Morosi: “Phillies Will Finish Ahead Of Braves This Year”
For Philly fans out there who think the national media despises their teams, a word from the Twitter feed of one Jon Paul Morosi:
(Listen to National Baseball writer Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com talk about the Phillies and Braves on the Sports Bash).
Of course, the pick does ring like the ultimate contrarian move, and it's totally possible that Morosi colleague Joe Buck may still hate the Phillies (and you).
But this does mark the first national pundit to back them.
At least relative to the Braves, who added B.J. Upton and Justin Upton this offseason. In fact, his prediction pretty conspicuously lacks (a) any reference to the Nationals and (b) any reference to the National League East.
And this, of course, should be taken with salt. Lots, and lots of salt. How much? Tough to say. PunditTracker.com doesn't have an entry for either "Jon Paul Morosi" or "Jon Morosi," so your guess is as good as ours.
Though, we were able to pull up this, noting that Morosi only predicted the Giants-Rangers 2010 World Series "on the eve of (that year's) postseason," which is a bit different from sorting out 30 teams before one of 162 games are played.
That said, salt. Lots of it.
Still, some points worth noting:
On for Morosi's rotation comment: The 2012 Phillies' team fielding-independent pitching (FIP) -- it's like ERA, but accounts for defense behind a pitcher -- ranked sixth in baseball, and their wins above replacement (WAR) ranked eighth.
And that, of course, was with 21 starts of Joe Blanton and a combined 69 games without Halladay (shoulder, lat) and Cliff Lee (abdominal).
Still, the Braves ranked eighth and 10th.
As for his premise altogether: Last year's Braves won 94 games -- before constructing the on-paper best outfield in baseball. That was good enough for a four-seed in the NL postseason. In 2012, the Phillies won 81.
This is only a consideration if the Braves, for one reason or another, totally implode.
So what you really need to ask yourself is, does (1) acquiring Michael Young, Mike Adams and Ben Revere, (2) getting back a healthy Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley and (3) the baseball equivalent of the 2012 Lakers mean 13 wins?
Guess we'll hafta find out.