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News » Bill Conlin wants you to know he was right about Ibanez

Bill Conlin wants you to know he was right about Ibanez

Bill Conlin wants you to know he was right about Ibanez
May 8, 2009 ( delivered by Newstex ) --

Philadelphia Daily News columnist Bill Conlin is, we know, a class act with an open mind. But even Conlin cant resist the chance to say ?I told you so, and this time hes bragging about just how right he was about Raul Ibanez.

I saw Ibanez play often the past 3 years and didnt need Pat Gillick to tell me the Phillies were getting one hell of a ballplayer. Yet when I uncurbed my enthusiasm for Rauls all-around game, despite his age, I was buried by peeved naysayers. ?Worse fielder than Pat . . . ?Horrible arm, cant run the bases . . . ?Lacks Pats leadership and long-ball threat . . . Yadda, yadda, yadda. Weeks and weeks of yadda, yadda and anti-Raul ranting. Maybe its too early to say ?I told you so, but, here goes: I told you so. The guy was the Phillies best player the first month. Pat Burrell, whose defense also has been perfect, has one homer and 12 RBI for the scuffling Rays.

Baseball Daily Digests Bill Baer has already penned an exhaustive post about Ibanezs performance and what many of us expected, so Ill spare you the diatribe. But I feel inclined to point out that just because Burrell is off to a slow start in Tampa doesnt mean he would have started slow had he stayed in Philly . Getting used to a new stadium, a new position and a slightly tougher league isnt easy. Also, just because Burrell is off to a slow start doesnt mean hell finish slow. Hes a notoriously streaky hitter. Last season, Burrell was the teams MVP in the first half of the season (.404/.575/.979) and the teams LVP in the second half (.313/.413/..575). Maybe this year hell start slow and finish strong? And maybe Ibanez wont finish the year with 50 HR and 150 RBI (his current pace). I know thats going out on a limb, but I think Raul is gonna cool off a bit, at the plate and in the field.

My biggest problem with the contract the Phils gave Ibanez is the length. Ibanez is 37 and Ruben Amaro Jr. gave him a three-year deal. Nobody doubted that Ibanez could continue to cheat time for one more year. Maybe two. But three? If Ibanez is still playing at an elite level when hes 40, well, I really will owe Amaro and Conlin an apology.

PS. Hey Bill, remember that column you wrote in September of last year when you wished out loud that the Phillies had Gavin Floyd back? You drooled all over Floyd and his 18 wins, neglecting to take into account his unsustainably low babip. How is Floyd doing so far this season? Whats that you say? A 6.29 ERA? An ERA + of 80? Maybe you were wrong about Floyd? Maybe his high win total in 2008 was more luck than skill? Ha ha! Suck it, Conlin! Score one for wishful fan numbers!Tagged: Bill Conlin, Gavin Floyd, Raul Ibanez

Newstex ID: 34770687

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 8, 2009

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