him dominate the low budget market because he knew what to look for (i.e. NOT BA, HR, RBI, ERA, K’s and W’s). It worked so well for him that EVERY other team re-evaluated the way they valued talent, and now Beane’s system doesn’t work anymore (he said so, basically saying GM’s aren’t as stupid as they used to be).
    So even though every ML team has taken this stuff into account, Adam B. doesn’t like extra numbers, so we should stop analyzing them.
    Look, they aren’t always a great predictor, but they are VERY useful tools in evaluating players. Moreso than the “traditional” stats. BUT, one also should not rely solely on SABR metrics. It’s a give and take to find the right balance.

  9. @J.T. Correct me if I’m wrong, but what exactly has Billy Beane won? While I agree they are useful tools, SABR nerds tend to forget that the more traditional statistics hold value as well. SABR nerds ALWAYS argue that RBIs are the most overrated baseball stat. Well last time I check the idea of the game is to score more runs than the other team and only way to score runs is to have RUNS BATTED IN. Yes, SABR Metrics help GMs evaluate players in ways they never did before but that is not my argument. My argument is that SABR geeks ONLY rely on those metrics when they look at players. Guys like Keith Law and such refuse to give ANY acknowledgement to the traditional numbers, numbers that were used for the ENTIRE HISTORY of the game.
    There is a perfect balance between old time stats and SABR numbers, neither in itself is a perfect measurement of a player. They need to be used together. I just have an issue with the pompous a-holes who think their snobby advanced 10th grade math far out weights the historic numbers.
    That is all.

  10. Regarding the SABR nerds, Billy Beane teams won about as many championships using that nonsense as I had bedded Beyonce, that being none. I rest my case.
    As for Rollins, it’s hard as hell to defend the guy when he doesn’t bust it to first base in what was still very much a close game. To me, that was absolutely reprehensible.

  11. I love Pence as much as the next guy, but are you really going to compare the average of a 105 game sample to a 9 game sample? I could probably take another set of 9 games somewhere within that 105 games and come up with those same type of Pence-numbers. Let’s just see where we go from here, that’s what’s important.

  12. I agree with Adam. SABR stats are fine, nay, great ways to analyze and predict success, usually. But it’s ALL the SABR folks lean on. Yes, RBIs can be a flawed statistic, but it’s also the only one that counts. SABR folks completely neglect the fact that different people respond differently to added pressure situations. That’s a real, most unmeasurable trait, but it’s there.
    They also fail to recognize someone who has the power to hang crooked numbers (Howard) or that players hitting in lineups affect those around them (Pence) or experience. Just ask the SABR geeks their thoughts on Ibanez over Brown, yet they fail to acknowledge the fact that Ibanez has a ton more experience, is a marginally better fielder, and a much more valuable player in the lineup going down the stretch.
    They see numbers and that’s it. Not surprisingly, most of them weren’t any good at team sports (I’m generalizing, but I don’t think I’m wrong).
    Also, the A’s never won anything.

  13. I believe Gonzo got bounced by the Inquirer based upon his response to an email I sent him last week. He asked me to send an email to the new editors if I was unhappy about the move. and I am annoyed they canned him. god forbid there’s a little levity in the sports section. and F- Murphy, tell him to take his smugness and go hang out with Conlin.
    You should see how unprofessional Murph is after he’s getting his drunk ass handed to him in a game of beer pong, because I’ve witnessed it first hand. its kinda funny watching him get blown off by girls he’s trying to hit on when he’s drunk…

  14. Of course Murph was attacking Missanelli, not his relatively week arguments. Murph doesn’t consider Miss on equal footing…. and he is right. Can’t blame him for calling a spade a spade, just as I don’t blame you for calling him smug as every opportunity. Missanelli is a radio dope who now gets to feed the stupid masses by filling space in the inky – probably true. Murph is smug – probably true.
    PS – Murph was right on with Gonzo – total hack. I think I’d rather read Missanelli.

  15. Billy Beane has won division championships and lost close series to teams with 3 times the payroll he had. He puts it perfectly: “The playoffs are a crapshoot. All I can do is put together the best team possible to get the team there, then pray they go on a hot streak.” Baseball, like all other sports (football is the least dependent on this, hence why Reid/McNabb CAN be blasted for not getting it done), is cyclical. If you are hot at the right time, any of about half of the teams in MLB could reach (and win) a championship. You’ve proved that over the past week, Kyle, in your (correct) point that the Giants were a late season Phillies’ sweep of the Padres away from not making the playoffs. They got hot for a few weeks, and took home a championship.
    When you win 103 games with one of the lowest payrolls in the league, you’ve won something. No, it wasn’t a championship, but it’s still something. Same with the Rays getting to the World Series. Every team emulated Beane’s system in some way, and that’s why he can’t dominate the offseason like he used to. The players he used to pluck off the market are now identified by bigger market teams, and Beane can’t sign them. That shows his system DOES work, even if he didn’t win a championship.
    I won’t say the RBI is overrated (though it’s not the be-all, end-all that some make it out to be), but the “clutchness” factor can be. Any player, at any time, can get a hit. It’s more about his prep for the at-bat, his scouting report on the pitcher, the pitcher’s report on the hitter, what the catcher had for lunch and the gas pains it causes, causing a momentary lack of judgment in calling for that 1-2 fastball, etc. There are so many things that go into “big” at bats. Not saying clutch doesn’t exist, but it is overrated/overused (except for Chooch. Chooch is clutch. Always). People attribute things to a player being “clutch” when there are many other factors that can help explain why a player got a hit or why he didn’t.

    F*ck yeah, Boyo.
    And Chooch got a couple of hits off of Timmy. Too bad they were like both with 2 outs and the pitcher’s spot was next.
    With Poly out, maybe they should have moved an RHB like Chooch up in the order. And maybe they should have let Mayberry play for Howard, since the big piece can’t hit off Timmy. Especially when/if the face Lincsickcum again this season.
    Ah well, 3/4 is good, but it almost was 4/4 if Rollins didn’t drop that bloop in the 5th. I think that rattled Oswalt a bit, and had they not taken the lead, maybe he would have gotten out of it and out of the 6th. But it was a close game. But they need to figure out Linsickum somehow…

  17. Well for the last inning of the game I was more listening to the TV than watching it. Then I started hearing all this Rollins talk. I just looked at the condensed game on to see they play. at 13:00
    It looks like is he running it out until he sees the throw coming into first. If anything happened on the catch, he made it jogging or not. Usually though with the angle they show on tv you just see his last first steps before the bag and I would understand how that would make him look bad.
    Note I am not defending Jimmy overall because I know he does it, but I’m just talking about this play.

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