Saturday, July 29, 2006

DING DONG, THE BELL IS DEAD!


And so it has begun.

The flimsy house of cards that Ass Engineer Ed Wade constructed and christened his “ten year plan” – like any good Soviet would - is now being disassembled carefully by the grown up who replaced him.

Goodbye, David Bell. No, let me sing that:



Ding dong, the Bell is dead!
Red Means Go, Giles said!
Ding dong, the wicked Bell is dead!


Bell, traded for Wilfredo Laureano, an anonymous A-ball pitching prospect, had a truly remarkable career in Philly – if mediocrity is your criterion of success. Maybe I’m being too kind, but hey, he leaves our green country town for the suds and brats of Milwaukee WITH A HIGHER BATTING AVERAGE THAN BOBBY ABREU.

Did I say he has a higher batting average than Bobby Abreu? Well, that’s a fact, Jack. After both players’ virtuoso performance last night against the Marlins – Bell flailing wildly at air, Abreu taking a collar and getting picked off base while representing the tying run -- the corpulent Comedulce Abreu has his ever-fattening ass sitting on a .277 average. Bell, hot as dogshit most of July, elevated himself to .278. At one point, he broached .290.

Not half bad considering his replacement for now at third is Abraham Nunez, he of the gargantuan .157 average.

This is the point where the sabermetric Gestapo strap on their dildos and wander away to the nearest gay porno site. So go there if you want to suck on a little Bill James salami and feel an urge to scream batting average is not a relevant number, or that Abreu draws all those walks, has that high on-base percentage, and has led the Phillies to five appearances in the playoffs.

Oh. Sorry. Bobby-boppy doesn’t do the playoffs. And Abreu’s numbers? Well, you may want to masturbate over that centerfold, but here’s something that might spur on a little erectile dysfunction: He is an impotent Number Three hitter. Somewhere in the small print of his mammoth contract (which would make an Enron felon giggle), Wade must have included another Soviet-style idea: A non-aggression pact to remain neutral against major league pitching.

Walks are nice, but I want more for a $13.5 million (and growing) hitter in the three-hole. Now go look up David Ortiz’s RBI totals the last three years. He bats third just like Bobby. See what I mean? He does all that for half the money, is the linchpin of his team’s offense, and would rather swing the bat than waddle to first like a salsa singer on a stroll to the delight of his audience.

I will sing again with joy when Pat Gillick the Grown Up removes Abreu’s card from Wade’s psychotic card house.

Before he announced the Bell trade after the moribund loss, 4-1, against the Marlins, Abreu and the rest of the morose bunch demonstrated the failings of their season in microcosm.

The first thought that washes over me every time Team Puke plays the Marlins is that Abreu makes just half a million bucks less than THE ENTIRE MARLINS PAYROLL. Now, later in the season and with Team Schizo BEHIND THE MARLINS in the standings, I am flush with wonderment at the exhuberance of hungry youth.

This Marlins team, on a slow boat to nowhere the first part of the year, has had a historical turnabout and now has a starting pitching staff which includes three rookies with as many or more wins than ANY Phillies starter and leads the National League in ERA. And of course, as our collection of spoiled, over-sexed millionaires paraded to the plate with their bats on their shoulders, they proceeded to be no-hit for almost seven full innings by Ricky Nolasco.

Haven’t heard of him? Didn’t think so.

Could it get worse? Oh, yeah. You bet.

Up in the eighth comes our last real chance: David Dellucci, Chase Utley, Abreu and Ryan Howard. On paper, you’d think so, at least. But on the field…that’s a whole different story.

Dellucci, choking on his scungilli, ran a 3-0 count and moronically swung at the next offering and ground out. Maybe he was channeling the spirit of Jelly Roll, as he was ineffective in the leadoff spot. But when Utley blooped a single to center to continue his impressive 28-game hitting streak, you would think having your Number Three hitter step up would be nothing short of optimal.

Nope.

After watching Utley almost get picked off by another one of the Marlins’ young arms, Comedulce dribbled a weak grounder to second, and Utley was extinguished at second. Abreu stood on first, the inning still alive. That is, until our champion silver slugger was fooled by the rookie’s deft pickoff move to first about 10 seconds after the ball was thrown back to the pitcher. Inning over, Howard not allowed to swing. And, of course, he proceeded to launch his 33rd homer to the upper deck when he led off the next inning. But it was already over.

Bell’s last hurrah followed Howard’s bomb and Aaron Rowand’s strikeout. It was one of his specialties – the weak fly-out to right field. Shane Victorino lined out to left and the Phillies had the fork stuck in them.

I wonder if Bell knew that was the last game in candy stripes for him. I wonder if he knew he had a higher BA than Abreu. I wonder if he’s snickering about that on the way out the door.

I wonder if any sucker wants to pay the declining Abreu a king’s ransom next year for a .275 average and 150 walks.

6 Comments:

Anonymous ChuckM said...

I would like to think that this under-the-radar moving of Bell is setting up for something bigger (like snagging that top Cuban 3B Gurriel that just defected) but its most likely that this is just a cost-cutting bmove being that attendance is going to be sparse for games other than when the Mutts fans invade. Bell never was very productive as a batter but was sold to us for his "intangibles", "leadership qualities" "clubhouse presence", "grit" and being a "gamer and a grinder". Yeah, yeah..."He Plays The Game The Way Its Supposed To Be Played"...So, what did that get us? A player who could come up with timely game-winning hits, but was more prone to kill rallies with feeble GIDPs and a fielder who could pull off nifty plays in the field but turn around and kill the team by botching routine grounders. He symbolizes the 2003-2006 Phillies
erratic nature....As far as Abreu, at this point he would be suited as a 2-hole hitter on a 1-9 stacked AL team where he can get on base ahead
of guys who drive in runs and bring in a few himself with what little power he has left. It seems like Bobby is biologically programmed to hit around .290-.295 with a high OB% (which he will proabaly end up again at the end of the season), but with his diminished power, a team can get somebody to approximate his role for a lot less and use the extra $$$ on pitching.

29/7/06 10:26 AM  
Blogger Tacony Lou said...

chuck,

You might notice that Marlins rookie Dan Uggla's numbers in the three classic departments are better than Abreu's.

Dan Fucking Uggla.

29/7/06 3:49 PM  
Anonymous ChuckM said...

I am sure that many/most 3-hole hitters are comparing favorably to Abreu this season. Being that Bobbys power #s are in decline he just does not belong as a 3rd batter and his skills are being misconfigured in the lineup. I do not want to see Bobby moved for nothing just for salary dumping sake as having 1 overvalued player wont kill the Phillies (dump Burrell for salary purposes and if Burrell uses the no-trade clause,play hardball and platoon him for the rest of the season so that he will be begging to be traded this winter) and if Abreu is not moved for some value by this Monday, he would still be an asset
(even if overvalued) in a table-setting role batting ahead of Utley (a perfect a 3-hole guy as you would want), Howard and hopefully a decent contact hitting, Howard protecting righty in the 5th slot. I would like to see Rowand moved and Michael Bourn (.416 OB% at SW-B with serious wheels and defense) be brought up in September straight into the leadoff spot and get his work in with the understanding that the leadoff slot in 2007 is his to earn. That or the full-time job being offered to Victorino with the explicit instructions that his job is to get on base, and to stop hacking at bad pitches out of the zone. Then again, you think Cholly and his walking dead staff are going to bother about
concerning themselves with getting set up for 2007?.

29/7/06 5:04 PM  
Anonymous JG said...

Another stellar piece. Hopefully the moves keep comin and the overpaid rubbish be gone.

29/7/06 11:39 PM  
Anonymous ChuckM said...

Yep, the Phillies have to start at square one and assembling a pitching staff has to be the priority. Dunno what the hardcore sabre types think but I believe in the elementary idea that pitching trumps hitting. I'll not be too pleased if Abreu gets moved for nothing, but at this point the Bankees can afford a $15 million dollar/yr table-setter, the Phils cant. I just wish it could be the other overvalued OF being jettisoned, but again, mebbe a bit of hardball on Gillicks part could nudge said playboy into waiving his no-trade clause come this winter.

30/7/06 12:30 PM  
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30/12/06 11:00 PM  

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