Friday, July 21, 2006

There's a Screw Lose in that Phillips Head


Steve Phillips, who is the ex-GM of the Phillies and Mets and now works as a commentator for ESPN, makes his living talking about baseball. The only problem with that is that his knowledge of baseball appears to be extremely limited. I'm not sure how someone with his lack of ability to analyze the game, ever rose to the heights that he has. He must have excellent oral skills. You get it? You get it? You don't get it.

Anyway, he put his skills (or lack thereof) on display by saying that he thinks the Blue Jays will pass the Yankees for second place in the AL east. Now this in itself is not a ridiculous statement. The Blue Jays are only three games behind the Yankess and they have shown that they are a much improved team. Phillips shows his complete lack of baseball acumen by talking about the reason that he thinks the Blue Jays can pass the Yankees. He bases his theory on the Blue Jays "top three" pitchers. He said that if he could take any teams top three pitchers in the AL east, he would pick the Blue Jays. There is a reason why Steve Phillips isn't the GM of a major league club anymore.

Let's take a look at the top 3 pitchers on the Blue Jays staff. Roy Halladay, who is a former Cy Young winner and a legitamate candidate for the award this year, has 12 wins. Ted Lilly is a career journeyman pitcher who has nine wins and A.J. Burnett is a known head case who has had arm trouble all year and is 1-3. As a unit they are 22-13. The Red Sox top 3 pitchers (Schilling, Beckett and Lester) are a combined 29-8. The Yankees top 3 pitchers (Wang, Johnson and Mussina) are a combined 31-15. Johnson is definitely going to the hall of fame, is a five time Cy Young winner and World Series MVP, Schilling and Mussina might end up there as well. Beckett is a former World Series MVP and has 12 wins already this year.

Here is the quote from Phillips about the three staffs:

"If everyone stays healthy and performs like I think they can, and taking into account Randy Johnson isn't the same guy he has been in the past, I would take the Blue Jays' three [starters.]"

At this point in all their respective careers, Halladay is probably the best pitcher of the nine. That being said, I don't think that there's a GM or manager in baseball who would pick any of the other two starters on the Blue Jays staff over Randy Johnson, Mike Mussina, Josh Beckett or Curt Schilling. Lester is a rookie, so it's hard to say how he will pan out, but I'm sure most GM's would still take him over Ted Lilly. Steve Phillips is supposed to be able to evaluate talent. He was responsible for making deals and trying to help his teams win. However, it's fairly clear that his judgment is pretty bad. The Blue Jays staff consists of one Cy Young winner, one career .500 pitcher(lilly is 53-53) and one pitcher who is under .500 for his career(Burnett is 50-53). That, in his humblie opinion is the best starting staff in the AL east.

Wow. If the Yankees or the Red Sox had that staff, the papers and fans in both cities would be screaming bloody murder and here's the funny thing, so would Phillips. He's been talking all year about the Yankees lack of pitching, but from his statements it's clear that he doesn't know what a pitching staff is. I guess he would rather have Ted Lilly pitching with the World Series on the line than Curt Schilling or Randy Johnson.

What an Idiot.

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