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Morosi: The Phillies will finish ahead of the Braves

Feb 26, 2013, 12:32 PM EDT

I’ve trolled Phillies fans a lot. I’ve criticized Jon Paul Morosi a lot. Now it’s like they’re joining forces in order to troll me:


Worth noting that it takes more than a rotation to be successful. Also worth noting that Morosi picked the Phillies to win the 2011 World Series too, so I guess anything can happen.

But that stuff aside, I have to give some grudging applause to Morosi for getting under my skin for a nanosecond. It takes a lot troll a troller. Hats off to you, sir.


  1. rjmarrella - Feb 26, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    got under your skin enough to write a post….

    • biasedhomer - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:30 PM

      #1 reason Craig does this is to get more views…it’s all about the money.

  2. unclemosesgreen - Feb 26, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Do you think Morosi knows that there are 5 pitchers in a typical starting rotation?

    Also, I wouldn’t pick a team with the Phillies’ outfield to win the college world series, let alone an MLB division. As currently constituted, they are historically bad.

    • mouthbreethingslayer - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      Really!? Their outfield is historically bad? Obviously, a world-beater OF is necessary to win a WS, as the 2010 Giants illustrated with Andres Torres, Aubrey Huff, and Cody Ross. Three perennial all-stars there! But really, independent of your asinine remark, prognostication about division, pennant, and World Series winners is useless. For example, since the ’09 Yankees, a team that has finished in the top 4 of the standings has not won a WS. So, the top 50% of playoff entrants have been stumped the past 3 tries! When coupled a long, long regular season, one can conclude that talent, or perceived talent by “experts”, is less important to winning a championship than injuries, team chemistry in September and October, and, most importantly, plain old dumb luck. No questions the Phillies are a flawed and aging team, but take a look at where “experts” predicted the Giants (10 and 12) and the Cardinals (11) to finish in February of those respective seasons.

      • unclemosesgreen - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:32 PM

        This version of the Phils’ OF makes the 2010 Giants look like the 1961 Yankees. Putrid.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        Obviously, a world-beater OF is necessary to win a WS, as the 2010 Giants illustrated with Andres Torres, Aubrey Huff, and Cody Ross

        Triple slash lines for 2010

        Huff* (played 1b, but you asked) – .290/.385/.506 – 142 OPS+
        Ross (played 33 games, but you asked) – .288/.354/.466 – 122 OPS+
        Torres – .268/.343/.479 – 122 OPS+

        Looks like a great “outfield” to me.

        Now add in the guys who played the most:

        Burrell (96 G) – .266/.364/.509 – 136 OPS+
        Rowand – .230/.281/.378 – 78 OPS+
        Schierholtz – .242/.311/.366 – 85 OPS+

        Should have used those guys instead of the ones who actually played well.

        *breakdown – 91 G 1b, 30 G LF, 15 G RF, 26 G multiple positions

    • tuberippin - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      That’s alright. I wouldn’t pick someone with your miniscule level of baseball knowledge to make prognostications about future records, or for that matter, what constitutes “historically bad” or “historically” anything, because if you’re not being hyperbolic about that statement, you know very little about baseball history.

  3. jcj5y - Feb 26, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    PECOTA has the Braves at 82.2 wins, Phillies at 81.0 wins (and Mets at 80.6 wins). That’s not the be-all end-all, but Morosi’s not exactly going out on a limb with this.

    • unclemosesgreen - Feb 26, 2013 at 12:48 PM

      PECOTA is super-bad at win projections, it is a program that projects player performance. It is notoriously disinterested in the fact that old guys get hurt more often. Just like Ruben Amaro, Jr., come to think of it.

      • jcj5y - Feb 26, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        Maybe PECOTA is bad at win projections, but it does account for playing time (it has Utley missing 25% of the season and Howard missing 20%, which seems reasonable to me). It’s a good data point, at least. I agree with it that the Phils, Mets and Braves are somewhat bunched together in the 2-4 spots in the NL East. If I had to predict, I might put Phillies 4th, for the reasons you suggest.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        PECOTA is super-bad at win projections

        [citation needed] as well as what you consider “bad” at projecting. Is being 3-4 games off a record bad or within a margin of error?

  4. heyblueyoustink - Feb 26, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Predictions are like rectums?

    • stlouis1baseball - Feb 26, 2013 at 4:02 PM

      Rectum? I darn near killed em’!

  5. megary - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    Your trolling is the biggest downer on this site. Not just Phillies fans, your trolling know no bounds.

    What makes it such a downer is that you are capable of so much more. When you write about baseball, the game, the nuances, the legalities, the decision making…it is often quite brilliant and shows how great a blogger/writer you can be. But the trolling is nothing more than Clint Eastwood as Philo Beddoe. You think you’re being funny, but really you just make a joke of yourself.

    • chacochicken - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      Whoa, say what you want about Craig’s proclivities but you leave Any Which Way But Loose out of this. That’s a top 5 Eastwood film.

    • unclemosesgreen - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:17 PM

      How dare you? Left turn, Clyde!

    • jwbiii - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:48 PM

      So, if Craig writes something bad about the Phillies, he’s trolling them. If he writes something good about the Phillies, he’s trolling them. Gotcha.

      • megary - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:07 PM

        No. Craig will disguise a “story” about someone or some team with the only purpose being to cast the subject in a negative light. That’s trolling. And he admits it (see above).

        And I could care less about the Phillies other than the fact that Craig seems obsessed with them. Because of that obsession, it keeps him from writing legitimate stories of the quality that I know he’s capable.

      • tuberippin - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:09 PM

        It’s really not just the Phillies. I like Craig’s style of writing; his prose has some skill to it. My issue is more that he tends to take (sometimes veiled, sometimes not so much) pot-shots at various teams/players/writers for no particularly justifiable reason. Sometimes it’s humorous, but more often than not it just detracts from the primary point(s) of the article and really puts a damper upon the entire post, not to mention the shit-throwing it sparks in the comments (which may or may not be Craig’s end game, I have no idea).

        It’s one thing to be trolling if you’ve got your own personal blog or you’re just a commenter…it’s a bit different when you’re a head writer for an NBC Sports site.

    • stlouis1baseball - Feb 26, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      Gary: You better do as Chaco said. Philo will whip that ass for you!
      I am talking burn your head kinda’ ass whippin.’

  6. chew1985 - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    It’s simple–if the Phillies’ old guys play 140-150 {I’m talking to you Chase Utley} and Howard regains some of his pre-2012 form, the Phillies WILL finish second. A few of these guys {Hallady, Lee} have something to prove at this point and I wouldn’t want to be in their way as long as they stay relatively healthy.

    And Kyle Kendrick pitched very well the last few months of 2012. If he has indeed turned it up a notch, the Nats may want to buy another superstar or two before the season starts.

    • paperlions - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:34 PM

      Yes, if everything goes perfect for the Philles, they could finish second. All that has to happen is for everyone to stay healthy, for all of the 30+ yr old players to play like they did when they were younger, and for guys that aren’t very good to play beyond their abilities…..and the Phillies are golden.

      • ryanrockzzz - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:01 PM

        I think taking just the Phillies into consideration doesn’t account for the rest of the teams in the division.

        The Phillies have the pitching staff to match any team in the N.L. East. The only player on the Phillies with a lengthy injury history is Utely, Howard’s injury was much more isolated, so history says that, yes he can come back healthy. Rollins, Ruiz, and Halladay may not be the players they once were, but certainly could stay healthy.(Rollins has a history of some injuries, but wasn’t hurt much last year.) I could see this point more if Polanco were still on the team, but he’s defected to a team the Phillies should beat frequently this year in Miami. He was a big piece who couldn’t play at all for this team last year. Same thing with Contreras, who they were relying on in the middle innings.

        Also, the Braves added two players at high salaries who still have yet to prove themselves fully in the Upton brothers. Obviously, IF they both finally put it together the Braves could have a great offensive team this season. Outside of that, the Phillies have the better infield, and the pitching staffs are about equal, with maybe a slight edge due to the Braves bullpen.

        The Nationals will finally have to face the pressure of everyone knowing who they are this year, and IF they can handle that, and get productive seasons again from players like Harper and LaRoache (who has made a career out of being inconsistent and just got a fat new deal), they certainly will be the team to beat, but I don’t think they are way above where the Phillies are. The difference is they can keep acsending, while the Phillies are slowly slipping. That being said, I think these teams beat up on each other for much of the year, and the race will be closer then anyone thinks.

      • paperlions - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:23 PM

        You post is doing exactly what I was alluding to….you are assuming everything will go well for the Phillies….and assuming/positing that things will not go well for other teams in the division.

        I realize that it is ST and the time for rampant optimism, but everything rarely always goes right. The Phillies have no depth as an organization, if anyone in the rotation goes down, they have no internal answers….if any fielder goes down, they have no internal answers….and old teams get hurt or just wear down in general more than do young teams.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        The only player on the Phillies with a lengthy injury history is Utely, Howard’s injury was much more isolated, so history says that, yes he can come back healthy.

        Yes, but Utley’s got a bad injury history (hasn’t played 140+ games since ’09, when he was 30) and Howard’s decline wasn’t because of injury.

        Also, the Braves added two players at high salaries who still have yet to prove themselves fully in the Upton brothers.

        Define “prove themselves”? Justin Upton was a MVP candidate two years ago, putting up a .289/.369/.529 (141 OPS+) line while playing CF. Is that not good enough? Or do you mean playoffs where BJ has put up a .267/.324/.554 (.879OPS)?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        church, I’m thinking he was probably talking about BJ’s .752 OPS(109 OPS+) for the season last year…and Justin’s .785(107 OPS+). Neither guy really set the world on fire last year and now they are together in a new environment. Maybe they will turn it around and get back to what they were previously. Maybe they won’t. Either way, it’s still a question mark. Sure, not as big a question mark as Utley’s knees. But one thing to keep in mind about Chase is that, for the first time in 3 years, he is playing in Spring Training every day. Huge plus.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      So…..everythign goes right for the Phillies, there still is no defeating the juggernaut that is Washington?

      Guys that had career years last year will continue to do so. Rookies will have zero sophmore jinx facing pitchers a 2nd time. Davey Johnson is not the guy who could not get hired for the last 10 years. Dan Haren is the real deal. Jayson Werth is ready to earn his pay. Did I miss anything?

      • voteforno6 - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        Delmon Young’s weigh-ins?

      • tuberippin - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        Drew Storen’s 9th-inning “mastery”?

  7. bgrillz - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Remember how many guys “predicted” the Giants to miss the playoffs…How’d that pan out?

  8. lazlosother - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Trolling can be extremely worthwhile. I get more amusement from outraged responses than a responsible, sober adult should – even when it’s my team getting trolled. People complain and whine about it, but some of the most active comment sections on this site reside below Craig-trolling posts.

  9. Francisco (FC) - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    Also worth noting that Morosi picked the Phillies to win the 2011 World Series too,
    And you picked the Red Sox (smirk)

  10. innout10 - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    As a Braves fan, I love it when writers make comments like Morosi’s. I don’t need his approval to know we have a good club, will let the play on the field do the talking. I will say that I think he is severely undervaluing the braves rotation. We will see soon!

    • El Bravo - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      Here here!

    • bravojawja - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:02 PM

      The rotation and the bullpen. I like our rotation 1-6 and our pen innings 6-9. That bullpen will fix quite a bit of any problems on the back end of the rotation, which ain’t too shabby anyway.

  11. El Bravo - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    The Mets will finish ahead of the Phillies.

    • unclemosesgreen - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      … in Amway detergent sales. The Mets still stink, and it’s still at least 2-3 years before you can come back out and taunt Philadelphia phans.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      They will stop paying Bobby Bonilla before that happens

    • El Bravo - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      The Phillies blow donkey c@ck is all I’m sayin’. Not sure why that makes me get so many thumbs down…

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        Point of order – your post was about the Mets, not about the Phillies. And it was positive spin for the Mets.

        Now go to your room, and think about what you have done

      • El Bravo - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        I’ve done precisely what I came here to do 😉

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:49 PM

        But at what cost? At what COST?

        Its starts with pro-Mets statements, and before you know it, you are selling drugs to orphanges, and giving the money to Al-Qaeda

      • El Bravo - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:51 PM

        That’s lucrative business venture you noted there. I’ll be sure to note that for future endeavours.

      • unclemosesgreen - Feb 26, 2013 at 6:50 PM

        Your thumbs down numbers are severely depressed due to the lack of thumbs amongst Phillies phans. If they were evolved enough for opposable digits, they’d be Braves fans.

  12. jm91rs - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Not usually this much discussion over who’s going to finish 2nd.

  13. phillyfan75 - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    I like how you give the impression you troll Phillies fans to give them a hard time when in reality it’s all about the $.

    More HBT posts re: Phillies = more HBT hits = more revenue.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:48 PM

      That has been brought up before. He insists he does not care about hits. You know – kinda like Brian Williams doesn’t care about viewers.

      • Kevin S. - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:01 PM

        If that was the case, you’d think he’d troll Yankee/Red Sox/Cubs fans far more often than he actually does. Everything isn’t a conspiracy.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:12 PM

        Who are repsonding to? Me or the OP?

      • Craig Calcaterra - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:13 PM

        I never said I didn’t care about the hits. This is a for-profit enterprise so of course good traffic matters.

        What I said is that, unlike a lot of bloggers, my compensation is not directly linked to page views. And my marching orders from my superiors at NBC are to write about what interests me in the hopes that that makes for an interesting blog a lot of people want to read. Not to put out click-bait like Bleacher Report.

        Believe me, if I wanted to simply write things that drove massive traffic this would be a very, very different place.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:19 PM

        That is true – your rebuttal was always specific to your compensation, I will concede.

        Still find it odd a for-profit enterpirse apparently has random pay scales that somehow do not corespond to revenue generated….

        And I do not doubt you could drive massive traffic with an edgier contebnt – and again, you will note i have never been one of those “Oh the heck with you, ya dumb jerk!!” I am here ’cause I like it 😉

      • buddysguys - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:08 PM

        Craig do you go home and put on Phillies gear and just cry for hours? You hating the phillies doesn’t interest anyone.

  14. ryanrockzzz - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Who knows if that will really happen, but certainly the Phillies have the potentialy to be the BEST team in the N.L. East this year. If that will happen is anyone’s guess, but when healthy Howard and Utley provide signifigant value to this team, and the pitching staff can match up with both Atlanta and Washington.
    I think labeling Howard/Utley/Halladay etc as old and no longer effective is just taking an easy way out. Over 162 games IF healthy, they can help the Phillies beat most teams on a given day. Add that to the fact that the Braves two marquee additions have yet to have a single great season between them, and there are a lot of what if’s that could push the Phillies past the Braves. The problem is, no one knows, and those who say they do are usually dead wrong come October.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      but when healthy Howard…provide signifigant value to this team

      bWAR/fWAR since he was a full time starter


      Where’s the significant value?

      • Kevin S. - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:20 PM


      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:35 PM

        In his bOPBSIGP/fWHIPP

      • megary - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:41 PM

        Howard OPS+:
        04 – 122
        05 -133
        06 – 167
        07 – 144
        08 – 125
        09 – 141
        10 – 127
        11 – 126
        12 – 91

        Career OPS+ – 135
        Career: .271/.364/.551

        Argue that he’s overpaid. He is.
        Argue he can’t hit lefties. He can’t.
        Argue he is not a very good defensive 1B. He isn’t.
        Argue he is on the downside of his career. Probably

        But he has been a productive hitter for almost every single season that he has played.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 27, 2013 at 11:49 AM

        But he has been a productive hitter for almost every single season that he has played.

        That’s nice, but I never said anything about his abilities, or lack thereof, as a hitter. I said show me where he’s provided significant value.

      • tuberippin - Feb 27, 2013 at 2:57 PM

        At your local Subway franchise location.

        ♩ Five dollar foot-loooongs ♩

  15. sisqsage - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Don’t troll a troller.

  16. baseballer28 - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    In 2011 I’m pretty sure the phillies went 102-60 and were picked as many to win it all, even in spring training…

  17. buddysguys - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    i have never seen a so called sports writer go out of his way to bash one team….did they say something about yo mama craig??? i mean seriously you get a huge boner attacking anyone that writes anything about Philly…its kind of annoying.

  18. cw3214 - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    It’s been a rough year with the Eagles, Flyers, and 76ers failing to do much of anything. Can I just enjoy the start of baseball season before all of this starts? No one knows anything. Look at your predictions from last year.

  19. realgone2 - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Yeah sure……stop doing “whip its” with the Phanatic.

  20. paperlions - Feb 26, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Really, this is how sports banter works?

    CC: “My team is better than your team, which isn’t very good.”

    Everyone: “WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, stop being so mean. Your blog sucks.”

  21. illegalblues - Feb 26, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Thread’s comments read like a quality day of FakeWIPCaller tweets. Love philly fans the most!

  22. macjacmccoy - Feb 26, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    It takes a lot to get under your skin? And what he said got under your skin? So basically your telling me all that it takes to get under your skin is facts. I dont know why Im surprised by that. I should have known better your are a democrat, liberal, and part of the media. All 3 of those groups have problems with facts.

    • paperlions - Feb 26, 2013 at 9:22 PM

      I am baffled that you list “liberals” as people have problem with facts as opposed to “conservatives”, as “conservatives” most firmly have the heads buried so far in the sand with the express purpose of ignoring facts.

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