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Silly things I’ve heard this morning

Dec 14, 2010, 12:07 PM EDT

File photo of Texas Rangers pitcher Cliff Lee in Arlington

There’s always a bunch of crazy stuff spewed out there when a big deal goes down.  Heck, I spew half of it. Here’s a list of the silly things I’ve heard in the 12 hours since the Cliff Lee deal was announced, both on Twitter and in comments to our various Cliff Lee posts:

“Cliff is just like LeBron James!”

Lots of random Twitter people said this, and Mike and Mike said just as much on their show this morning, talking about him passing up the opportunity to be “the number one guy” elsewhere and to become a cog in Philly.  Which is beyond crazy, of course.  As I mentioned this morning, LeBron’s offense against taste and nature was turning his announcement into a television show, not choosing to go to Miami. More to the point, however, baseball is a fundamentally different sport than basketball. No one can be “The Man” in baseball except Stan Musial, and that’s in nickname only. It’s a team sport. You can be the best ever, and if you don’t have support, you’re going nowhere. Ask Ted Williams. Hell, ask Stan Musial for the entire decade of the 1950s.

“Brian Cashman screwed this up!”

This is one I truly don’t understand. Brian Cashman offered the richest total deal.  If given the chance — which he didn’t seem to have been given — he probably would have and could have matched what the Phillies gave him on a year-to-year basis.  It has become pretty apparent, however, that Lee simply wanted to be in Philadelphia and didn’t want to be in New York. That’s not a crime on Cliff Lee’s part, nor is it malpractice on Brian Cashman’s.  It’s just the way it goes. Even for the Yankees.

The secondary criticism I’ve heard is that “Brian Cashman has no Plan B!”  Which is nuts, because he has had less than a full morning as of this writing to implement a Plan B.  The Yankees may not have gotten their man, but I’m sure they anticipated that to be a possibility and have contingency plans. They may not be as sexy or effective as getting Lee would have been, but if you think that Cashman is sitting in his office panicking right now like commenters on a Yankees message board, you’re crazy.

“Jayson Werth sure must be sorry now!”

If Jayson Werth stayed in Philly, even at a lower-dollar deal than he took from Washington, the Phillies would not be able to have signed Cliff Lee. It might be comforting for smug Phillies fans to look disapprovingly on the man who would dare leave them for more dough, but if he hadn’t, Lee would probably be in pinstripes right now.

“The Phillies are going to win [some number greater than 110] games!”

I think the Phillies will win the division easily.  The rotation, as we’ve noted, will be superb, and possibly historic. I don’t think this team is the 1998 Yankees. They have some big questions on offense now that Werth is gone. Ibanez appears to be a statue. Domonic Brown is untested. Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard may or may not be in decline. If everything breaks right they could be a historic team. But even if everyone plays up to their projections, I can’t see this being some historically good offense.  The best thing I saw was “if the Phillies can trade for Zack Greinke, they might win 140 games!”  That’s less silly for the actual substance of the prediction than it is sad for the manner in which it apes the worst excesses of Yankees and Red Sox fans over the years. C’mon Philly fans! You have your own special brand of crazy that I have come to love! Copying the Yankees covetousness like that is beneath you.

This is huge news. It’s a great signing. I think it locks up the NL East for Philly.  But please, let’s give it 24 hours before we say big bold crazy things about it, OK?

  1. BC - Dec 14, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    OK, if they get Greinke, they’ll only win 130 games.

  2. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Dec 14, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    I FEEL LIKE I’M TAKING CRAZY PILLS!!!!!!!!!!! AAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

  3. phillygirl4 - Dec 14, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    We haven’t won anything yet. Most Philly fans know this. We are just excited. If nothing else, it should be a great ride this season.

  4. phukyouk - Dec 14, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    The Phillies still suck! hows that for crazy?

  5. Brian - Dec 14, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    I like the “Jayson Werth is sorry now” argument because of his comments that he wanted to win, and now he’s in a division where he has to face 4 of the best pitchers in the game on a regular basis. The Nationals just invested tons of cash to become competitive in a division that just got too good for them. That deal gets worse every day. Better for the Phils, of course, but worse for the Nationals.

    • lordd99 - Dec 15, 2010 at 3:27 AM

      Jayson Werth is going to make like a bijillion dollars after having 3 1/2 good years. Jayson Werth is quite happy now.

  6. Jonny 5 - Dec 14, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    I don’t know, I’m kinda in the mood to say big bold and crazy things.

    Like BC, I wanna hug him (for reasons he knows of)

    Fiorentino, I wanna hug him too.

    Utley’s Hair? I want to have a beer with him, or 20.

    I hereby predict to be arrested on Cliffy’s opening day game for trying to get on the kiss cam with him. And I’m not ashamed one bit…

    I will now have a sh!t eating grin from now until eternity because my Phills stole Cliff lee right out from under the Yankees.

    Cashman is tossing Andy P’s salad for him right now. He likes Ceasar btw…

    Hank S smoked an entire pack of cigs for breakfast and then punched his dog for a snack.

    Carl pavano’s mustache grew 3 inches this morning as he Muuuuhahahahaha’d his way to find his pen.

    Joe Blanton is putting his house up for sale and wants a chocolate covered turkey for breakfast.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 14, 2010 at 12:51 PM

      I hereby predict to be arrested on Cliffy’s opening day game for trying to get on the kiss cam with him. And I’m not ashamed one bit…

      If you do this while wearing a full body green latex suits, I’ll put up half your bail.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 14, 2010 at 1:06 PM

        Hmm? not a bad deal if you ask me… Why green? I’d be like the predator out there in a green spandex though wouldn’t I?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 14, 2010 at 1:17 PM

        Because those are the only ones I’ve seen on Youtube? If you can find the Philly red color, that’d make it all the better.

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 14, 2010 at 3:45 PM

        Call security at the Bank for the number of the latest field runner—he was wearing a red one.

      • tomemos - Dec 14, 2010 at 3:46 PM

        How can a Philadelphian be unaware of Green Man?

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 14, 2010 at 3:52 PM

        He didn’t say he hadn’t heard of him.

    • Utley's Hair - Dec 14, 2010 at 4:40 PM

      HA!!!! A chocolate covered turkey!!!! That’s classic. But Hankie punching his dog for a snack? Jen Utley would NOT be amused.

  7. phukyouk - Dec 14, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    ummm… why did my comment get deleted.? i dont think there was any profanity in it.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 14, 2010 at 12:42 PM

      I didn’t delete any comments. I’ll see if the spam filter picked it up for some reason.

      • phukyouk - Dec 14, 2010 at 12:44 PM

        weird… i had this whole rant written out. ill check if i posted on the wrong thread but i dont think i did. :-(

  8. jamie54 - Dec 14, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    Let’s see how the arms stand up and/or the bats. Injuries always happen especially as these guys age so nothing’s a given. Remember how on paper everyone, based on what happened over the summer, was giving the Jets the NFL championship while the Patriots probably just sat back and bided their time. Time will tell as in all cases but the odds are by far in their favor but would not anoint them X number of Titles or even NL championships just yet.

  9. Jonny 5 - Dec 14, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    I never knew Jack Black was a Philly fan but….

  10. Chris Fiorentino - Dec 14, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    Look, people think I say alot of crazy stuff…and I do for the most part. However, the one thing I have never and will never back down from is the idea that when my team is favored to win, and they don’t, then it was a failure. Everybody gives McNabb a break, saying “He got to 5 championship games” Yeah, but he only won one. And 3 times, when the Beagles were favored, they lost. He was a big part of the losses. He is the QB. The 2010 Phillies, while fun to watch and exciting throughout the season, were by all accounts failures. They failed to win the World Series when they had the best record in baseball. They were 3-1 favorites to beat the Giants and they failed. And to make matter worse, the Giants really didn’t even play all that well…the Phillies just couldn’t hit. They pressed. They lost. They failed.

    If, in 4 years, the Phillies do not have another championship, then the Halladay/Lee pairing will have been a failure.

    • seeingwhatsticks - Dec 14, 2010 at 1:26 PM

      Will someone around here please give the Giants some credit? They BEAT Halladay. BEAT Oswalt. BEAT Hamels. And BEAT Lee TWICE. All while being a mediocre offense at best, statistically anyway. Wasn’t a case of the Phillies and the Rangers just not hitting well, or pressing, or whatever. The Phils aren’t as good as everyone thought. Their pitching does not give them an insurmountable edge, their infield defense lies somewhere between “awful” and “atrocious,” they lost their most imposing bat and have made no moves to replace him, and they still have a craptastic bullpen. This contract only serves to ensure that a. they have to trade Hamels to try and get some younger talent on the roster, or b. they will have the most expensive 80-85 win team ever in 2-3 years when Halladay, Oswalt, and Lee start breaking down and are no longer dominant.

      Also, for all the Philly fans saying that the Braves only won 1 World Series in their 14 year run with all that pitching, please note that the Phillies have only won 1 World Series during their “dominant” stretch, and now they live in a world where the Giants have 4 aces all under 26 years old. Best part of this for Giants fans? One less big money team can afford to sign one of those 4 aces away.

      • Brian - Dec 14, 2010 at 2:21 PM

        Awful and Atrocious infield defense? Polanco plays gold glove caliber 3rd base. Rollins (when healthy, which I suspect he will be this year) plays gold glove caliber SS. Utley, while not an elite defender, is above average. Howard has played himself into averageness through hard work. It’s one of the best infields in the NL.

        And Werth was their most imposing bat? He couldn’t hit with RISP. Howard is their most imposing bat, if you consider that other teams go to such great lengths to avoid him…and he lead the team in RBI and HR…again! Werth’s contributions to the club were greatly overvalued.

        Craptastic bullpen? What about lidge’s sub-3 ERA? Madson’s 2.55? Contreras was no slouch either. Phillies team ERA was 4th in baseball, and while the starters had a lot to do with the pen was respectable.

        It’s funny that a team with no offense, debatable pitching and a crappy bullpen had the best record in baseball.

        I said it before and I’ll say it again. The Giants got hot and beat some good pitchers. It happens. Let’s see where the Giants are next season when they regress back to the mean.

      • frankvzappa - Dec 14, 2010 at 2:32 PM

        this is a good point…just imagine what the Red Sox lineup is going to do to all those clowns next playoffs

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 14, 2010 at 2:41 PM

        Brian, Actually Utley is the best second baseman in the entire game right now. He has great defense.

      • Brian - Dec 14, 2010 at 3:10 PM

        I agree Utley’s the best second baseman, but that’s in terms of overall game…if you judge him solely on defense he’s not a gold-glove type guy…very very good, not great…but then again if derek jeter is, I guess that makes everyone fair game.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Dec 14, 2010 at 3:24 PM

        Hey I watched the games last year. Utley booted playable balls that cost the Phils runs and he failed to make up for that with his bat. Utley is a Gold Glove winner the same way Jeter is, on reputation not performance. Utley is not long for 2b and the Phils are going to have a real problem when they have 2 1b in their every day lineup. Polanco is ok at 3b, but he’s also long in the tooth and unlikely to continue performing at a consistently high level.

        As far as Werth goes, I can just tell you how I felt as a Giants fan watching the games. He terrified me. Utley didn’t. Howard certainly didn’t. So you can use all the stats you want about who is the best hitter on the Phillies but Werth was the only guy who scared me coming up in a big situation.

        And yes, I said craptastic bullpen. How else would you explain using Oswalt in a relief appearance when everyone in the pen is rested and healthy? Madsen is nasty but everyone else in that pen is shaky at best, especially Lidge. Lidge was good last year but go back through his recent history and tell me he’s reliable. Go ahead. Do it. I dare you.

      • Brian - Dec 14, 2010 at 3:32 PM

        You can’t look at such a small sample size as the NLCS. It was 6 games, and the Phillies obviously weren’t on their game in that series. Did you watch any of the 165 other games to form this opinion???

      • seeingwhatsticks - Dec 14, 2010 at 3:37 PM

        I watched a few games, but at the end of the day it’s those 6 games that actually count for all the marbles. So either a. the Phillies aren’t as good as everyone thinks they are, or b. that was an EPIC choke job. Which option makes you sleep better at night?

      • Brian - Dec 14, 2010 at 3:37 PM

        As for Lidge, if you consider 08 to be his benchmark year as a Phillie, ’10 was favorable. How do you call a closer with a 2.96 ERA, 27 saves in 32 opportunities and an identical WHIP to 08 (1.23) not reliable? Batters hit .194 off him last season, the 2nd lowest of his career. So yes, he’s a reliable closer.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 14, 2010 at 3:38 PM

        No one is saying Utley is a GG second baseman. But he’s got good D. There are stats to prove it.

      • Brian - Dec 14, 2010 at 3:40 PM

        ok so they choked. it happens. still, you can’t discount the fact that they’ve won 4 division titles, a world series and 2 pennants in a pretty short time. For that reason alone you can’t be dismissive of a poor series.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Dec 14, 2010 at 3:56 PM

        Actually, I can be dismissive of that time period because the rest of the NL was barely AAA during that time period. So congrats, you beat a bunch of terrible teams. Ok, so Lidge was good in 08, and 2010, but you conveniently skipped 09. Why’d you have to do that if he’s such a great and reliable closer? Seems like he also gave up some big home runs in the playoffs but I’m probably just imagining all that.

      • cktai - Dec 15, 2010 at 3:18 AM

        Actually Brian and Jonny5, Bill James says that Utley is GG material by gaving him the Fielding Bible Award. He is confirmed in his judgement by almost every advanced fielding metric from TZR and UZR to plus/minus and Range Factor/Game, who have all have Utley as first this season and top 3 over the last 5 seasons. Utley is like the anti-Jeter. He might miss a few balls, but he has a bigger range then any second baseman in baseball so he more then makes up for his errors by fielding balls that others can only look at.

      • cktai - Dec 15, 2010 at 3:24 AM

        Blame my phone for my spelling.

      • lordd99 - Dec 15, 2010 at 3:33 AM

        Utley will be 32, is coming off a .275 season with a 121 OPS+. He was the best second baseman, but that title has been passed to the younger Cano.

  11. phukyouk - Dec 14, 2010 at 1:06 PM

    gddamit! ok my comment is gone. in the non rant version. please stop calling Hamels an Ace. hes not even close to an Ace. in the AL he would barely be a 4th starter on most teams. the other 3 are Elite 2 of whom are legit Aces and the other one if healthy is a friggin ridiculous 2nd starter. but Hamels?? C’MON!

    • Jonny 5 - Dec 14, 2010 at 1:18 PM

      You know nothing! He’s been better than CC.
      2 of his total of 5 seasons he’s put up an era CC has never been able to put up. And his lifetime ERA is lower to boot.
      I guess CC is no ace either huh???

      • phukyouk - Dec 14, 2010 at 1:31 PM

        ummm…. last yr he put up a 3.06 and the yr before 4.32. so translate to the AL and its like 4 and a 5.25.
        Compare that to CC’s 3.18 and 3.37. you can read, right? maybe you just arent good at math? either way,. youre an idiot. kthxbye

      • phukyouk - Dec 14, 2010 at 1:32 PM

        wait… wait…. CC’s ERA overall is 3.57 compared to Cole 3.53. and YES.. that is lower. but figure in the NL to AL transfer rate and???? dont quit your day job… whatever that is.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 14, 2010 at 2:06 PM

        Cole Hamels first five seasons make CC’s first 5 look bad, plain and simple. Well not “bad” just less “good” because that’s how it is.

        The fact is, Cole is an ace. And that’s what I’m arguing. This isn’t a Cole is better than CC thing, I used him only to compare, and numbers don’t lie. He’s been putting up ACE numbers that’s my point.

        BTW what is the AL to NL transfer rate?? I never heard of this stat. Is this your own exclusive stat?

      • Brian - Dec 14, 2010 at 2:22 PM

        This whole AL to NL conversion chart concept is ludicrous.

      • phukyouk - Dec 14, 2010 at 2:54 PM

        ludicrous? did you notice when Jimenez started his downfall this season? when he faced the AL. Doc? when he faced the AL. i simply dont have the time to go through the numbers for everyone but look at Lee’s 2009 numbers when he was on the Indians and then when he was on the Phils. and then when he was on the M’s and Texas. there is something to be said about the DH, weather or not you agree with the DH. the FACT is Cole is not an ace hes a 4th or 5th starter at best on any other team. 72 games against the AL east and ANYONE will look that good.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 14, 2010 at 3:13 PM

        “Cole is not an ace hes a 4th or 5th”

        Put down the glass pipe…

      • Brian - Dec 14, 2010 at 3:14 PM

        yeah it’s ludicrous. I agree the AL is a harder league to pitch in but the idea that it’s so different that it would require a theoretical conversion equation is stupid. Hamels would be a solid #2 on almost any team in either league, regardless of his stats. Think about it…if it’s harder in the AL, then everyone’s stats would be worst, not just Hamels. He’d still occupy the same spot on the depth chart.

      • phukyouk - Dec 14, 2010 at 4:15 PM

        “72 games against the AL east and ANYONE will look that good.”

        sorry meant NL not AL.
        Jonny I’m just going to ignore you now.
        Brian – for the most part since interleague play NL pitchers have had worse ERA’s than against their own league and sure you can make the argument that they see their own league more often so they know how to pitch to them and all that. but all in the AL is a harder hitting league. i dont have it in front of me but i would love to see Hamels ERA during interleague.

      • lordd99 - Dec 15, 2010 at 3:47 AM

        The reason Halladay and Lee are on such a different level is because they are from the AL. It’s not just the DH, which makes every line-up more difficult, but the general consensus among scouts is the depth in AL is substantially superior. There are excellent teams such as the Phillies, but the gap between the top teams in the NL and the weaker teams is much wider than in the AL. The Royals struggle in the AL, but would be a better than .500 team in the NL. It’s why CC cut through the NL like a hot knife through butter. He led the NL in shut outs, and he only pitched half a season in the NL. He wasn’t pitching any differently. He was simply facing weaker teams. Every NL team knows the secret to success is to try and get AL starters. They are coming from a higher league. Hamels career ERA in the AL East translates from a 3.50 to a 4.70. Do not compare him to CC. He is not in David Price’s league. Right now, the best pitcher on the planet is King Felix.

  12. rick1922 - Dec 14, 2010 at 1:06 PM

    Halladay/Lee won;t last 4 more years but the Phillies will still be paying them.

    • Utley's Hair - Dec 14, 2010 at 3:51 PM

      And how long were the Skankees willing to put up with them? What? Longer than the Phightins? No way!!!!!

  13. phukyouk - Dec 14, 2010 at 1:15 PM

    I’m Pretty sure that Doc will be a stud for this contract and his next 5 yr one as well. hes the real deal. Lee will not last the full 5 (6?) yrs of his contract but on that staff he will do just fine. best move he made. if he went to the Rangers he would have all that pressure on him for the next 6 or 7 yrs. if he went to the Yanks and did not do well he would get killed in the media. now with Doc and Oswalt he will fit in very nicely.

  14. largebill - Dec 14, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    The comparison to Lebron is ridiculous for several reasons. Lee did not make past statements that he was going to bring a championship to Cleveland. Lee was not from the Cleveland (or Texas/NYY) area. Lee did not quit in the playoff because he was upset that one (or several) of his teammates got too friendly with his mom, IYKWIMAITYD.

    Lee was choosing between two past employers and a prospective one. He chose one for various reasons none of which were similar to James’ BS. Lastly, Lee called his most recent employer and let them know his decision.

  15. phukyouk - Dec 14, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    he cannot be compared to LB cause hes not a giant Douche. hes an @ss and all that but not a douche. and he kinda did come from Cleavland :-)

    • Utley's Hair - Dec 14, 2010 at 4:32 PM

      Why is he an @ss? Because he didn’t go to the team that you wanted him to?

      • phukyouk - Dec 14, 2010 at 5:46 PM

        oh no… hes just an @ss. its a rumor that i just started.

  16. macjacmccoy - Dec 14, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    Craig you went us to wait 24 hours before we say big bold crazy things but you didnt even make it a 1/4 of that time before you were saying they could be as good or better then your 1990′s Braves.

    Are you talking saw dust when you got a twig in your eye again?

  17. thinman61 - Dec 14, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    Nobody can chant “E-A-G-L-E-S” at a baseball game quite like Philly fans.

    • Utley's Hair - Dec 14, 2010 at 3:55 PM

      Sadly, no matter how well the Phightins do, this will always be a Beagles town. —Sigh—

  18. paintan8 - Dec 14, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    Mike & Mike? You could write a post a day about all the stupid s*** those two morons say.

  19. Utley's Hair - Dec 14, 2010 at 6:28 PM

    One thing being completely overlooked here: two major NFL stories—the Vikes-NY(football)Giants game moving to Detroit after a weather cancellation in Minnesota, and Fahr-vah ending his starts streak—were overshadowed by a baseball story. Is that a bold and crazy thing to say? I think NOT, my friends!!!!!!

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