Don’t Give Up On Domonic Brown

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the sentiment among some Phillies fans that the club missed on Brandon Moss, who was briefly in the organization at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. I did the same with Jason Grilli last year. It’s tough to see marginal players pass through your fingertips only to go onto major success elsewhere.

Seeing Phillies fans long for Moss and Grilli is humorous, juxtaposed with a loud swath of Phillies fans fed up with Domonic Brown, calling for the organization to demote him to Triple-A, trade him, or just plain release him. I’d be willing to wager there’s a high percentage of crossover between the two groups.

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Crash Bag, Vol. 106: What’s the Phillies’ Plan?

Some self-promotion before we start: not only do I have a book to flog (coming out Nov. 4, pre-order now on Amazon!), I’ve started a weekly baseball podcast with my dear friend Liz Roscher, supreme empress of our rival Phillies blog, The Good Phight. It’s called Defensive Indifference, and for those of you who kept hounding me for a renewed Crash Pod, well, this isn’t it, but it’s pretty close. I’m working on getting the podcast on various syndication services and so on, so look for more of that in the future. Now, on to your questions.

@kgeich: “you have to spend the day with Ruben Amaro, what do you do? Does he survive the day? King Joffrey him?”

DUDE. SPOILER ALERT.

I think that depends on whether we’re just two dudes who just run into each other and decide to hang out and eventually fall in love, like in Lost in Translation or Before Sunrise or Blood Diamond, or if he is who he is and I am who I am. I’ve got ambitions of one day doing long magazine profiles, and if I wind up Wright Thompsoning or Gary Smithing all over someone, Ruben Amaro’s near the top of my list. He’s probably not the most fascinating person, but I get the sense that most of our frustration with the direction he’s taken the Phillies in has as much to do with PR as it does results.

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Ruben Amaro Doesn’t Want to Rebuild, Either

Earlier, I discussed how president David Montgomery feared going into a full rebuild because attendance could fall, even though it’s already been falling and will continue to fall until the team gets better. The Phillies’ brass must be sending out the big guns in an attempt to sway public sentiment, as GM Ruben Amaro joined the morning team on 94 WIP and discussed the prospect of rebuilding.

Via The 700 Level:

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Phillies First-Half Report Card

With the conclusion of Saturday’s day-night doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves, the Phillies reached the halfway point of the season. They stood 36-45, good for last place in the NL East and on pace for 90 losses. If they continue on their current path, 2014 will be their first 90-loss season since 2000, when they went 65-97.

Obviously, things haven’t been going so well in Philadelphia this season, as expected. But it hasn’t been the older crowd that has left the Phillies lagging behind the competition; it’s been the young guys. Let’s hand out some first-half grades and see where the problems lie.

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Saying Goodbye to an Incredible Streak

2,832 days. That’s how long it had been since Chase Utley’s last walk-off home run before last night. But more than that, it had been 2,492 days since his last walk-off hit of any kind.

If you follow me on twitter, you know this streak has captured my attention for quite awhile, mainly because it was remarkably improbable. Reid Brignac has played 24 games for the Phillies and already has two walk-off hits. John Mayberry Jr. has played 490 games for the Phillies and provided five walk-offs. In 2009, backup catcher Paul Hoover played just nine games for the Phillies, but even he found time for a walk-off of his own.

Last night was Utley’s 850th game since his last walk-off hit.

The streak had to end eventually, so I did my best to “jinx” it by tweeting Fun Facts about the streak whenever Utley had an opportunity for a walk-off. Here are a few of my favorites: Continue reading…

Jake Diekman Should Not Be the “Eighth-Inning Guy”

Reliever Jake Diekman ran into a bit of trouble in the eighth inning of last night’s eventual 14-inning victory over the Miami Marlins. The lefty started the inning and Marlins manager Mike Redmond opted to have the right-handed Reed Johnson pinch-hit for reliever Bryan Morris. Johnson would eventually fly out to right field.

The Marlins’ lineup was entirely stacked with right-handed hitters one through eight, including the switch-hitting Jarrod Saltalamacchia batting seventh. Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg opted to let Diekman stay in the game to face Jake Marisnick. With the bases empty and one out, it’s not a big deal and Diekman is good enough that you trust him to retire the odd right-handed hitter every now and then. Marisnick bunted to third base and Cody Asche threw him out for the second out of the inning.

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Cole Hamels Is Living Up To His Contract

Next month will mark two years since the Phillies signed Cole Hamels to an extension worth $144 million over six years with an option for a seventh year. At the time the deal was signed, it was the second largest contract ever given to a pitcher, behind only the 7-yr/$161M contract CC Sabathia signed with the Yankees in December 2008. Since the Hamels signing though, five other pitchers have gone on to sign larger deals: Clayton Kershaw (7/$215M), Justin Verlander (7/$180M), Felix Hernandez (7/$175M), Zack Greinke (6/$147M), and Masahiro Tanaka (7/$155M). It goes without saying that with this contract came enormous expectations for Hamels’ performance – anything less than inclusion among the best pitchers in the league would be a disappointment.
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Domonic Brown Has Not Had A Good Time in Left Field

Left fielder Domonic Brown made another blunder in Wednesday night’s 3-2 loss to the Miami Marlins. With two outs and runners on first and second, Marcell Ozuna hit a line drive to Brown in left. Brown misjudged the ball and it sailed over his head, allowing one run to score. Another two would score immediately after, when Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled to center.

It’s Brown’s third misplay in a week and a half:

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