Jul 30, 2010
Next, is yet another in a series of undervalued third baseman, Graig Nettles.
Place on the WAR chart: : Below Ryne Sandberg and Yogi Berra and above Harmon Killebrew
Career Overview and Some Numbers:Played for the Twins (67-69), Indians (70-72), Yankees (73-83), Padres (84-86), Braves (87), and Expos (88). Won 2 Gold Gloves in his career, was a 6 time all-star, and finished in the top-10 MVP voting twice. Led the league in HR once. Had one 100 RBI season and 11 20 HR seasons. Had 4 seasons of greater than 120 OPS+. Most similar players numbers-wise were Darrell Evans, Ron Cey, and Ron Santo.
Consistently a good fielder (and sometimes a great one), he profiled as a power hitting 3rd baseman in a pitcher's era. His power numbers were respectable and his fielding numbers were consistently very good.
Best Season:1976: .254/.327/.475 (134 OPS+), with 32 HR, 93 RBI, 88 R and 11 SB.
The Final Numbers: Hit .248/.329/.421 (110 OPS+) with 390 HR,1314 RBI, 1193 R, 1088/1209 BB/K ratio.
Why He Should be Remembered: He was a large hard-fielding, power wielding 3rd baseman who was strong with the glove and bat. Consistently, an above average hitter and good to great fielder, his game was well-rounded and featured many assets. He had some strong playoff performances as well for inclusion in the Yankee playoff pantheon in the 76, 78, and 81 ALCS performances were pretty awesome (especially 81, when he had a >1400 OPS)
HOF Balloting Performance:4 years on the ballot with a peak of 8.3%
Rookie Card:1969 Topps #99
Modern Cards:1999 Sports Illustrated Greats of the Game Auto, 2008 Upper Deck Goudey Auto, and more
Jul 29, 2010
Roy Oswalt, formerly of the Houston Astros, has joined the Fightin' Phils for the stretch run of the season. He was received in exchange for last year's rookie sensation LHP JA Happ and two minor leaguers Anthony Gose and Jonathan Villar. The minor leaguers are of note only because they are young (18 or 19) unpolished baseball products, which is valuable to a team in a situation like the Astros.
This, however, is a deal fraught with layers of complexity. The Phillies receive another ace-type pitcher, not only for the rest of this year, but also all of 2011 with a mutual option for 2012. That is the simple fact. All the rest is details and the reading of GM's intentions.
About Roy Oswalt
He is a 32 year old right handed starting pitcher who is leading the league in losses this year with 12. How's that for the cynical view? Of course, this is a terrible measure for quantifying pitcher performance over a season. He has a 3.42 ERA, 1.1 WHIP and has 120 K and 34 BB and 129 IP. The K rate is his best since his rookie year in 2001, but he has consistently averaged 6.8-7.5 K/9 over the course of his career. Of his losses this year, 7 were received in quality starts. He's had 12starts where he's pitched at least 7 innings and allowed 3 runs or less. Make-up wise, he's pretty tenacious and is a fastball/slider dominant pitcher. Interestingly, the most similar player on his comparative list is Roy Halladay.
What This Means for the 2010 Standings
This was the reason the deal was made. Oswalt effectively replaces Happ/injury replacement in the rotation. This has the possibility to add an additional 3 wins (my guess)to the Phillies if his performance for the rest of the season mirrors his performance for the Astros in 2010.
What This Means Economically in 2010
There will be no change in the payroll because the Astros are paying the remainder of this year's salary as part of the deal.
What This Means for 2011
Jayson Werth is probably not going to be resigned because he wants his payday (understandably). Oswalt will only be paid $12 million by the Phillies (the rest by the Astros). The rotation will stay intact through 2011.
What this Means Psychologically
This feels like a net positive for the Phillies fans and management. Only 2.5 games outside of a playoff spot heading into tonight, the Phillies need the emotional charge from an addition such as this. When their best player (Utley) returns at the beginning of September along with the influx of the injured Victorino and Rollins back to the lineup in August, they will be in a great position for the stretch drive. In addition, there's that prospect, Domonic Brown, that can add valuable at-bats in a platoon or off the bench (once Victorino returns). Also, maybe Phillies fans can know that these two guys are not walking back through the door.
es, dealing Lee will always be considered a mistake, but they reloaded without giving up too much in return.
I give the deal a big thumbs up from a fan's and analyst's point of view.
Now, I'm waiting for the first Oswalt card featuring him on the Phillies.
Jul 27, 2010
2002 Topps Gallery was the second edition of Gallery with painted card subjects. This time the design had a fading brushstroked border with white space beneath which featured the player and team name. There was a 150 card base set, 151-200 were inserted 1 per pack and included the rookies and retired players. The best rookie card in the set is Joe Mauer (1:50 chance for the Mauer!) Inserts included Topps Gallery Heritage (1:12 packs), Relics (1:85 packs), and Autographs (1:192 packs). The odds are against me.
84-Fred McGriff-"The Crime Dog" in a Cubbies uni
72-JT Snow-who was a better fielder: JT Snow or John Olerud?
172-Tony Fontana: This guy is not Joe Mauer. He never made the majors, though he did have promising minor league stats. He was finished pitching at the age of 23. Was it injuries?
1-Jason Giambi: When Giambi signed with the Yankees, he lost his power just like Samson did. He was not the same force of nature as he was the A's.
3-Bret Boone-coming off a career year in 2001 with .337 AVG, 37 HR, and 141 RBI. That was a come from nowhere season.
9-Jorge Posada- Somehow he still dons the tools of ignorance with the Yankees and still has managed to not get many pictures in the New York Post.
That was a fun pack break...."pick yourself up off the side of the road, with your elevator bones and your whip flash tones..."
And fade to black.
Jul 26, 2010
2003 Topps Gallery HOF Mike Schmidt: It's not often you see a mustache-less image of Schmidt. This is one set that I have to take a closer look at; it's right up my alley in terms of retired player subject matter and with hand-painting of the card subjects.
2004 Fleer Greats of the Game Chris Short: This gentleman was overlooked for so long, his first card wasn't until 1967 (see this link). At this point, he had already been an all-star, had a 20 win season, and a season with a 2.20 ERA (158 ERA+).
2001 Topps Gold Label Bobby Abreu: I like to reminisce about the days when the debates among Phillies's fans were whether Abreu was underrated or overrated. I'm still not sure of the answer, probably both.
2000 Metal Scott Rolen: Metal wasn't the same after they took out the comic book images.
2008 Upper Deck Heroes Light Blue Cole Hamels Jersey: There's just something about the Heroes design, still timeless.
1998 Topps Stars (Red) Curt Schilling: Most memorable Curt Schilling moment that I saw live (I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I will anyway). I saw him strike out 16 batters against the Yankees during interleague play at the Vet (ok, I'm going to track down the date now) on September 1, 1997. I hadn't seen that much excitement...in 4 years.
1983 Fleer Gary Matthews: "Sarge" gives voice to the Phillies these days, but in the early '80s he was a high contact, above average LF with good on-base skills.
2001 Upper Deck Decade '70s Garry Maddox: I don't care if I've said this before on here, I'll say it again here. "2/3 of the Earth is covered by water, the other 1/3 is covered by Garry Maddox"2004 Playoff Honors Jim Thome: Thome has the best socks of the decade, no matter which team he's been on. I think he'll reach 600 HR for his career.
Thanks for the trade Bud!
Jul 24, 2010
This beauty of a card is #d 2/2. Don't let the blurriness fool you. It's only because the holder is so thick, I couldn't get it to sit flat on the scanner bed. What is significant about a card such as this? Well, for one thing (for me) it is not a Phillies card. Another thing is that it shows a not completely distracting way to pull off sticker autographs. A third thing is that neither player is more identified with the team on the card (Bannister=Royals, Guthrie=Orioles). A fourth thing is that both pitchers are not strikeout pitchers (both average around 5 K/9) and can have wildly fluctuating stats from year to year. (Guthrie ERA has ranged from 3.63-5.04, Bannister's ERA has ranged from 3.87-5.76).
Exquisite boxes cost somewhere around $120-160 and do offer a wide variety of autos within each box (I believe 4 of 6 cards are autos). Shouldn't there be given consideration to what the best card pulled in 6 box case should be? Not all people like it, but I do believe it should be a multiple auto prospect (especially in a product called Exquisite Rookies) card with a better connection than they are both pitchers. It should not necessarily be a parallel because that's the only thing differentiating this card from the higher numbered versions.
In a product like this, they probably should be using the top 5 lists for each farm system to derive the case hit checklist. Another idea could be a pairing with the prospect with the modern or retired player, they're most compared to in the scouting reports. It would make it more worthwhile.
I think what I'm trying to say is that value is not always a number on the card (though 2/2 is cool to see). There should be some hope for rookies for the supposed best pull of a case to improve their lot and increase in at least intrinsic value (following the player, seeing growth, hoping for success, etc).
What would the ideal case hit of a high end product like Exquisite or Triple Threads or Topps Tribute or other like-priced/like-styled product be for you? (assuming that price is not an object) Keep in the mind the focus of the given set.
I would appreciate your thoughts.
Jul 22, 2010
The two cards presented here represent the Opening Day starters of the Phillies from 1950-1963. These were the proverbial aces. Of course, with the Phillies in this era, I'm not sure what that really says about the pitching quality at that time.
433 Art Mahaffey: Number of years with Phillie: 6 (1960-1965) Best year as Phillie (1962): 19-14 with 3.94 ERA (98 ERA+) with 1.21 WHIP, 177 K/81 BB, and a league leading 36 HR allowed.
Card was given to me by Jim at the The Phillies Room
20 Robin Roberts: Number of years with Phillies: 14 (1948-1961) Best season as a Phillie: (1952): 28-7 with 2.59 ERA (141 ERA+) with 1.02 WHIP, 148 K/45 BB, led league in wins, games started, complete games (30), innings pitched (292), BB/9 (1.2), and K/BB (3.29).
Picking Roberts best season was difficult since he had 4 very similar, incredible seasons from 1952-1955. His full career path will be fleshed out as I acquire more cards of him.
This card was acquired at a card show.
For an updated needs list, check the sidebar.
Jul 21, 2010
I wish I had been able to do this more because the ups and downs of Cole Hamels throughout the season make for compelling and frustrating viewing on the whole over the course of the season. Unfortunately, I have not been able to watch hardly any games in their entirety this season. It's painful living on the West Coast sometimes.
This performance was a positive, but as per the new course, he had to rely on the 2 month long impotency of the 2010 offense. Let's review his outing.
Overall Line: 7 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, ND
Results Distribution: 76 of his 111 pitches went for strikes including 18 swinging strikes. He also had an uncharacteristic 14 groundballs allowed: 7 flyballs allowed. On average, Cole Hamels's GB:FB ratio is slightly less than 1.
The umpire had a low and wide strike zone for both pitchers on this day. He was giving them 1-2 inches off the black on the outside corner against either handed hitters, reminiscent of the old "Tom Glavine" strike zone from the 1990s.
Hamels moved the ball inside and outside very well. He attacked the inner part of the plate from the start of the game with his fastball and then crossed up hitters by throwing a changeup in the same spot. There aren't many left handed batters that expect inside changeups from a lefty.
Hamels did not use his curve very much. He frankly didn't need it since his fastball and changeup were used so effectively by changing speeds and eye levels. He kept most of the Cubs hitters guessing during his outing.
The only run the Cubs scored was on a suicide squeeze; all other runners were stranded
The positive turning point in the game was the 4th inning. Aramis Ramirez led off with a walk, Marlon Byrd followed with a single after an 11 pitch at-bat. This is the point when Hamels mental struggles usually take over. Fortunately, Hamels induced Alfonso Soriano to ground into a 5-4-3 double play. His command did not recover until the next inning (he walked Soto afterwards), but no runs were scored.
This makes 7 out of 8 quality starts for Cole Hamels since he was pulled in the 1st inning on June 1st. Run support is and will continue to be an issue. The Phillies had three outs on the basepaths during the first 6 innings; that is unacceptable. Hamels has to trust in the location of his fastball and deceptiveness of his changeup to be successful; it seems he has turned a corner mentally and approach wise this month.
Until next time...
Mike Schmidt and Ryan Howard from 2005 Upper Deck All-Star Classics: The prediction was correct; Ryan Howard became an all-star in 2006, 2009, and 2010. Mike Schmidt had 11 all-star appearances (12 total elections)
1997 Collector's Choice Ricky Bottalico and Lenny Dykstra: Is that the arm that saved 34 games in 1996? I would have to say no, that is his left arm.
2003 Upper Deck Honor Roll Pat Burrell and Bobby Abreu: This was a weird set, the checklist is basically composed of image variations of the other half of the set. I like the juxtaposition of the new Phillies 'P' on the card with the old Phillies 'P' from Burrell's retro uniform.
1995 Topps Stadium Club Jim Eisenreich: Show me a person who doesn't like Jim Eisenreich, and I'll show you a person that doesn't like "Field of Dreams" (and we all know what that implies)
2004 Upper Deck Vintage Roy Oswalt jersey: As a kindness, Chris included this jersey in the group break. I appreciate the sepia vintageness of the card.
2004 Upper Deck Vintage Jim Thome: So nice he even received an ovation after hitting a home run against the Phillies this year while with the Twins (of course his HR sparked a 5 run rally in the 9th inning that led the Phillies to lose the game, but the fans didn't know that at the time)
1998 Collector's Choice Griffey, Walker, and McGwire: These were the HR leaders of 1997, Griffey led the AL with 56, Walker led the NL with 49, and McGwire led everyone with 58 while being traded from the A's to the Cardinals during midseason.
1999 UD Choice Alex Rodriguez: A-rod in a simpler time.
1998 Collector's Choice Griffey and Galarraga: Remember how potent the Coors Field effect was during the pre-humidor days. You could draft any Rockies marginal player on your fantasy team and he would have 100 RBIs and high batting average (except for Jeff Cirillo)
1999 UD Choice Ken Griffey Jr: I have yet to punch this out and build the mini bobbing head.
Above are more Griffeys and A-Rods from 1998 and 1999 Collector's and UD Choice.
Lastly, 1998 Collector's Choice Starquest Edgar Martinez: Here is the greatest DH hitter so far since its institution. I think he deserves a fair shake at the Hall of Fame (I have not examined his candidacy in full yet though). Just check out those rate stats.
Side Note: Do you remember the contest when Collector's Choice first came out as a brand in 1994? The winner received a card in the next year's set pictured with Ken Griffey Jr. Anyone remember what you had to do to win the contest?
Thanks for the cards, Chris. It was very fun.
Jul 17, 2010
Favorite presented: Pedroia
Least favorite presented: Pedroia
Guess which one is which.
84 Hanley Ramirez
122 Roy Halladay (Paul Lempa)
147 Jon Lester
252 Duke Snider (Monty Sheldon)
245 Whitey Ford (Jason Davies)
234 Tris Speaker
308 SP Dustin Pedroia (Monty Sheldon)
54 Yunel Escobar
97 Matt Kemp
87 Ted Lilly
230 Jimmie Foxx
112 Dustin Pedroia (Chris Felix)
185 Travis Snider
129 Nolan Reimold
169 Denard Span
199 Trevor Crowe (Paul Lempa)
Jul 15, 2010
46 Jack Baldschun
77 Tony Taylor
104 Ted Savage R.C.
111 Dallas Green
146 Don Demeter
157 Wes Covington
181 Paul Brown R.C.
212 Jim Owens
220 Roy Sievers
249 Ed Keegan R.C.
269 Bob Oldis
284 Ruben Amaro
294 Phillies Team
328 Ken Walters
352 Frank Sullivan
374 Gene Mauch
434 Clay Dalrymple
453 Cal McLish
494 Sammy White
521 Jacke Davis R.C.
534 Tony Gonzalez
550 Art Mahaffey
571 Billy Klaus
581 Mel Roach
593 Rookie Parade Pitchers SP
When you think of the Phillies of the silver age (2007-present), what comes to mind first? For me, it is the arcing flyballs into the stands, the resilience of numerous comeback victories in the 8th and 9th, a defense which made few errors and anchored by an ace, and savvy runners on the bases.
2010 has not been a season that has conformed to established and successful standards. It has been a trying year with injuries and unexpectedly negative performances and stretches of team-wide slumps. Even with this, the Phillies are still in thick of the playoff race at 47-40, 1.5 games behind the wild card leader (in a grouping of 6 teams) and 4.5 games behind the formidable Braves and possibly overperforming Mets. Their record is not really that different from last season. But can they really depend on a historical record of being a 2nd half team? In baseball, there are only short trends and shorter memories.
How Did We Get Here?
The Phillies have not been particularly lucky or unlucky. They are only one win behind their first order Pythagorean record (48-39) (inserting second parenthetical: the Pythagorean is a record which basically uses runs scored and runs allowed to
calculate an expected record to that point).
It seems the offense has been struggling. They did score 3 runs or less in half their games. Taken as an aggregate, though, the offense splits show a .756 OPS in April (5.2 runs/game), a .752 OPS in May (4.3 runs/game), a .733 OPS in June (5.0 runs/game), and a .672 OPS thus far in July (4.1 runs/game). Their run-scoring capabilities have not necessarily corresponded with their performance or their record. This statement of course does not take into account game situations. The surprising part of their offensive performance has been that they have been shutout 8 times this year, beating the total of 7 for all of last year and matching 2008's total as well.
The pitching has been anchored by a league best total in innings pitched by the starters, though the bullpen ERA does not reflect the performance that such rest should afford them over the course of the season. The pitching staff has been weak against lefties (.805 OPS allowed) and have shown a decided vulnerability on the road (.780 OPS allowed, 4.3 runs/game). April and June were the biggest trouble. Hopefully, with the return of the full complement of relievers and the establishment of the starting rotation as a more consistent force, these struggles will cease.
Where Are They Going?
They are astride the broad shoulders of Roy Halladay for the pitchers and Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins for the batters. However, unlike basketball, three players does not a winning team make. The following need to happen for the dreams of a 4th consecutive division title come true.
1. The bullpen has to take advantage of its matchups
2.Jaime Moyer needs to continue his ways.
3. Victorino and Rollins have to increase their OBP
4. Ibanez has to improve or make way for the next LF inhabitant
5. Ryan Howard needs to enhance his power stroke
6. Joe Blanton needs to not be terrible or JA Happ needs to replace him
7. Cole Hamels needs to continue his streak of quality starts.
8. Chase Utley has to return at full strength in 6 weeks
9. Ruben Amaro has to not be limited in his thinking about only wanting to trade for pitching.
Here's to the second half, it's going to be an exciting ride. All the divisions leaders have leads of less than 5 games. It's time for the trading deadline hour followed by the push for the playoffs and the privilege to play in the swirling winds of October
Jul 14, 2010
20 Robin Roberts
59 Jim Woods R.C.
78 Lee Walls
93 Tony Gonzalez
111 Jack Meyer
144 Jim Coker all-star rookie
154 Bobby Del Greco
179 Joe Koppe
202 Al Neiger R.C.
219 Gene Mauch
234 Ted Lepcio
262 Tony Curry all-star rookie
281 Frank Sullivan
316 Bobby Gene Smith
341 Jim Owens
394 Ken Walters
433 Art Mahaffey
479 Jim Konstanty 1950 MVP NL
530 Bobby Malkmus
558 Don Ferrarese
569 Frank Herrera AS
Jul 12, 2010
1958 Topps Harry Hanebrink
I was happy. What's the over/under on unrealistic trade offers for this one through the site?
Jul 9, 2010
Jul 8, 2010
1996 EX-L Gregg Jefferies, Ricky Botalicco, and Darren Daulton: I really liked the 1995 E-motion set. The colored framed borders on this incarnation lent a certain degree of gravitas to the heavyweight emotions of "crashing", "fearless", and "pursuing". Though Darren Daulton has lately had dreams of being pursued of gigantic, doom-seeking numbers spelling "2012".
The set did drop the adjectives in later versions (EX-2000, EX-2001, etc), though the design was still a strong selling point.
1997 Metal Universe Mickey Morandini and Scott Rolen: Ultra-futuristic, comic style, avant-garde, cartoony marks distinguish this set from 1996-1998. They're not in this silvery tone though. Scanning metallic sheened objects is quite the ordeal if you want to showcase the vibrancy. Rolen looks like he's been grabbed by the Leviathan.
2002 Upper Deck Vintage: Nick Punto/Carlos Silva Rookies: This duo of rookies was traded for Eric Milton before the 2004 season. Punto went onto cult hero status in Minnesota and Silva became a decent pitcher in Minnesota before getting a big payday with the Mariners and losing his sinker. He was then traded to the Cubs for Milton Bradley before this season and has seemed to have found the drop again. Not a good trade. Though I do like the 1971 Topps homage of this set.
2003 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor Tomas Perez: You can blame him as one of the culprits for the spreading of the "pies in the face" meme. As a utility infielder (who played nearly every position except catcher)
2003 Topps Chrome Placido Polanco: This was the first go-round with Polanco, when he played 2B, and then was pushed out for the beginning of Chase Utley, though he could have easily been moved to 3B to push out Dave Bell. Instead, he was traded for Ugueth Urbina (who I think ended up in prison after that season) to continue Ed Wade's fetish of trading for relief pitchers during the season.
1998 SPx Curt Schilling: All the base cards were numbered in this set (I think this one was numbered out of 9000 or something like that) and there were five subsets all numbered differently. In addition, there were parallels (Spectrum and Radiance) that had lower numbering throughout all the subsets with numbers ranging from 1-4500. It was a layered mess; I wonder who tried collecting this set. The cards look nice though.
Thanks Joe. Let me know if you need any Mets cards.