Thursday, July 3, 2008

Why People Don't Read Newspapers: Example 5,371

So I woke up this morning with every intention of writing about the Phillies. After all, it's the last day of work before the holiday, and my company is closing the office at 12:30. There's no way I planned on doing any actual real work.

The problem is, believe it or not, I didn't have much in my mind to write about. I'm exhausted from broaching the Myers subject. Using Lidge on back-to-back days in non-save situations irritates me, but I don't have much to complain about in regards to Cholly this year. Not yet anyway.

It's nice to see the Phils taking the first two games from Atlanta and all, but a two-game winning streak doesn't get me all fired up just yet. We'll see come the next series. Anyway, I thought I'd just be posting a bunch of YouTube clips about basketball or something until I read this complete piece of garbage by Paul Hagen in today's Daily News.

Basically, Hagen justifies the Phils not resigning Kyle Lohse because he didn't like Citizens Bank Park, and he wouldn't necessarily be having the kind of year he's having in St. Louis if he stayed in Philadelphia. Lohse is currently 10-2 with a 3.67 ERA and nearly a 2-1 strikeout to walk ratio in 18 games.

Last year with the Phils, Lohse was 3-0 with a 4.72 with 42 strikeouts and 24 walks in 11 starts and 13 games total. Not bad numbers. Nothing spectacular, which makes the Phils decision fairly easy for them to justify, but with question marks in Adam Eaton and Myers, signing Lohse would have been smart for two reasons: a) the Phils had a chance to win every game Lohse started in a Phils uniform. The same cannot be said with Adam Eaton; b) he had a small price tag.

Anyway, Eaton was a mess last year, and this year he is a lofty 3-6 with 51 strikeouts and 39! walks and 4.79 ERA (his best as a Phillie) in 17 starts. That's after a 10-10 2007 with 97 strikeouts and 71 freakin walks and 6.29 ERA in 2007. Lohse was the better option last year and this year because he doesn't implode the way Eaton does, and the way Myers has this year.

Anyway, let's address Hagen's points directly:

As tempting as it is to simply transplant Lohse's 10-2 record and 3.67 earned run average onto the Phillies' stats sheet, that's a fantasy. There's no way of knowing how he would be pitching in a Phillies uniform.

That's true, but I'll wager just about every Phillies fan with eyes could have told you Lohse would be better than Eaton.

Lohse didn't constantly complain about Citizens Bandbox Park after being acquired from the Reds last season. But, if asked, he made it clear that he didn't really care for the cozy dimensions.

Busch Stadium has been friendlier. He has a 2.77 ERA and a .218 opponent's batting average there compared to 5.13 and .337 on the road.

OK. He's better in Busch Stadium than Citizens Bank, which he didn't like. But I think a $5 million contract would change his mind a bit.

There was also little pressure in Lohse in St. Louis, a city that tends to support its team unconditionally. Plus, coming into the season, expectations for the Cardinals were as low as they've been in years.

Is there any more pressure than being in a divisional/wild card race up until the final day of the season? Lohse did pretty well with the pressure on last year. And what, now he's Scott Rolen? I don't remember Lohse complaining about criticism or fans. Just because St. Louis fans are overly nice (see stupid, sorry Leitch), that means the players play better there? OK. That's why the Red Sox and Yankees never make the playoffs right? Their fans are so harsh. Oh wait …

Had he stayed in Philadelphia, do you think he would have been reminded about that grand slam he gave up to Colorado's Kaz Matsui in Game 2 of the NL Division Series? Maybe once or twice?

Yes. Your point?

Also, Lohse is working with pitching coach Dave Duncan. No offense to Rich Dubee, or any of the other pitching coaches Lohse had while going 63-74 before this season, but Duncan has a reputation for teasing the most out of pitchers who haven't lived up to their potential elsewhere. Just ask Jeff Weaver.

I can't argue with this whatsoever. Chalk one up for Hagen.

Lohse might well make the All-Star team, which would stir things up again. And perhaps when the Phillies look back, they regret not scraping together the cash to sign him during spring training.

You just can't assume he would have been the same pitcher he's been for St. Louis. It doesn't work that way.

No, you can't assume he'd be 10-2 and having a fantastic season. What you can assume, and it does work this way, is that he would be head and shoulders above Adam Eaton, like he was last year. And he is again. Just like everyone expected.

While Eaton has not been awful all season like he was last year, every team has injuries or pitching issues. The Phillies seem to have them every year. Signing Lohse was the only right move to make. Or at least trying. Hagen, for some reason, is defending a decision that is indefensible.

What's next Paul? An article on why it was smart for the Phils to trade away Ryne Sandberg? How about a piece on why Shawn Bradley was a good draft pick? Or picking Larry Hughes over Paul Pierce? Oh, I got it: having Barry Gardner, Levon Kirkland and Blaine Bishop covering Joe Jurevicius. Even better, the Flyers signing John Vanbiesbrouck.

What a joke of an article. Slow day, huh Paul?


  1. Let it be known JA Happ shall defeat Johan Friday night. 'Twas a shit article by the way...I agree with your points except I would have liked Loshe to fill in for Myers a month ago vice Eaton...

  2. Agreed. But heading into the season, no one would have guessed Myers would be this bad. Eaton on the other hand, everyone knew was suspect and Lohse would be better.

  3. Newspapers suck dirty goat nuts. Blogs rock the free world!