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Thread: Poor Phillies phans

  1. #1
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Poor Phillies phans

    Crashburn Alley pointed me toward an article by Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer titled Phillies continue to rely more on scouting than sabermetrics.

    As a guy who is a big stats guy who also loves the scouting side of things, I don't mind that a team still relies more on scouting than sabermetrics, but I also think that all organizations should be at least in that 60-40 range one way or the other when it comes to their balance, regardless of which way you lean because both sides do things that the other simply can't and to ignore one or the other is just dumb.

    It is well known that the Phillies have long been "anti-sabermetrics" in their approach. So, the headline of the article is far from shocking. With that said, what is inside of the article, well, that is shocking.

    Here are some tidbits:

    About the signing of Delmon Young
    To evaluate him, the Phillies relied on seven-year-old scouting reports from the outfielder's days as a Tampa Bay farmhand.
    Way back in 1984
    In 1984, the Phillies hired a University of Delaware graduate who majored in computer science and served as the baseball team's statistician for four years. Jay McLaughlin was 21, and his primary task was to interpret data from a computer system called Bacball.

    snip

    McLaughlin, 50, is in his 29th year with the organization. His title is baseball information analyst. Unlike most analysts across baseball, McLaughlin's duties rarely involve the use of advanced metrics. He manages the front office's technology, serves as press box announcer during home games, and inputs play-by-play data into the team's internal system.

    The Phillies hired Chris Cashman in 2011 to work with McLaughlin as baseball operations representative. Cashman, 27, graduated from St. Joseph's University with a degree in marketing and started as an intern in the Phillies ticketing office.

    His daily responsibilities include manning the stadium's radar gun behind home plate at Citizens Bank Park.
    There is a lot more in the article, so you should really go give it a look. But man, from a perspective of a Reds fan, if the Reds front office were run this way, I would be phurious.

    Crashburn Alley writer Bill Baer ends his article on the Inquirer piece with this:
    As Gelb points out (but doesn’t state directly), it’s baffling that the Phillies haven’t looked at what made them so successful in the 2003-09 era — investing in the draft, focusing on efficiency (drawing walks, stealing bases), getting cheap free agents on the rebound at a bargain, and so forth. The Phillies’ approach under Amaro has changed to throwing money and prospects at problems and an increased reliance on veterans, which has weakened them both in the present and in the future.

    What is baseball’s “bliss point”? Many teams are hard at work answering that question. The Phillies are not, choosing instead to haphazardly add spoonfuls of sugar to a bad recipe.
    I am glad not to be a Phillies phan right now.

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  3. #2
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Poor Phillies phans

    I am glad not to be a Phillies phan right now.
    But 5 years ago would have been pretty sweet eh?

  4. #3
    Member 757690's Avatar
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    Re: Poor Phillies phans

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    But 5 years ago would have been pretty sweet eh?
    How about two years ago? 102 wins would have been very sweet.

    They have averaged 93 wins during Amaro's reign. If anything, they represent that there really isn't a big difference between the results of scouting vs. stats.

    Last year they were decimated by injuries to their biggest stars. They are healthy now. I actually see them rebounding big time this season, giving the Nats a run for their money.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

  5. #4
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Poor Phillies phans

    Amaro inherited a loaded team and a good farm system. Since then, they have been good, but their future looks very questionable. Lots of guys in their 30's are locked up for the foreseeable future and aren't nearly as good as they once were and their farm system isn't any good. Amaro took over a strong team and held it together for a few years, but I am looking forward and as they say "it ain't lookin' good". I don't see the vision with them. They aren't forward thinking.

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    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: Poor Phillies phans

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Amaro inherited a loaded team and a good farm system. Since then, they have been good, but their future looks very questionable. Lots of guys in their 30's are locked up for the foreseeable future and aren't nearly as good as they once were and their farm system isn't any good. Amaro took over a strong team and held it together for a few years, but I am looking forward and as they say "it ain't lookin' good". I don't see the vision with them. They aren't forward thinking.
    Agreed. While I am jealous of their recent success, I do not envy their position going forward at all. I think the Phils best days are behind them as far as the ensuing years are concerned.
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

  8. #6
    Member 757690's Avatar
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    Re: Poor Phillies phans

    They already had a great core of Utley, Howard, Rollins and Hamels. They added Halladay, Lee (twice) and Oswalt. They won a World Series, played in another and made the playoffs every year.

    I would have no complaints if I were a Phillie fan, regardless of what happens in the future.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

  9. #7
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Poor Phillies phans

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    They already had a great core of Utley, Howard, Rollins and Hamels. They added Halladay, Lee (twice) and Oswalt. They won a World Series, played in another and made the playoffs every year.

    I would have no complaints if I were a Phillie fan, regardless of what happens in the future.
    I give them credit for what they did with the World Series, but that was 2008. Amaro took over after that season. Amaro took over the team after the 2008 season. They were good in 2009, losing in the World Series. They were good in 2010. They were even good in 2011. But 2012 was a turd and looking forward, it looks like a few more turds in tow.

    They owe Ryan Howard $118M over the next 5 seasons.
    They owe Cole Hamels $158M over the next 7 seasons.
    They owe Cliff Lee $102M over the next 4 seasons.
    They owe Roy Halladay $40M over the next 2 seasons.

    They certainly have money to spend, but Ryan Howards contract already looks brutally bad and he is just 32. Roy Halladay wasn't the same last year and this spring he hasn't been doing any better. Cliff Lee is still awfully, awfully good. But if he takes a step backwards at all as he reaches his mid 30's, that's an overpay. Cole Hamels is also awfully, awfully good. Still, over the next four years they have $200M locked up in two pitchers.

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    Member RadfordVA's Avatar
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    Re: Poor Phillies phans

    It doesn't look great for future but I'm going hold off on feeling feel sorry for Phillie fans till they actually fail to field a contending team. They were a lot of peoples pick to win last season. At the end of the day it doesn't matter the process for a GM all that matters is results as far as most fans are concerned. I would let Amaro fail at his job before condemning him on his methods. If he does then these methods will come back to bite him but then again no matter how you do things, if you lose youre gone.

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    Retro-Gamer Krawhitham's Avatar
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    Re: Poor Phillies phans

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I am glad not to be a Phillies phan right now.
    Yeah going to the playoffs 5 out of the last 6 year must suck

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    Re: Poor Phillies phans

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Amaro inherited a loaded team and a good farm system.
    But as you pointed out with the Jay McLaughlin story, the Phillies have always been anti-sabermetrics. They built that loaded team with great scouting and very little (if any) focus on sabermetrics.

  14. #11
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Poor Phillies phans

    Quote Originally Posted by Krawhitham View Post
    Yeah going to the playoffs 5 out of the last 6 year must suck
    It was more about looking forward than looking back. Looking forward, I can't see much reason to have confidence. Looking back, they had success on the back of teams built by another GM.

  15. #12
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Poor Phillies phans

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve4192 View Post
    But as you pointed out with the Jay McLaughlin story, the Phillies have always been anti-sabermetrics. They built that loaded team with great scouting and very little (if any) focus on sabermetrics.
    They also built it on their own guys, when they were young. Now, they are trying to build it on guys in their 30's with huge contracts.

  16. #13
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Poor Phillies phans

    This article, while potentially somewhat accurate, is a great example of trying to stir the pot. If I was Amaro, I'd ask the author the following questions:

    - I was the assistant GM from 1998-2008. Thoughts?
    - What are your thoughts on the current status of the team who has employed the father of modern baseball analysis since 2003?
    - What level of analysis were we using when we were crushing it only a few years ago?

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  18. #14
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Poor Phillies phans

    The Astro's are what some folks are calling... ""forward thinkers" of course their payroll is less than Arods, but their fan's are all in for that forward thinking stuff.

  19. #15
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Poor Phillies phans

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    The Astro's are what some folks are calling... ""forward thinkers" of course their payroll is less than Arods, but their fan's are all in for that forward thinking stuff.
    Dude, they employ a guy from NASA. I guess he might be helpful with their current pitching staff.

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