Tuesday, November 2, 2010

4 comments I'm Not Sure Marcus Hayes Has Enjoyed Chatting With You Today

I don't want to build this up too much, but this is classic. I have never heard of Marcus Hayes. He appears to be a Phillies beat writer and he has done a chat for a Phillies year-end wrap up. It does not go well. Thanks to Matt for sending me the link to this chat, I appreciate it. Crashburn Alley has covered this chat in parts and did a very good job of it. I wanted to cover the chat in a little bit more depth, but want to at least give them credit for covering it first. Parts of what I will write about they covered as well, so go check out what they said too. I can't cover all of the crazy, because frankly I don't have three days to cover an hour long slide into insanity, so I will cover the highlights of what he said about Chase Utley, minor league baseball and it seems he may hate the entire Phillies organization.

In Hayes' defense he does answer some dumb questions, but he eventually starts baiting his chatters and antagonizing them into getting frustrated with his answers. He says stuff and provides no evidence or justification for why he says what he does. Some questions may have been bad, but there's no point in antagonizing the chatters. Just to set a bar for what this chat was like, here is the third question that was asked, where Hayes could have legitimately given an asshole-ish answer because the question was dumb...but he doesn't. He just gives a one word answer.

[Comment From Guest: ]
Throughout the NLCS they kept bringing up Werth's homerun stats and how he is tied in the NL. Despite this stat I cannot recall one "big" game changing hit he has ever had in the playoffs. He seems like the type of player that tacks on HR's and RBI's on the coat tails of someone elses rally


That's it. Rather than point out where the guy is wrong he answers with "ok," but later when a questioner dares to suggest Chase Utley is a good baseball player, all hell breaks loose.

[Comment From Josh: ]
Hi Marcus. I think that Charlie flat out got outmanaged by Bruce Bochy in the series. It seemed like every move Bochy made off the bench was gold and the Giants were agressive on the basepads. Would you agree?

Yes. Bochy was very good, and Charlie didn't play enough small ball for my liking, especially since he did so early in the playoffs.

This is fairly debatable, but I am not sure a lineup with Utley, Ibanez, Howard, and Werth needs to be bunting over runners instead of actively trying to knock runners in. Besides, if Hayes considers stealing bases to be small ball, the Phillies had 10 steals in the playoffs and they had 7 of those steals in the NLCS against the Giants. Really what the Phillies needed to do that would have made Charlie Manuel look better is drive in more runs.

[Comment From begattsbegatts: ]
Marcus, thanks for chatting today. I understand there are budget constraints on RAJ, but I'm not convinced he will allow the Phils to go into next season relying on Dom Brown in RF only putting yet another LH bat in the lineup. I'm thinking RAJ my have to be creative and trade a player (Victorino) in order to get some more balance in the lineup without a drop in production. Do you see something similar being an option?

I can't see them trading Victorino, and Ben Francisco is a real player.

Ben Francisco is an excellent platoon player. I don't know what the definition of a "real player" is, but I would assume it is a guy who is at least a starter. Ben Francisco is a 28 year old platoon outfielder. That's not a bad thing and a team could do a lot worse than have him in the outfield. He isn't "a real player" though. So possibly Brown should/will platoon with Francisco and that would be great, but I don't know if Francisco is "a real player" more than a great platoon guy.

[Comment From PhilliesPhan: ]
Even though it will not happen phillies should consider trading Utley as he is a liability in the field and in the next 2 years he will need a new position such as first base because in the long run he will not be a second baseman. This money could be used as money to sign Werth, and maybe even trade victorino and move Werth to center and Brown to RF.

I'm probably going to need a Phillies fan to help me figure out why the hell trading Shane Victorino is a good idea. As a Braves fan, I don't like to see him up at the plate, so feel free to trade him to the American League. Why is trading Victorino and putting Werth in CF with Ibanez in LF for a year a good idea again?

[Comment From Juan: ]
Who comprises the bullpen for '11 & do you think they renegotiate w/Madson or Lidge since both could leave after next year? And who's your #4 starter if they clear Blanton for $$$?

The bullpen won't be settled until Dec. or Jan., and speculation is absurd at this point.

Yeah, you are stupid for even asking the question. What's the point of speculating right now? Why are you even chatting with Marcus Hayes? He thought he was here for a discussion group for peanut butter lovers and now you ask him about the Phillies bullpen? Speculation is pointless right now.

I think they extend Madson; Lidge might be done.

I guess speculation isn't absurd enough for Hayes to not speculate on what may happen in the bullpen.

[Comment From AndyT in KC: ]
When is S. Mathieson projected to be on the big league roster?

All this speculation about next year's pen is pointless. Marcus Hayes just said the pen isn't going to be set until Dec/Jan? He won't answer this question.

Next year's pen.

I guess it turns out speculation about the Phillies bullpen is not only pointless, but fun.

[Comment From Doc: ]
Do you expect a rebound kind of year from J-Roll in 2011, or a continued decline? It's a contract year, but he's another year older.

Big rebound. 30 hit him in the gut this year.

First, off Rollins turned 31 in June of this year (checks calendar and it is indeed 2010) so his turning 30 happened over a year ago and what is the justification, knowing his numbers have declined every year since 2007, that him being another year older will make him a better baseball player? A mere question like this would cause Marcus Hayes to question whether I am holding the biggest idiot in the world, but I'm just wondering given Rollins' four year slide what will cause him to have a bounce back year?

Remember that Hayes said Rollins isn't declining, though there is evidence of this, and will bounce back. It will be important later.

[Comment From Will: ]
How bad was that multi-year signing of Baez? Ouch.

I actually like him. Just a down year.

This may be a good time to mention that Baez hasn't had an ERA under 4.00 since 2005 and he's had a WHIP under 1.20 once that span also. I see him doing a little better in 2011, but I wouldn't expect him to start throwing up 2:1 SO/BB ratios and a 3.00 ERA or anything. If you look at Baez's numbers lately, he's had more down years than up years.

[Comment From Mike in LA: ]
Do you think the inconsistent offense was due to injuries, old age, or simply an abberation? Assuming we lose Werth, do you think the offense can rebound with the current group of players (sans Werth) or do we need to inject some youth other than D. Brown?

No aberration. This is a team that can be criminally undisciplined at the plate. And dumb.

The Phillies were 22nd in strikeouts, 7th in walks, and 11th in OBP. For a team that is very undisciplined they don't strikeout a lot and seem to get on-base at a good rate. This is one of the many times that Marcus Hayes veiling mentions how the Phillies hitters don't listen to anything the batting coach says without actually telling us exactly if there is a specific incident that shows this or proof.

[Comment From walt: ]
Do you think Gross is a good hitting coach?
Yes. So was Milt. No one gets to this team, though; it's an organizational flaw that they are, universally, uncoachable.

I know the Phillies had a down year at the plate (for them), but Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino have blossomed with the Phillies and they are still a good hitting team. I don't know if I would consider them uncoachable. I would consider that hitting coaches get a lot of blame when things go wrong and a lot of the credit when things go right.

[Comment From Bill: ]
Any chance J-Roll and/or Victarino really work hard as they get older to change their style to be more of an OBP kind of player like Polanco. It kills me that they both seem to think power is an important part of their games.

Both can. Victorino is still learning.

Victorino is 30 years old. He may still be learning, but class time is almost over. Also, didn't Marcus Hayes just advocate putting Rollins in the 5-hole? That's a spot in the batting order where power is essential, especially hitting behind Ryan Howard. If Rollins hits in the 5-hole, I don't know if he needs to cut back on his power or not. Not only does Marcus Hayes indicate that Rollins could cut down on his power and try to get on-base more often this year, but later in the chat he also says Rollins will hit 30 home runs. So he thinks Rollins can work harder to get on-base more, but won't do that, and instead will hit 30 home runs. Maybe the Phillies hitters are uncoachable.

Earlier in the chat (for reference about Hayes wanting to see Rollins 5th in the batting order):

I'd rather see Rollins bat fifth than see him moved.

So we want to see Rollins get on-base more while trying to hit fewer home runs and moving to the 5th spot...AND he will also tie his career high in home runs. Maybe the secret to tying your career high in home runs at the age of 31 is trying to get on-base more?

[Comment From Jeremy: ]
I'm sorry but Werth is not more valuable than Utley. You don't trade your "best" player to keep a guy whose value is overrated. Utley is a five time all star who wears his heart on his sleeve, plays through pain and injuries and plays hard on every play. He is the reason, players sign with the Phillies. It would be absolutely foolish to quit on a guy who a bad season.

OK. Just chart Chase's decline.

Please recall earlier in this chat Marcus Hayes ignored Jimmy Rollins decline since 2007 to say that he will have a big rebound at the age of 31/32. Then he looks at Chase Utley's decline at the age of 31/32 and says he will continue to decline. Utley hasn't even declined that much, he had one "bad" year at .275/.387/.445 with 16 home runs. He was injured this past year as well. That's in Utley's "bad" year. The last time Jimmy "the Big Rebound/5-hole hitter" Rollins hit that well across the board with more than 16 home runs was...never. He came close in 2007, but his OPB was .344. Utley is still a better player than Rollins, though there will be a heated debate in just a few seconds on this issue.

So Jimmy "the Big Rebound/5-hole hitter" Rollins is a good player, it appears he is clearly declining, while Utley's decline isn't quite as noticeable and could be chalked up to being injured in 2010. We will see that Hayes just doesn't seem to like Utley that much.

[Comment From Greg: ]
What do you think about moving Utley to Left field after the ibanez deal is done? I'm worried about his Knoblauch yips.

They tried him in the OF. He's worse there. He's a good first baseman, and that's it.

They could try Utley at second base and see if that works out.

[Comment From Erik L.: ]
Can Jimmy Rollins ever hit 25+ home runs again? Or is that portion of his career over?

I think he's got 30 in him hitting 5th.

I don't mean to be so down on Jimmy Rollins, but is it really believable that a guy who has a career high of 30 home runs will hit 30 home runs when he has only broken 20 home runs three times in his career? Jose Bautista he is not.

Would it even benefit the Phillies for Rollins to be hitting 30 home runs? Either way, Marcus Hayes loves him some Jimmy Rollins as a slugger.

[Comment From Erik L.Erik L.: ]
Do you think Ryan Howard's weight loss has coincided with his dip in power number. 14 home run decline from '09 with just around 80 fewer ABs.

He was hurt.

I love the selective criticism from this guy. Chase Utley is on the decline, though his numbers don't decline nearly as fast as Jimmy Rollins, who is apparently going to have a big rebound year. Ryan Howard isn't going to have a power dip because he was injured and that explains his power dip in 2010, while Chase Utley was injured, but this didn't affect his numbers at all...because he is declining.

[Comment From PhilliesPhan: ]
It is funny that over the years Rollins and Howard get crucified in this city but Big Baby Utley gets nothing......

Yes. It is interesting. Except Utley is white. And he likes to curse in public. Imagine if Jimmy had done that?

Now introducing...the race card! Nothing takes a chat from "borderline snippy" to "all-out hostile" quicker than a mention of the race card.

Chase Utley is not a good baseball player anymore because the city of Philadelphia is racist.

[Comment From Kyle: ]
That's completely inaccurate concerning the farm system. The Phils have a top 10-15 farm even with the trades. The issue is that all of their talent in A ball

Talent in A-ball is worthless. Talent in Double-A and Triple-A means something.

I'm not sure even where to begin with this comment. Most players that have talent and make an impact in the majors play in A-ball, so there is talent there. It's not worthless because that talent has to be projected to the majors just like every single other player who plays in the minor leagues. Double-A and Triple-A talent doesn't mean that much more than A-ball talent. If a player tears up Triple-A the it doesn't mean he will be a great player in the majors and the same goes for Double-A players.

It is true A-ball players have longer to go to make it to the majors, but that doesn't mean projecting their talent is worthless. Another issue I have with this comment is that Marcus Hayes should realize many teams keep their best players in Double-A longer than Triple-A and use Triple-A as a reserve for players that either have major league experience or can fit in quickly with the team in case of an injury. So A-ball talent isn't worthless because that is where most of the players get their at-bats before coming to the majors.

For example, Jason Heyward had a 11 at-bats at Triple-A, while he had 162 at-bats at Double-A. He had over 600 at-bats at the A-ball level. Domonic Brown has had 107 at-bats at Triple-A, over 400 at-bats at Double-A and over 700 at-bats at the A-ball level. Don't tell me A-ball talent means nothing because that's where players get most of their at-bats and spend most of their time.

I watch an A-ball team every summer. It's the Marlins affiliate and I find it hard to believe the talent I see every summer is worthless. Over the past three years I have seen Chris Coghlan, Mike Stanton, Gaby Sanchez, and Logan Morrison play. That doesn't include Chris Volstad. A guy who will be in the majors next year, Matt Dominguez, also played for them. These were good prospects at the A-ball level who turned out to be good MLB players. It was clear when I watched these guys at A-ball they could be good major league players.

[Comment From Joe: ]
Has nothing to do with him being white. he plays hard every play unlike Howard and rollins. Why does it have to be about race?

Right. The black guys are lazy. The two MVPs are lazy.

No one said Howard and Rollins were lazy. No one. At least not in this forum. I think this is Marcus Hayes projecting his opinion as fact here.

Where's your hood?

In my mind, this is fairly close to a fireable offense. A person asking a question about why race was brought into the discussion is met with a comment from Marcus Hayes that insinuates he is a part of the Klu Klux Klan. It's a unfair response to a question and pretty out of line if you ask me. Welcome to journalism in 2010. Down we go...

[Comment From GuestGuest: ]
the arrogance of jimmy and howard contribute to people being critical of them. they are the first to accept praise. chase does not look for attention so he does not get a lot of bad attention

Chase hides from criticism. He hides from everything. Some leader.

It's good to hear that Hayes' criticism of Utley isn't personal at all.

[Comment From Aaron: ]
Marcus, do you even like the Phillies because you predicted the Reds would beat them? Now because you have a dislike for a white athlete, you're stirring up the race issue.

I don't dislike the Phillies. I don't dislike Utley. I do my job.

Apparently Marcus Hayes' job is insinuate the people asking the questions are racist and take a piss all over a team's farm system based on incorrect assumptions.

[Comment From Guest: ]
I love when journalists make claims with no proof. Offer any evidence?

Are you blind, pal? You have two MVPs in town who get nothing but ripped. Rollins is worth more to this team hitting .250 than Utley hitting .300 with 30 dongs, simply because he can catch. And what have Howard or Rollins done that was remotely as vulgar and offensive as what Utley did after the parade? Evidence? World Bleeping Champions? Come on.

So because Utley curses this makes him less valuable to the Phillies than Jimmy Rollins? By the way, this whole Rollins is worth more than Utley is all bullshit. I don't know much about the locker room dynamics, that's not even what Hayes is talking about, but on the field Utley's performance has consistently been better than Rollins'.

Crashburn Alley has a great chart that shows how good Utley has been for the Phillies. It is near the end of the post. It shows that Utley is responsible for 5 of the 6 seasons since 2000 that a Phillies player has had a WAR over 5.0. No one is down on Jimmy Rollins or Ryan Howard, quite the opposite, they are both important part of the Phillies team, but if Marcus Hayes starts trying to compare and divide up the Phillies team like this then he is going to be shown to be incorrect with some of his statements.

[Comment From Guest: ]
If you think Rollins is more valuable than Utley than you don't understand player Valuation. Utley's OBP demolishes Rollins. Also his SLG%. And 2b is as scarce as SS. But those are facts which have no place in this chat.

Player valuation is a fraudulent. nerd-bases entity. What's Cody Ross' player valuation, pal?

I think this may be a reference to Ross tearing it up against the Phillies in the NLCS. Really, a comparison of a player in 6 games has nothing to do with a comparison of two players over multiple seasons. The problem is how are you going to tell that to a person who just said player valuation is fraudulent and expect to convince them?

I like how he says player valuation is fraudulent, but this entire chat Hayes has been steering the discussion towards comparing Rollins/Howard/Utley/Werth, which is essentially player valuation, but once the facts start coming out he doesn't like them, cops an attitude and shuts down. It's perfectly fine to say Rollins is more important to the Phillies hitting .250 than Utley hitting .300 with 30 home runs, but once there needs to be proof for this informal player valuation by Hayes he doesn't seem keen on discussing it anymore.

[Comment From Sal Pals Teeth: ]
What team challenges the Phillies next year in NL East?

Man, that's a great question. The Braves could be good for a while, but I'm no fan of Fredi Gonzalez

Which is perfectly fine, and slightly inconsequential, considering he isn't one of the guys on the field playing the game of baseball.

[Comment From Guest: ]
The World Effin Champions finished it for me with Utley. People wonder why the writers are cranky, but I've seen the disdain these guys have for questions and it's just reprehensible. Doesn't it suck to cover these mopes?

Mopes! I love it.

"Brilliant! I love words that aren't often heard in everyday conversation being used in a sentence. It's such a sleek way to speak!" (rapidly claps hands together excitedly)

[Comment From Kevin: ]
Wow, I understand now because Utley doesn't give good sound bytes and isn't buddy-buddy with the media, he's unlikable and not a good interview. This is absolutely ridiculous

No: He's condescending and rarely accountable.

Where's your hood Kevin? Huh? Where's it at? Under your Costco-size box of Skoal? Beside your gun rack? You can't disagree with Marcus Hayes and not get called a name or two.

Not that it matters to you, Mr. Man-Crush.

Right. And this entire chat has been an exercise in unbiased criticism of Utley and a fair look at Jimmy Rollins and whether he is declining or not.

[Comment From JDJD: ]
you people are crazy...lose Utley and watch a real downward spiral.

I agree. The team is a monster as-is. They play great down the stretch, they play hard all the time, they play hurt. You all should appreciate them.

When Marcus Hayes said,

"He's condescending and rarely accountable."

was he talking about himself being condescending in his answer to this question or him not being accountable for saying the Rollins is a better player hitting .250 than Chase Utley is hitting .300 with 30 home runs? Or is talking about his not being accountable for antagonizing those who are chatting with him?

I thought he was talking about Chase Utley not being accountable and being condescending, but it seems it could go for him as well. Criticism is fair at times for every player, it happens to everyone at some point. The message may be on point, but the way the message is delivered was absolutely terrible and filled with references, comments or allegations that really can't be confirmed factually or aren't confirmed factually.

Thanks for chatting, Marcus, and everybody! Keep up with the latest news and conversations at the DN homepage...

Oh yes, I will be keeping an eye on Marcus Hayes. He seems like an interesting guy.


Matt said...

god, that was so awesome, i don't even know where to start.

i'm so glad you covered this. and what a fine job you did. it's hard to imgagine that the Philadelphia Daily News didn't at least have a nice little conversation w/ mr. hayes about this little chat. i also heard it discussed on local talk radio, however it wasn't really critisized all that much.

ok, i'll start here:

"OK. Just chart Chase's decline."

Chase Utley w/OBA:

2005 - .392
2006 - .389
2007 - .420
2008 - .391
2009 - .402
2010 - .373

Yup, he's becoming a disaster at the plate! that .373 w/OBA is just under Jimmy's career high .378 in 2007.

As for Mr. Hayes comment about Jimmy being able to catch the ball - Baer covers this pretty well at his blog, but Chase has been a Gold Glove caliber 2nd baseman, and even if his glove wasn't what it was in the past, it is still elite (2010 playoffs excluded).

The race card thing is beyond amazing. Objectively, who sounds like the real racist here? Certainly not the person questioning Hayes about his Utley critisism. It's a legitimate queery, to which Hayes then assumes he's in the KKK. what if it was a white columnist who said to a chatter "go back to Africa where you belong", or something along those lines. That writer would be fired on the spot. I agree with you that his tone and comments border on a fireable offense.

Finally, as for the World Fucking Champions thing. It was one of my favorite moments as a Phillies fan. I was with my 8 year old step-daughter after getting back from the parade when it happened. i'll never forget it, and i'm glad she was around to hear it. she's heard the f-word a million times, even though i don't say it around her. most phils fans remember it fondly, with only a few people seemingly on their high horses - mostly talking heads. i proudly where a shirt reading simply WFC, and most die hard fans refer to the 2008 title as a The WFC.

Great job covering this Ben. I knew that you would get a kick out of it, and you really knocked it out of the ballpark like Jimmy Rollins in 2011!

Bengoodfella said...

That was an outrageous chat. Crazy chat. I'm out of words now. I'm really glad you alerted me to this chat. It was terrible. I think the Daily News had to talk to him. I understand freedom of speech but he was antagonizing his readers. Every chat has stupid people who ask stupid question, he should be used to it by now.

What I liked most was how he was so high on Jimmy Rollins, but Utley's worst years are comparable to Rollins' best years. I believe the Bill James Fielding Bible had Utley as the "real" GG winner at 2B this year. So that sort of answers the fielding issue.

Marcus Hayes can say whatever he wants in his chats, but "where's your hood" is an inflammatory comment that really has no place in a civilized discussion. Writers get racist emails/tweets all the time. It doesn't mean they should ignore them, but don't stoop down to that person's level. The tone probably will prevent him from having another chat for a little while as well.

Utley probably shouldn't have said "World Fucking Champions" but he was celebrating and it probably just came out. I wouldn't have a huge problem with it no matter who said it. It is unfortunate he said it on live television, but curse words have been said on live television before. Two years later I would think it is a non-issue.

Thanks, I enjoyed covering this and will look for any other chats with Hayes. Rollins could hit 30 HR in 2011, it just doesn't seem like he will have a huge bounceback year and do that though. It was interesting Hayes said Rollins could cut down on his power and get on-base more and then said Rollins would tie his career high for HR. Seems a little contradictory.

ivn said...

I have a hard time believing Chase Utley would be so elusive around such a charming, pleasant reporter like Marcus Hayes.

also, bad column alert. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=5759742
I don't know if you're ready to take on Rick Reilly again but his new column on fantasy football is fucking awful. the kind of breezy condescension we've all come to expect from him. "I thought fantasy football was for losers, but then I was asked to join a league with a bunch of Hollywood types. aren't I great?"

Bengoodfella said...

Ivn, I am actually covering another Rick Reilly column right now. He's so terrible I can't even keep up with him at this point. That is a terrible article though, so I feel like it has to be covered.

I don't know what Chase's problem is either. If he can't love Marcus Hayes then who can he love? I wonder what Utley has done to Hayes b/c he doesn't seem to like him at all.