Tuesday, June 14, 2005

It's ranting time...

OK, I just need to get these things off my chest. Part of the fun of having a blog is you get to rant. I'm going to rant at the lack of love the Phillies have received from the media despite the best homestand in the history of the club.

Here's a perfect example: Although the Phils are ranked #6 in the CBS Powerrankings, all the print is given to... The Pirates! And the Nationals! Ok, I understand the Nats, but the Pirates? They're approaching .500, and they get all the ink. Ummmm, excuse me, Mr. Mack, but does having the best homestand in 120 years mean anything to anybody?

Next thing, down by the ranking, there's a blurb about the team. Here's what is written about the Phils: "The Phillies hit .309 (133-for-431) with 21 homers, 86 RBI and scored 89 runs during their own 12-1 homestand. That is one cozy hitter's park to call home."

Let me repeat for those who don't know: Citizens Bank Park is not the run-happy field people like to think it is. Citizen's is only 10th in runs as a park. It is only 9th in HR factor, and suppresses overall hits and doubles like a fiend. The park is smallish, and has hard walls, which limits the doubles, which allows the outfield to play rather shallow, which limits the hits. It also has generous foul ground, which also limits hitting.

So, why the snarky "That is one cozy hitter's park to call home?" Why did the Phils only allow 60 runs, if it's just the park, including 5 games where we allowed 2 or fewer runs? No, it's easier to say it's just the park.

The fact is, the Phillies hit a lot and scored a lot of runs because.... They're really awesome hitters on that team! Bobby Abreau and Pat Burrell lead ALL outfielders in ALL the MAJOR LEAGUES in VORP, which adjusts for park effects. If you combine Lofton's VORP and Michael's VORP, you would have the second best centerfielder in baseball, too. Combine Ultey with Palanco, and the Phillies are second in VORP in all the Major Leagues at that position, too. Add in Thome and solid contributions by Bell, Liberthal, and Rollins, and you have what you have seen in the "cozy hitter's park," a relentless offense which is perfectly capable of scoring 8 runs on any given night.

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