Starting today, and running until the beginning of the regular season, I'm going to be presenting three facts about each team in the majors. We begin with the World Champion Phillies.
- Raul Ibanez is a downgrade from Pat Burrell. We've covered this one before, but losing out on a draft pick by not offering Pat Burrell arbitration in fear that he might accept it and then signing someone with similar skills, only older and who costs the Phillies their own first round pick is just a horrible chain of events. Even worse, Ibanez is older than Burrell while lacking the offensive punch Burrell possessed. Both are poor defensively, and even if you give Ibanez the nod for a few runs, you can probably take those back based on his age. Throw in the contract Burrell received and it's just mystifying how poor the Ibanez deal looks all ready.
- Chase Utley is really, really good. You all ready knew that. The Phillies have paid Utley around 13 million the past three seasons, in exchange Utley's performances have been worth roughly 30 million annually. Anytime you can get a ~7:1 (stupid math) return you take it.
The Bunting Hawaiian. Over the last three seasons Shane Victorino has attempted an average of ~15 bunts and ~4 bunt hits. While I understand the need for game theory and what the bunt attempts do to the opposing defense, it seems a bit much to have a capable hitter like Victorino attempting so many bunts when his success rate is relatively low compared to his on-base percentage.