I have begged FJM to tear into a juicy Steve Phillips chat once in a while, to no avail. Well I guess I'm the man to do it. I've hated Steve Phillips since his days of destroying the Mets and that hatred grew back in the days before I began my ESPN boycott. He's awful on ESPN. Historically bad. I decided to wade into his most recent espn.com chat to see if he's still stupid. Yup.
Alon (Brooklyn): What did you think of Pedro's first 2 starts and can he keep it up?
RSSG: The correct answer, of course, is "Pedro has been very good and yes, he can keep it up, if by 'keep it up' you mean killing your bullpen every 5 days."
Steve Phillips: I think Pedro is very fortunate so far. he does not have nearly the stuff now that he has had in the prime of his career.
RSSG: What pitcher does have the stuff of his prime when he's.... no longer in his prime?!
He is getting outs with great movement on his pitches, but without any real bite on them. From what I have seen so far he is not one of the Mets' top 4 pitchers, and since he cannot go deep in the game it will be tough for him to start in the postseason. I have great respect for his competitiveness which still shows on the mound; and he deserves a lot of credit for how hard he has worked to get back to this point.
RSSG: He's being paid approximately $840 million per season, so I would hope he'd be motivated to come back. I think Senate just approved another $1 billion payout for Pedro. Pedro does not deserve a lot of credit for doing what he's paid a lot of money to do. Pedro ranks as one of my top 5 favorite athletes of alltime, but come on. He's getting paid $13 million to work out all day. I'm pretty sure I could do that for that money.
I think in 2008 he has a chance to be stronger and better, but right now he is very vulnerable despite the 2-0 record.
RSSG: You "think" he has a "chance" to be stronger and better? What gives you that idea? Maybe because he'll be even further from his surgery and he'll have an entire offseason to get back in shape? I think Steve went to the Joe Morgan School of Chatting and majored in Never Committing To Anything.
James (PA): So what do you think the Indians chances are to go to the World Series?
Steve Phillips: The Indians have that dynamic 1-2 punch with Sabbathia and Carmona. But their closer does not present himself as a dominant end of the game reliever. They have the ability to score some runs, but they D at times can be shaky. They would open the division series against the Red Sox if the season ended today, which would be a tough matchup. I would give the edge to the Red Sox in that series, but I would not be shocked if the Indians pulled it out. I think that Boston and the Angles, have the best shot in the AL to go to the World Series.
RSSG: A 5-year old typed this. How many typographical errors are there in that paragraph? I count 3. I know Americans don't care about grammar and spelling anymore, but that's just because Americans are stupid. I hate us. And on another note, where are the Angles out of? I seem to remember learning about them in Geometry.
Pat (Atl): What should the Sox do with Dice-K? let him rest for a start or two?
Steve Phillips: Yes, I am not too concerned about Dice-K. He will bounce back despite his recent struggles. If they can afford to give him some time off that will help; but he has proven he is a big game pitcher throughout his career, and that includes in high school, the Japanese league, and the World Baseball Classic. He will pitch well for Boston.
RSSG: Hmm... yes, good answer. I still hate you, Steve. And nice job committing to him pitching well for Boston. Bold. Joe Morgan does not approve.
Bob - (Mansfield, MA): Do you think that the Yankees more in-experienced pitchers can keep the hope afloat or r the Yankees just a ship waiting to sink in the Playoffs?
Steve Phillips: Well, I do not like their starting pitching other than Wang, and on most days Petite, but when you really breakdown all the AL playoff teams, only the Red Sox are three deep with proven quality starters. If it becomes the battle of the bullpens I do not like the Yankees' bullpen, but if it becomes the battle of the offenses they have a good chance. But the bad new for the Yankees is that they may have to face the Angels in opening series, a team that seems to have their number.
RSSG: Ahhh yes, back to the School of Joe. Nice work, Steve. A lot of killer If, Then statements here. If you cover all your bases, then no one can fault you later. Perfect plan. And no, I did not change the typing here. All (sic)s are implied in his chats. And I just imagined a World Series between the Angles and Angels. Can you imagine Tim McCarver trying to call that one?
Jeff (Iowa): In the off-season, A-Rod signs for how much to play where?
Steve Phillips: I think A-rod probably signs for 30 a year, for 8-10 years, and will likely end up in either Chicago with the Cubs or White Sox, San Francisco, or LA with the Angels or Dodgers. I do not think he will comeback to New York.
RSSG: First off, 10 years? That's stupid. Okay, so maybe Tom Hicks will sign him for that much. But seriously, that would make him old at the end of the contract. I'm not even going to look up his age. And you just listed 5 teams without mentioning the richest of them all, the Red Sox, who have a free agent third baseman and a lot of cash coming off the books.
Ramsey (Livonia, MI): Hi Steve, Bondo might be out for the season now, is it time to bury the chances of the Tigers making the playoffs?
Steve Phillips: I think it is going to be very hard at this stage for the Tigers to win the Wild Card considering all the injuries. Bonderman's elbow problems may be the last straw. They just do not know how long Rogers can hold out to take the ball. If only Gary Sheffield could have stayed healthy they may have been able to weather the storm with offense, but that is the price you pay when you sign older players.
RSSG: Wait a second, is Joe Morgan posing as Steve Phillips? Any of you familiar with Fire Joe Morgan, you know how obsessed with Sheffield he is and how unrelated questions end up with Sheffield as part of the answer.
Brett, MN: Is Wong the cy young favorite? Will Santana get top 3 votes?
Steve Phillips: We had this debate a little bit last night on Baseball Tonight and will likey talk about it again at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 tonight. Kruk chose Wang, Orel chose Beckett and I chose Escobar. Wang does have 18 wins in 27 starts, where as Escobar has 16 in 27 starts. Escobar's ERA is over half a run bettter than Wang's and he has more Ks and his oppoents batting average is better as well. I think that any number of pitchers have an arguments for the award; Dan Heran leads the league in ERA, Sabathia has 17 wins and his strikeout to walk ratio is among the best in the game, and Santana is third in ERA and will likey end up leading the lead in Ks before the season ends. It will be an interesting vote, and it is still yet to be decided, and everyone probably has three or four more starts before it is all over.
RSSG: I sometimes wonder what the 5-year old's name is who types these for Steve as he dictates. And does Steve stand there with his arms crossed, one hand stroking his goatee while he stares at the ceiling? I'll never know. What a shame.
Anyway, I love Beckett and hate Wang, but Sabathia is the favorite right now. He's thrown way more innings, keeps his ERA in the top 3 or so, and has the best K:BB ratio. Wang doesn't strike enough guys out, Beckett has been very good but not as Sabathia, and Santana has struggled too often.
Steve Phillips: We will continue to keep an eye on the NL Central, and see what develops there.
RSSG: Thanks, Steve. I appreciate that you're doing your job and following the game. I'll continue to keep my eye on my spreadsheets and see what develops there.