Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Steve Phillips - open mouth, insert foot

I love the NLDS round, because games are actually played during the day. Which means I can follow the games on line at work (work allowing, of course), and listen to the games during the drive home. Tonight I spent about 25 minutes in the car, so I heard the beginning of the Yankees/Twins game.

And in those 25 minutes, Steve Phillips managed to say three dumb things. Three! He must be the most limber man in America, because his foot is always in his mouth.

To wit:

(a) Steve and his broadcast partner, the normally savvy John Miller, were discussing Justin Morneau's absence and how the Twins have played very well since Morneau went down for the season with a stress fracture in his back. Phillips commented that Kubel (who led the Twins in RBI this year, by the way) had been the DH while Morneau was in the lineup, but now that Morneau was out Kubel had shifted to the OF because Cuddyer was now at first. Then the money comment (paraphrased; remember I was driving): and that puts your power in the field, which is not what you want to do.

Apparently, according to Phillips, teams would be better off if their best hitters only had to concentrate on hitting and not that pesky fielding thing. I guess this is why the NL is considered inferior.

Of course, the BEST HITTER IN BASEBALL currently plays first base for the Cardinals, which would seem to blow a hole in this theory. Strike One.

(b) I think Jorge Posada is a future Hall of Famer. Wow. Just wow. Posada has never won an MVP (he's received votes twice, finishing 6th in 2007 and 3rd in 2003) and never won a gold glove behind the plate. He's won the All-Star popularity contest 5 times, which is not a good metric for HOF worthiness anyway. He has won the catcher Silver Slugger 5 times, which is noteworthy.

Posada's career line: .277/.379/.480. Know who Baseball Reference compares him to? Rich Aurilia, Ken Caminiti, Jose Valentin, Mickey Tettleton, Mike Lieberthal, and Joe Ferguson. None of those guys will ever be included in a document listing potential Hall of Famers.

Playing for the New York Yankees, by itself, does not qualify a player for the HOF. Strike Two.

(c) Regarding Robinson Cano (paraphrasing) - what a luxury to have a guy like this hitting seventh, with his 200 hits and 25 HR. He can hit higher in the order.

The reason Cano is hitting seventh is because his OBP is eighth best of the 2009 Yankee starters. Yep, of the regulars, only Melky Cabrera (.336) has a lower OBP. Cano had a great year, and one could argue it was a career year, although his 2006 and 2007 seasons are comparable. But let's give Girardi credit for understanding on-base percentage and crafting his lineup accordingly.

Cano hits low in the Yankee order because that's where his OBP dictates he should hit. Strike Three.

Enjoy the Sole Sandwich, Steve.

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