Baseball Toaster Mike's Baseball Rants
This is my site with my opinions, but I hope that, like Irish Spring, you like it, too.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
Mike's Baseball Rants


10  09  07 
06  05  04  03 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
Links to MBBR
Leiber and Lidle And Pray That They're Idle
2006-04-11 22:20
by Mike Carminati

The Phils are in fact idle tonight as they await a run at tying their team record for the worst start to a season, 1-7. And who's ready and waiting to deliver it? None other than the estimable Corey Lidle.

The goodish news is that one of those 1-7 Phils clubs, the 1987 rendition, finished the season at 80-82, which at this point seems extremely optimistic. Another (1985) finished at 75-87 and the other two (1934 and '38, respectively) finished at a deplorable 56-93 and 45-105. Oh joy!

Overall throughout all teams, 1-7 starts end up with a 70-92, .433 record. Just two of those teams (out of 76) made the postseason ('95 Reds and '74 Pirates).

I've been trying to get my arms around how bad this start is and at what point they reach a tipping point for a descent into hell. This series with the Braves seems to be the ticket. After tomorrow's masterpiece from Msgr. Lidle, salvaging anything from the series will come down to Gavin Floyd, the latest in a long line of promising yet enigmatic Phils pitchers.

If the Phils can keep up the abysmal performance until they arrive in Denver, they can record just their second 1-9 start to a season ever and their first since 1938. Here are the worst starts through ten games for any Phillies club (since 1901):

197737.3003646.39010161.6231Division Champ
Avg.254.3186795.414 5.67

Sparing a three-game win streak, the Phils will join their company. On average these teams ended at 67-95, .414. Given the talent in the NL East that still might be good enough for a distant third-place finish. Given the expected winning percentage from this year, the Phils have not outperformed their lesser antecedents and just fallen on bad luck. Their expected winning percentage is worse than the average for this lot, which makes me think 65-97 is optimistic.

Anyway, my next thought is how long "Can't Stand" Pat Gillick will sit idly by and not get busy marking Charlie "I Need a Friggin'" Manuel as the fall guy for the mess. This sort of slight of hand will become necessary when the locals start pointing out that it was Gillick who traded the newly revitalized Jim Thome (and ate half of his gargantuan contract in the process) and who spent the offseason putzing around with minor notes like Julio Santana and Ryan Franklin when the team's tune needed a whole new arrangement.

I couldn't believe that Manuel, ex-GM's Ed Wade's boy, let's not forget, could survive a 1-9 start. This all made me wonder what was the quickest hook at the start of the season for a manager. Whatever happens, Manuel won't be close to the quickest but I'm proud to say that the honor is owned by a Phils' manager anyway. Here are all the managers fired within ten games and how their teams finally finished the season:

ManagerYrTeamGMgr WMgr LWLPostseason?
Eddie Sawyer1960Philadelphia Phillies1015995N
Billy Barnie1892Washington Senators2025893N
Clyde Sukeforth1947Brooklyn Dodgers2209460N
Harry Wheeler1884Kansas City Cowboys4041663N
Jack Glasscock1892St. Louis Browns4135694N
Jim McCormick1882Cleveland Blues4044240N
Lip Pike1871Troy Haymakers4131315N
Bill Smith1873Baltimore Marylands50506N
Cal Ripken1988Baltimore Orioles60654107N
Cy Young1907Boston Red Sox6335990N
Phil Garner2002Detroit Tigers60655106N
A.M. Thompson1884St. Paul Apostles92626N
Nick Young1872Washington Olympics92727N
Dude Esterbrook1889Louisville Colonels102827111N
Fergy Malone1873Philadelphia Whites10823617N
Jimmie Wilson1944Chicago Cubs10197579N

In order to filter out teams that only played a handful of games in a season in the nineteenth century, I looked at just those who managed from 1900 on:

ManagerYrTeamGMgr WMgr LWLPostseason?
Eddie Sawyer1960Philadelphia Phillies1015995N
Clyde Sukeforth1947Brooklyn Dodgers2209460Y
Cal Ripken1988Baltimore Orioles60654107N
Cy Young1907Boston Red Sox6335990N
Phil Garner2002Detroit Tigers60655106N
Jimmie Wilson1944Chicago Cubs10197579N
Doc Gessler1914Pittsburgh Rebels11386486N
Preston Gomez1972San Diego Padres11475895N
Vedie Himsl1961Chicago Cubs11566490N
Nick Leyva1991Philadelphia Phillies13497884N
Bob Lemon1982New York Yankees14687983N
John McGraw1925New York Giants141048666N
Kid Nichols1905St. Louis Cardinals14595896N
Larry Rothschild2001Tampa Bay Devil Rays1441062100N
Davey Lopes2002Milwaukee Brewers1531256106N
Lew Fonseca1934Chicago White Sox154115399N
Yogi Berra1985New York Yankees166109764N
Al Lopez1969Chicago White Sox17896894N
Bill Norman1959Detroit Tigers172157678N
Charlie Grimm1960Chicago Cubs176116094N
Deacon McGuire1911Cleveland Naps176118073N
Vern Rapp1978St. Louis Cardinals176116993N
Malachi Kittridge1904Washington Senators1811638113N
Chuck Dressen1957Washington Senators204165599N
El Tappe1962Chicago Cubs2041659103N
Johnny Keane1966New York Yankees204167089N

We're headed down a very dismal path here. But there is one bright spot: if the Phils keep it up much longer ol' Charlie Manuel can't be long for this world. Now if someone could fire David Montgomery, then they would headed in the right direction.

2006-04-11 22:44:29
1.   das411
HAHAHAHAHA, Phil Garner got fired and that team went on to lose ONE HUNDRED more games. Awesome!

So who's it gonna be when they fire Cholly, Mike? My fingers are crossed for Davey Johnson, but it'll never happen....right?

2006-04-12 06:33:32
2.   Mike Carminati
No chance, not after the falling out Johnson and Gillick had when they were both at Baltimore.
2006-04-12 07:49:32
3.   mattapp
I thought that Eddie Sawyer resigned after one game, giving as his reason, "I'm 49, and I want to live to be 50."

Regardless, it's very possible that Manuel will break Leyva's team record for earliest firing in a season.

2006-04-12 22:49:12
4.   Yu-Hsing Chen
On the more optimistic side, they did start the season facing 3 of the stronger teams in the NL, Cards Dodgers and Braves are all frequent favorite picks to win their division.

Now if they drop the following vs the Rockies and Nationals.. we can crucify Manuel and probably even Gillick

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.