This Guy Can’t Understand Why Cliff Lee is More Popular Than Ilya Bryzgalov

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Email from reader Michael:

I've got a question for you, Kyle. Seeing as you are probably the biggest Cliff Lee nut hugger out there, while simultaneously pointing out each and every one of Bryzgalov's shortcomings, I'd like to know something…

Riddle me this, riddle me that, why does Cliff Lee continuously get a free pass, while Bryzgalov continuously gets the shaft? 

Let me be the first to admit that I love Cliff Lee. But let's face it, besides a solid run in the '09 playoffs and an impressive shutout streak, Cliff Lee hasn't really done anything spectacular while being a Phillie even though he gets paid money by the boatload. I believe he is set make $21.5 million this year (roughly 14% of the Phillies 2012 payroll) and has yet to win a single game. Granted, he's pitched well enough to win some of his starts but his team hasn't produced runs that well when he pitches. Perhaps most important though, one could easily argue that he actually cost the Phillies the series against the Cardinals last year when he blew a 4 run lead.

Let's see how that compares to Bryzgalov…

Let me be the first to admit that I am a big fan of Bryzgalov's, who is praying that typical Philly douchebags (see: YOU) don't run him out of town before he reaches his potential in the orange and black. However, other than a franchise record shutout streak and single-handedly carrying the Flyers through March, the rest of Bryzgalov's first year as a Flyer was rather unremarkable. His GAA and Save Percentage weren't bad but weren't great either, yet still managed to stack an impressive amount of wins. Monetarily speaking, compared to Cliff Lee, Bryzgalov made $10 million this year (Roughly 16% of the Flyers 2011-12 payroll). Some of the games he played like dirt and the Flyers lost. Yet some of the games (especially the playoffs) he played well enough to win but his team let him down with defensive mishaps and  lazy, uninspired play, but regardless, I don't think anyone can blame the Flyers' early exit on Bryzgalov.

 So why does Cliff Lee get a free pass?

 

This nonsense doesn’t even deserve a response… but I gave it a line-by-line breakdown, for your grammatical entertainment. Step over the jump with me, won’t you?

I've got a question for you, Kyle. Seeing as you are probably the biggest Cliff Lee nut hugger out there, while simultaneously pointing out each and every one of Bryzgalov's shortcomings, I'd like to know something…

Seeing nut and those insinuating ellipsisiss, I at first thought you were propositioning me for sex, Michael. Thankfully, you weren’t. So I’ll just point out that I’m one of 380,000 (estimated) under-30 males in the Philly area who would love to hug Cliff Lee’s nuts. Don’t judge me on that.

Riddle me this, riddle me that, why does Cliff Lee continuously get a free pass, while Bryzgalov continuously gets the shaft? 

OK, Jim Carrey, you have my attention. I suppose you’re going to explain to me now why Lee isn’t that good, yes?

Let me be the first to admit that I love Cliff Lee.

But…

But let's face it, besides a solid run in the '09 playoffs and an impressive shutout streak, Cliff Lee hasn't really done anything spectacular while being a Phillie even though he gets paid money by the boatload.

Besides a solid run in the ’09 playoffs and an impressive shutout streak Cliff Lee hasn’t really done anything spectacular? That’s like saying besides creating Apple and reviving Pixar, Steve Jobs was just a guy.

The impressive 2009 playoff run, of which you speak, just so happened to be the best postseason performance by a Phillies starter… ever.

Stat machine!

Lee, in five starts in the 2009 playoffs:

5 GS, 4 W, 1.56 ERA, 2 CG, 33 K, 6 BB, 0.82 WHIP

Now, how does that compare to, say, Cole Hamels in 2008?

5 GS, 4 W, 1.80 ERA, 0 CG, 30 K, 9 BB, 0.91 WHIP

As you can see, Michael, in 2009, Lee actually pitched better than 2008 Hamels, who won the World Series MVP.

And the shutout streak you glossed over? Let’s delve.

Beginning on June 6 of last year, Lee won five straight games, giving up only one run in the process. He threw three straight complete-game shutouts to finish off the month. 

In August, Lee started five games. He won all five and gave up two runs in 39.2 innings. These are facts.

So, The Riddler, I’d say that the adjectives solid and impressive don’t begin to describe three separate month-long streams of brilliance. Some would even call it pissing excellence, which you, sir, most certainly don’t do.

Let’s continue.

I believe he is set make $21.5 million this year (roughly 14% of the Phillies 2012 payroll) and has yet to win a single game. Granted, he's pitched well enough to win some of his starts but his team hasn't produced runs that well when he pitches.

No shit. Let’s blame Lee that he took less money to come to Philadelphia. And let’s also blame him for the offense’s struggles and the fact that, due to an obscene number of significant injuries, Mike Fontenot started a few games for the Phillies this season. Mike Fontenot! I didn’t even know he was on the team until I saw him on the field. And when I did, I spent a good three minutes trying to figure out who, in the hell, resurrected the meek body of Mickey Morandini to fill-in for Chase Utley and his non-existent knees.

Let’s state that again: Mike Fontenot started four games for the Phillies this season.

While we’re on the subject of hitting, which is apparently the pitcher’s fault: Clifton is hitting .333 with a .722 OPS this season. He also hit two home runs last year. 

Perhaps most important though, one could easily argue that he actually cost the Phillies the series against the Cardinals last year when he blew a 4 run lead.

He did. You’re right. But I’d argue that the Phillies’ offense cost them the series. Why? I wrote about it in my Definitive Phillies Collapse Guide:

In the five-game NLDS, the Phillies had separate streaks of 13 and 10 consecutive scoreless innings. Not to mention scoring only one run in the – brace yourselves here – final 17 innings of the best season in team history. Pure pain.

 

I’d argue that’s why they lost to the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. They put away the bats after the second inning of Game 2 and failed to put the Cardinals away when up 2-0 in a clinching game. 

Let's see how that compares to Bryzgalov…

This… should. be. good.

Let me be the first to admit that I am a big fan of Bryzgalov's, who is praying that typical Philly douchebags (see: YOU) don't run him out of town before he reaches his potential in the orange and black.

I’m sorry, I’m not wearing my OB Shades. Let me put them on.

- puts on special orange and black Comcast Spectacor manufactured lenses –

There we are, that’s better. Now I see the world like you. Continue.

However, other than a franchise record shutout streak and single-handedly carrying the Flyers through March, the rest of Bryzgalov's first year as a Flyer was rather unremarkable.

Single-handedly carrying the Flyers in March? What the hell does that even mean? Where did they go? Is that the month they secured the all-important 5th seed?

It’s funny how you gloss over Lee’s two shutout streaks, yet point to Bryz’s – which was much more reliant on team play than Lee's – in stating what a great season he had. But you’re right: the rest of Bryz’s first season with the Flyers, the only sample we have to go off, was rather unremarkable.

Do you want to talk about?

His GAA and Save Percentage weren't bad but weren't great either, yet still managed to stack an impressive amount of wins.

Oh you do? Great!

Factuals:

Bryzgalov’s GAA was 2.48– 37th in the league.

His save percentage? 90.9%– 57th in the league. Five in the tens column, seven in the ones column, enth– 57th in the league. Both it and his GAA don’t make the first page of NHL.com’s goalie leaders.

Weren’t great, you say? I’d say they were terrible.

Impressive amount of wins, eh? Bryz had 33 wins– 10th in the league. I’d call that decent or adequate, because a big bear could have won 30 games for the Flyers this year.

Monetarily speaking, compared to Cliff Lee, Bryzgalov made $10 million this year (Roughly 16% of the Flyers 2011-12 payroll). 

Technically speaking, Bryzgalov made $10 million on his own. He doesn’t need to be compared to Cliff Lee for that. But I see where you’re going with this. What you’re telling me is that Bryz, the highest paid player in hockey, actually ate up a larger percentage of his team’s salary than Lee and handicapped the Flyers in a league with a salary cap? Awesome! Go on! I’m listening.

Some of the games he played like dirt and the Flyers lost.

Yep. You’re right.

Yet some of the games (especially the playoffs) he played well enough to win but his team let him down with defensive mishaps and lazy, uninspired play…

Not until Game 6 of the Penguins series did he stop more than 90% of shots, so I had say that he didn’t play well enough to win any of the first five games in that series. He was terrible, in fact. But Marc-Andre Fleury was terribleleleler. We’ll call it a draw.

Against the Devils, Bryz was decent, above average– I’ll give you that. No more. The Flyers’ lazy, uninspired play was mostly a result of the Devils being a much better team (see Finals comma Stanley Cup).

but regardless, I don't think anyone can blame the Flyers' early exit on Bryzgalov.

We agree! 

He still stunk this season, though. And was a flake. And threw his teammates under the bus at various points. And allegedly told a fan he cared too much. And said we’re too negative. And was a flake. And was a flake. And was a flake.

 So why does Cliff Lee get a free pass?

Cliff Lee doesn’t get a free pass, but he rarely does anything to warrant intense criticism. Sure, he sometimes has bad games and they sometimes come in the playoffs. However, in 11 career postseason starts, only three times has he given up more than three earned runs. He also has three postseason complete games. And, since you love the meaningless wins stat so much, he’s 7-3 in 11 playoff starts.

Because Lee (and his family) enjoyed playing for the Phillies and liked our fine city so much, he accepted less money to come back here. That goes a long way. So does the fact that he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball, and the best pitcher when he’s dialed in. He’s also a superb fielder and a delightfully entertaining hitter. In fact, I’d rather watch him bat than most of the slop in the Phillies lineup (for real, that’s not a joke– it’s sad… but not a joke).

Bryz, on the other hand, was in over his head from the moment he got here. That said, I still don’t dislike him. I actually think he’s hysterical. But he’s a flake. And what’s endearing when he’s playing well (read: March) is maddening when he’s playing awful (read: the rest of the season). 

In the limited sample size we have with our $51 million goalie, he’s an underachiever. He’s had little postseason success elsewhere and didn’t have any here this year. He lets in bad goals, whines, and complains about the spotlight. Comparing him to Lee is completely ridiculous. Lee’s had much more career success than Bryzgalov, led two teams to the World Series, and is one of the most entertaining baseball players on the planet. Save for sometimes frustrating streakiness – balanced out with world-rocking streams of excellence – Lee consistently impresses. It’s not even a contest.

I responded to Michael’s email for real yesterday:

I think 2009 deserves more than 1 sentence. Best postseason performance by a Phillies pitcher ever. Better than Cole. Check the stats. 

 

He replied:

So, since he did really well in the playoffs 3 years ago, it's all good when he blows a 4 run lead en route to a first round disaster and follows that up by being winless in June? Makes sense. At least you answered my real question, which was whether you were a typical sports blogger, made popular by your pictures of drunk athletes and dick references or a guy that was actually in tune with a city's fanbase.

 

Someone in-tune might understand that Lee being winless in (almost) June is completely meaningless. So, whatever, cock.

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62 Responses

  1. bryz didn’t steal the flyers one game. Not one. Every other goalie that made it through the first round did atleast that. As far as im concerned hes paid to play in the playoffs, which is why I never understood the signing in the first place. I waited to complain until they lost to the devils, where he truly showed that he couldn’t do it. Way too many soft goals, not enough of making consistent saves. And that’s what the save percentage reveals… inconsistency

  2. Guy is an idiot.
    Cliff Lee has never really performed that bad for the Phillies. Okay, last year he blew the lead against the Cardinals, but in reality the Phillies offense failed to show up the whole time, same thing with why he has no wins this year. He gave up only 3 runs last night and still got a ND.
    Bryzgalov is a different story. He really hasn’t performed well all year. He’s getting paid like Lundqvist, Thomas, Rinne, and Quick, yet does not play like them. The Flyers were 2nd in the NHL in Goals per Game, throw Bryzgalov on the Rangers, a team who was CARRIED by Lundqvist and he would have gotten killed. The Flyers were 20th in the NHL in goals against and that was not all because of the defense. Like Kyle said, Bryzgalov said everything wrong, and did alot wrong, yet in game 2 against the Devils which Bryzgalov performed outstanding, the whole arena was chanting his name, and on their feet. I still cringe at the fact that we could have let Bobrovsky develop a few more years and have saved $5million a year to use on a defenseman. Bryzgalov isn’t thrown under the bus, infact he’s been given more than his fair share of chances here.

  3. Anyone that even counts wins as a real baseball stat is a moron.
    ERA 3.00
    54 K’s
    1.02 WHIP
    and he was on the DL for something like two weeks. Bryz got a 50 million dollar deal and not only was bad but was one of the worst goalies in the entire NHL. This guy wants to give Bryz time to develop here? He’s in his early/mid 30’s…what development? Cliff has been an ace since he’s been here aside from a few blunders where as Bryz has been awful with a few gems here and there. No comparison. Fall back.
    FACE

  4. Because hockey and baseball are the same thing. And why compare Lee’s numbers to Hamels? How many rings does Cliff Lee have? What about Hamels and Bryz?

  5. Bryz is about 14 on the list of the reasons why the Flyers didnt beat the Devils. Fact of the matter was he made saves in big spots vs Pittsburgh. I believe game 2, the Letang save?? Kept them in the game. Actually impressed Kyle didnt trash Bryz for the sake of proving his point. “I waited to complain until they lost to the Devils”??? R U kidding bro? @dangles has no clue

  6. The first time I saw Fontenot was on a foul fly pop into the stands down the 3rd base side in Chicago. I was questioning my ol’ lady why the Chicago ball boy is wearing a Phillies uni. Then I realized that this “Ball boy” was actually our 3rd fucking baseman. I proceded to give a huge sigh, shacking my head, saying “what the fuck is going on here”?

  7. Wow where are the real Philadelphians here! Everyone, EVERYONE let a nut go when Cliff Lee came to Philly the way he did, we loved Lee, Amaro and the whole bunch. Now we are down and out and this prick wants to open the Flyers wound. Most all Flyers fans would tell you they were disappointed with Bryz’s performance. You, reader, are out of touch apparently. Back to Lee we don’t have to hope he will realize his potential because he has and consistently does prove his skill/worth. Yes he is winless and you can whine all you want but as we have all noted we are now “waiting for hits, instead of homeruns” and thats where our team is at without Chase and the Big Piece. The players that were meant to be our bench depth are now our every days and it hasn’t worked.
    On another note. If you don’t enjoy the blog go read the sports page in the Metro. So I guess this is my nut hug to Kyle.

  8. Good job Kyle you owned that bitch…i hope i see this dude in prison 1 day..I’ll own his brown hole…ill piss white excellence inside him

  9. Thank you for going into actual detail on this, Kyle. I figured if I pushed you enough, you’d delve into the topic. I just thought it was an interesting thing to think about. Once again, I like both Cliff Lee and Bryzgalov and if I had to pick one to stay in Philly, I’d probably pick Cliff Lee. So it was just something to talk about while nothing substantial was happening in Philly sports. I understand that they are hard to compare and lines between two different sports are hard to definitively draw but you have to admit they are treated differently and all I wanted to know was your opinion as to why. Your first email was kind of a dick response so I insulted you. And now you reciprocated. Fair enough.

  10. Phillies offense didn’t cost them last year. Lee does his job it’s 2-0. And anyone who thought that Cole Motherfucking Hamels was going to lose Game 3 is a certifiable lunatic.

  11. Is this guy for real??? I’m trying to think of a good comment but I think important parts of my brain just fucking imploded. Why does Cliff Lee get a free pass? He DOESN’T. I’m the biggest fucking Cliff Lee fan around, and I’ve been arguing about game 2 since game 2. Because as far as I’m concerned, Cliff Fucking Lee was doing just fine until Whiny LaRussa bitched about the home plate umpire. From that moment on, beautiful, corner-painting STRIKES were called balls and Cliff got pissed and the game got away. And I will argue that til the day I die. Know why I HAVE to argue it???? BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE GIVES CLIFF LEE A FREE PASS!!! Bryz? OK, nice guy, kinda flaky and funny sometimes, but one good month can’t make up for everything. Do you feel like it could be a magical game every time Bryz gets out on the ice? Because that’s how most of the city feels every time Cliff Lee takes the mound. Yeah, there’s a small chance you’re going to see a shitshow, but it’s much more likely you’re going to see something amazing – perhaps historically so. Let me know when Bryz reaches that caliber.

  12. So NOT scoring ONE SINGLE MOTHERFUCKING RUN IN THE DECIDING GAME 5 OF THE PLAYOFFS WAS NOT THE OFFENSE’S FAULT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Please, explain.

  13. All this talk about the post season last year makes me want to throw up uncontrollably, while screaming MAKE IT STOP…………game 5 shut out at home……brb gonna go throw up

  14. y u guy heff to be so mad to me? I only goalie i stop puck sometime sometime it go that how hokey is play)))))))

  15. Dude, is it impossible for you to be even remotely impartial? Let me explain a few things.
    Single-handedly carrying the Flyers through March is the same as Cliff Lee’s shutout streak- the may have happened in inconsequential times of the season but where would the teams have been had it not happened? Who is to say that Bryz wouldn’t have continued his dominance into the playoffs had he not been temporarily sidelined with a hip injury?
    Lee and Hamels’ numbers you display are incredibly close. Cole won a World Series, Cliff didn’t yet Cole would (and has) get booed way faster than Cliff.
    If you want to throw out Fontenot, then you have to consider who the Flyers threw out on defense when Pronger and Mezaros were hurt. Lilja, Gustaffasssososon, Bourdon, Carle. And they played substantially more than Fontenot.
    This guy glossed over 09 but you ignore his points and hypocritically gloss over Cliff Lee’s blunder during last year’s playoffs. If he doesn’t screw that up, the Phil’s sweep. True story.

  16. would everyone please stop bashing on Bryz. jesus i cant wait till he stands on his head next season and years to follow and all of you who say he sucks now start worshipping him. fuck you all.

  17. Lee’s ERA ties him for 25th in the league out of 40 Eligible players (good for the 62.5 percentile) and his strikeouts are good for 46th place in the league
    By choosing 2 of the more convenient stats as you did, this ranks Lee as 36th best pitcher in the league this year.. The two players ahead of him on each list have an average salary of 3.25 million this year, a mere 15% of Lee’s salary this year Don’t let solid performances of the past Blind your view of the here and now.
    Player A: 3.00 ERA, 54 K’s, 1.02 WHIP, 48 Hits Allowed in 57 IP
    Player B: 2.20 ERA, 63 K’s, 0.96 WHIP, 44 Hits Allowed in 65.1 IP
    Player A: Cliff Lee, 21.5 million salary
    Player B: James McDonald, $502,00
    I have no problem with your treatment of Bryz, but I do have a problem with your Argument against the reader and your borderline idolization of Lee.

  18. I think this may be the most depressing 2 month span in philly sports in recent memory. Flyers bounced wayyy too early by the fucking devils, the phils suck and lee is winless, and the Sixers got bounced (i dont care that much but still)…i literally cannot think of any other city on the planet that goes through this much shit with their sports teams consistently every year.
    Its amazing when i was growing up the phillies sucking was expected and the only solace was harry kalas, the promise of another exciting flyers (and later eagles as well) season. Well the flyers upcoming season is definitely still exctiting. but Now the phillies are even harder to watch when they suck because we have to listen to fucking mccarthy and wheeler. its amazing how a 5 season span of success made me forget what i grew up with from ’91-’06. and now this team sucking has just hit me in the face. and its awful. (for the dickscabs who are gonna point out the ’93 team i was too young to remember them)

  19. Who cares the Phillies stink,and the Flyers are 37yrs without a cup.

  20. I love the butthurt Flyers fans who can’t take any criticism toward their team. “BRYZ IS GONNA STAND ON IS HEAD FOR THE NEXT 7 YEARS I CANT WAIT TO SEE ALL OF U FAGGOTS EAT SHIT!”

  21. Does everyone forget about that time Bryz handed, literally, HANDED, the game winning goal to the Devils?

  22. I love the site and i love both players, not trying to be dickish, but This guy actually raises an interesting conversation…Poor phrasing of the title because it’s obvious why lee is more loved by the fans (09 playoffs, stud for the most part, swagger, less money to play here, bla bla bla), but I don’t get why people are dismissing his points. Why does Lee virtually never get criticized (all he gets on here is a subtle passing remark and a quibb about urine blockage)? Why are he and other guys like Utley and Halladay automatically suspected of injury when they’re down and not given the same treatment as everyone else? I think his Bryz points are the same things that the pro and anti bryzers have been bitching about for months.
    I don’t think Lee should be blamed too much for his current record, nor shoulder all of the blame for last years early exit, but his past two playoff series really weren’t that good. Despite the offense drying up last postseason, Lee definitley could have definitely prevented that loss if he pitched up to his salary/reputation. Yet he didn’t get talked about one bit. Why? It wouldn’t have mattered as much but his performance in the WS the year before was bad, so I don’t think it was out of the realm of sanity to be worried/pissed with him and throw a little criticism his way. You all know that if That was cole hamels who gave that performance last year, he’d have been shit on at all angles by the fans.
    Lees streak last year was historic, but so was bryzs this year. It’s apples and oranges since they’re way different sports, but it’s worth noting that theure similar in that aspect. But again, why are people here all in line to lick Lees boots eventhough he blew it last year, while just ignoring Bryzs historic feat eventhough he actually showed up to play in the postseason.
    About Bryz, again, not too much thT hasn’t been said over the past months, but he had a great series against the devils and was ultimately about the last thing to worry about at seasons end. Its a little ridiculous to say he didnt have success this postseason, and illustrates this guys point about people lining up to kill certain guys. However, I have a problem with the typical Philly media heads taking the Mike richards/easy-story route and trying to start shit. Carchidi, pannatch, this site..it’s really sickening. The Russian interview where he made super inocuous and well intended/complimentary statements that got completely taken out of context was stupid. Easy story. The ridiculous story about him and the fan at the carnival? Easy story with virtually no proof. A flake? Whiner? Not sure what he did during the season to warrant that. Being candid and weird (and also speaking bad/poorly translated) English doesn’t equal those things. Most of the supposed “controversies” surrounding Bryz, at least in the second half of the season on, we’re about as well thought out and profound as the Birther controversy.

  23. I agree with 69, bryz didn’t lose to the devils the whole team did, a sheer lack of offense lost it

  24. 69, nobody wants to read your long ass post. Your time would have been better served making me a fucking club sandwich.

  25. Anyone saying Bryz was “only good in March” is a fucking mental midget. How short-sighted do you have to be to forget that on Dec 15 last year – the day before the 24/7 series started – he and the Flyers were at the top of the CONFERENCE. We not talkin division, we talkin Conference man! For the first 2-1/2 months of the season – one rough game vs Winnepeg excepted – the dude kicked freakin ass.
    Sure the HBO cameras caused his head to completely spin off, but that ain’t happenin next year. He may rebound or he may suck, but to pretend the dude didn’t rocket the team out of the gate last year is pretty conveniently lame.

  26. Wow Kyle Scott is my hero. Apparently he is too busy to properly update his site but not too busy to write this long winded, convoluted, and self serving response to a readers email. Must be the toughest guy I know.

  27. Fran, get a grip please. Your example pitcher hasn’t had an era below 4 for the three seasons he’s been in the major leagues. He’s also paid like a guy who has moved up from the minors just like Cliff Lee was when he was starting out. You’re looking at small sample sizes on the short season so far and comparing them. If McDonald maintains the pace he now has and keeps his era below 3 for the season I’ll eat my shorts. And if he keeps it below 4 I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Cliff Lee has finished in the top 5 for pitchers from 2008 to 2011 And he’s still got the stuff to do it in 2012 again. Hey if McDonald ranks top 5 for 4 years he’s in for a huge payday too. It’s a silly comparison. Basically you’re saying he’s better than Cole too because he’s a lot cheaper.

  28. Oh and by the way, Bryz will be just fine. All you people riding him hard aren’t going to help his game. By the looks of it, he’s a sensitive guy who lets criticism get too him in a bad way. If you all give him a fair shot a getting his head together early in the season and let him breathe, he’ll be fine.
    Stay classy Philly.

  29. @frank: You are thinking of the cap hit. Not one hockey player made more than 10 million this year. Brad Richards gets more over the average of his deal, but bryz made 10 fucking million dollars this year

  30. “I have a problem with the typical Philly media heads taking the Mike richards/easy-story route and trying to start shit.”
    How is that the easy story or an unfair story? The kings are in the cup. It’s really happening.

  31. What a dumbass. The whole performance aspect is irrelevant. Lee openly loves us (the Philly fans) and backed it up by spurning our hated rival city to come here. Bryz has ripped us multiple times. Shocking, then, that a blog written by a Philly fan for Philly fans would in turn love Cliff and rip Bryz.

  32. How has Lee gotten a pass? He still gets crucified for Game 2 on a regular basis. Yes, he shat the bed in that game but if a team made up of playoff veterans, WS Champions, MVPs, and Allstars can’t overcome that, if they can’t rise to the occasion like the Cardinals did time and again, if they’re so devastated that they can’t score a stinking run in an elimination game while Doc pitches his ass off, they don’t deserve to win. Cliff had a bad outing, but losing that series was a team effort.

  33. X live…what do the kings in the cup have to do with my point? The only relevance mike Richards has that I was referring to was that guys like Panotch were taking shit way too far and just looking for a spicy story, sometimes provoking it himself. The same thing is happening with Bryz. In that issue after the issue, he only ha good things to say about us, Philly, and the flyers. A few lines were taken WAY out of context just to make headlines, and it’s stupid. Yea, the media is a bridge between us and the team, but in their effort to bring us info, they arm the bridge with tanks and dynamite and think they’re doing their Job right when really they’re just imploding the whole situation. It’s fuckin horse shit.

  34. It’s actually pretty simple, and you don’t even need to look at the stats (although Lee clearly wins there as well) – Cliff Lee is a badass, Bryz is a fool. That’s why.

  35. Have any of you fucking cunts ever seen a starting goaltender? This may be shocking, but they actually do let in goals. Not every goal is broken down and criticized.
    Hey, Jason. The people you are referring to, “us?” Yeah, you’re thinking of your little group of whiny cunts. Fans are actually supposed to be intelligent and, you know, not a cunt.
    And who gives a flying fuck how much Bryz made? All people talked about all fucking year is 51 million, 51 million. You fuckers act like you’re physically taking 51 million dollars out of your pocket and handing it over to the guy. You fucks really give a shit how much he’s making? His cap hit is manageable and that’s all you douchebags should care about. Yeah, let’s keep acting like Bryz’s salary is legit affecting Snyder’s payroll.
    Love that a some mouth-breathing shithead brought up the “own” goal against the Devils. Let’s forget that Timonen thought he was playing soccer and passed the puck over to Bryz. Let’s forget the fact that the team was down 3-1 in the series based on lack of offense and defensive effort. Let’s just forget that the game was already lost at that point.
    Also, I love they hypocrisy from you fucks. Bryz tells the truth about the goaltender position in Philadelphia and everyone rips him… the same people that get pissed when Holmgren lies about injuries and making blog posts called The Amaro Lies. Fucking pathetic, straight fucking pathetic.
    tl:dr Stop saying “we” and “us,” it’s bad enough I have to be associated with you fucking cunts during games.

  36. In the playoffs:
    Bryz is only afraid of bears in the woods
    Lee is afraid of home plate umpires
    Not one person in this whole debate bothered to mention that 30 minutes per game of first ballot Hall of Fame defense missed 60something games this season.
    Yeah his GAA was high, how many of those goals were given up on second and third rebounds because Carle, Timmonen, and the Adirondak defense corpse couldn’t clear the crease?
    Want to blame someone for the early exit to the Devils? Count the defensive zone turnovers and wonder why the Flyers never adjusted their breakout scheme even though all four Jersey lines knew where the puck was going before it got there.

  37. Also, a big reason the flyers lost , as paysattention said, was because laviolstte got out coaches and couldn’t adjust…But NO ONE is talking about that because lavy cursed alot on 24/7….. So basically, if you’re a like able personality and/or you work hard, you’re automatically exempt from proper criticism here…Yet J-Roll, the captain of the world series team, takes off 3 games out of 1 million because of his first fucking child being born, and he gets crucified for it…not to mention that everyone nails Andy Reid for being a horrible in game coach, yet Lavy gets no shit for being unable to adjust in two straight season ending playoff losses…fuck that.

  38. Just my opinion but I think Hamels 2008 playoff run is automatically more impressive considering the fact that he won the NLCS MVP, the World Series MVP, and a World Series. But that’s just me. I love Lee though and I’m not sure how you can even question why Lee is more popular than Bryz in this town. Aside from playing quarterback in Philly, goalie is easily the lonliest and most scrutinized position in this city. I like Bryz though and definitely think he has potential. He showed flashes last season of being the goalie we hoped he would be and he was certainly not the reason this team folded to the Devils.

  39. lol, anyone who uses the win to justify their point regarding a pitcher indeed does not deserve to be taken seriously.
    Ugh. The fact that people have opinions like this guy is really, really annoying to me.

  40. I think the bigger picture here is the fact that we’re so desperate for answers that we are comparing hockey to baseball…apples to oranges
    grow up Philly…

  41. I am surprised nobody thought that was my email…
    However I do understand what the guy is saying. I don’t know if I would have chose Cliff Lee to compare but if you look at guys like Matt Stairs who will always be in our hearts because of his bomb off of Broxton to comeback and beat the Dodgers then you will see that’s just how Philly is. Basically do something once and your a hero.
    Bryz came in and EVERYONE expected him to be the best and win the cup. What they failed to look at was that half the team was blown up and pieced back together with 11 rookies.
    You want to bring up mike Fontenot as playing games but in Bryz defense what about the fact that he had Lilja, Bourdon, Zolnierchuck (nowhere close i know), Rinaldo, Read, Gustaffson all playing in front of him which played more than 4 games. How about the number of man games that rookies played for the Flyers? Inexperienced guys who never had playoff experience.
    He had one of the worst defense corps in the NHL, he lost Pronger and Mes. His March play did not just seal 5th place for us but it kept us from falling out of the playoffs you idiot. When the team decided to stop scoring and not play D Bryz was the only one that showed up that month yet we still picked apart every soft. Even if we won 3-1 we made sure to mention that 1 goal was weak (at least to the uneducated.) Bryz was by far the best player in the Devils series and was the only reason the Flyers were in every game…but he got no credit for that, rather we drop back to his poor play earlier in the season…
    Lee happens to be one of the guys in this city that has a free pass. Utley’s numbers have gone down every year but he gets a free pass because he was on the world series team…
    But Bryz? No hes the scapegoat. We have people leaving a 1-0 loss in shootout blaming Bryz because of idiots in the media like Kyle that don’t know the sport.
    Philly is funny like that. So while I may not agree with this guys email, I do sort of see what he was trying to point out.

  42. Wins in any TEAM sport equate to jack shit. All this joker needs to do is see how educated the Cy Young voters are now to what is really important when you see Feliz Hernandez win the Cy Young with a 13-12 win/loss record. Same goes for Lee, if he has his usual Summer, he’ll still be in the top-5 in the Cy voting with like a 10-3 record. Clearly, The Riddler has no clue what WHIP, K/BB, ERA, BAA, QS, etc. mean when it comes to what makes up a dominant pitcher. Plain and simple: wins are for teams. Cliff Lee has done everything his TEAM has asked of him, less one game (BOS).

  43. Right or wrong, you’re still an ass for ripping the reader. Instead of replying with a simple rebuttal you mockingly posted this in a way that bashes the individual who posed the question. Your infatuation with dick jokes (classic MacGruber), hacky backwater website writing, and general disconnect with your fanbase caused me, personally, to leave this website. Not for good mind you, but every month or so when I visit I shake my head at your egocentric “stories” which convince me you’ll never pass for more than a “blog” in your “journalism” career. But hey, you can still whore out your fantasy friend’s website, right?
    I will give you credit for responding with facts and a decent rebuking; shame on you nonetheless.
    I know, I know…good riddance, etc. ensues…

  44. Allow me to sum up your blog.
    Cliff Lee gives up 2 runs in 8 innings in a losing effort = Pissed excellence, Phil’s offense sucks.
    Bryz gives up 1 goal and the Flyers lose in a shootout = Did you see that softie he let in in the 1st period? And why can’t he stop every shot in the shootout? Flake.
    How can you guys not see this reader’s overall point?

  45. First off, I don’t think it was neccesary to respond to this guy the way you did by posting this on your website. It seems to me that you needed validation for your idolization of Cliff Lee and this entire post is saying, “Wasn’t I right people-who-read-my-website-and-agree-with-my-opinions?”
    That being said this guy writes in a ridiculous way but he does bring up some solid points. Bryz did steal those games for the Flyers in March and I would say that he was very above average, even great, at times in the Devils series. The problem was that the Flyers’ offense got about 2 shots on goal a period and the rest of the time we had terrible and tired defensemen such as Gustufson (sp?) and Matt Carle. Every now and again Lee has been fantastic but when was the last time that he did anything worthy of your idolization? He has been a good pitcher for us but not phenomenal in about 3 years. Also, the playoff stats for Lee are misleading for two reasons. First of all when you are winning playoff games you get to pitch in more playoff games. That is to say that when you lose your playoff start in the NLDS you don’t have a chance to lose another one. the other reason is that he has gotten rocked in at least his last three playoff starts including twice in the World Series (I bet the Rangers’ fans were really sad to see him go) and once in the NLDS last year. I think that Bryz and Lee are actually very comprable figures in Philly sports today.

  46. Cliff Lee ranks 2nd in xFIP (Greinke) and 6th in WAR (Verlander, Doc, CC, Kershaw, Haren) since returning to the Phillies. His xFIP is 2nd this year, but he isn’t top 25 in WAR because he missed three starts. If he stays healthy, he’ll end up in the Top 10 as the missed games are a smaller percentage of his available service. He doesn’t have any pitchers wins because of shoddy defense and poor run support.
    The problem with a shaky Bryzgalov is amplified by a systematic failure of the Flyers defense. The Flyers ranked near the bottom of the league in 5-on-5 shot differential. If you put Zel Dotto, Girardi, McDonough and Staal in front of Bryzgalov, he’s going to look a lot more like Lundqvist than Leighton. I’ll scapegoat Matt Carle because that’s my favorite hobby, but I would assume that ill-conceived passes at the the offense blue lines leading to giveaways was the true problem.
    While I don’t think Bryz will win the Vezina next year, I think we will see a considerable improvement in GAA as the young forwards learn to make better decisions in the neutral zone.

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