Results tagged ‘ meeting ’
A veteran player Saturday said their players-only meeting should not be judged a success or failure based on Saturday’s score.
He said that before the game.
Good thing because the Red Sox clobbered the Phillies, 10-2, which followed Friday’s 12-2 clobbering. Things are bad for the Phillies. They are 7-16 since their 12-2 victory over Pittsburgh on May 17. That is the second-worst record in the National League and the third-worst record in baseball.
Only Baltimore (5-18) and Pittsburgh (7-17) have been worse.
The Phillies have averaged 2.39 runs per game since May 17, which is last in baseball. That is nearly half-a-run worse than the Pirates, who rank 29th (2.83 runs per game). The pitching has been awful the past two games, overshadowing the fact the Phillies have scored just four runs in two games against the Red Sox.
Charlie Manuel got agitated yesterday afternoon when asked if he would hold a team meeting if the Phillies could not break from its offensive funk.
He said he hated meetings. He downplayed their importance. He recalled how players made fun of the manager during them, and how players leaned to their teammates and said, “God, I wish I could fight him right now.”
But it’s funny what another shutout will do.
Manuel held a relatively short meeting following a 5-0 loss last night to the Mets, and here is why:
- The Phillies have been shut out in consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 7-8, 2008.
- They have been shut out three times in four games for the first time since June 23-26, 1990.
- They have been scoreless in 37 of the past 38 innings.
- They have not scored a run in 28 innings against the last four starting pitchers they have faced: eight scoreless innings against Daisuke Matsuzaka on Saturday, eight scoreless innings against Tim Wakefield on Sunday, six scoreless innings against R.A. Dickey on Tuesday and six scoreless innings against Hisanori Takahashi on Wednesday.
Manuel likes to say how teams can’t help but look dead when they aren’t scoring runs. But this current slump appeared different to him. He saw a lack of hustle, a lack of enthusiasm. So he decided to speak up.
“I’d like for us to pick it up a little bit,” he said. “I’d like for us to be more intense and get a little fire about us.”
Manuel’s anti-meeting remarks before last night’s game reminded me of Larry Bowa‘s anti-meeting remarks before a game in Montreal on Aug. 28, 2003. The Phillies had lost eight of nine games, but Bowa said he absolutely had no plans to hold a meeting. Then the Phillies lost 4-0 to the Expos and he blew up. I mean blew up. Brett Myers got into it with Joe Kerrigan and everything. Crazy times.
The Phillies held a player-only meeting on the bus to the Montreal airport and the next night Pat Burrell snubbed Bowa after hitting a home run at Shea Stadium. Tyler Houston, who was the best pinch-hitter in the NL at the time, took the fall and was gone the next day.
Last night’s meeting was relatively short and sweet. From what I gather, Manuel did not raise his voice much, if at all. He said a few things and everybody went about their business.
We’ll see if it works.
Manuel called a team meeting before tonight’s game against Houston at Citizens Bank Park because his team has looked listless lately, losing five of its last seven games. Something has to change and change quickly because if the Phillies keep losing and the Braves keep winning life will become unnecessarily stressful for them.
“It was just some things I wanted to tell them,” Manuel said. “It was a very short, positive meeting.”
Did anybody speak up?
“No, I did all the talking,” he said.
The Phillies look tired out there, but Manuel said that is no excuse.
“Look, we haven’t played good,” Manuel said. “If you don’t hit, you don’t look good. If you don’t score runs, you don’t look good. Anytime you don’t hit or score runs, you don’t look good. You’ve got to play through this. Every year, you go through it. You just have to come out and do the things you’re used to doing.
“We’re not in first place because we’re not any good. We’re good. I know we’ve got the best team in our division. I feel that 100 percent.
“We’re still loose. I’d say we’re very loose. We’re not panicking.”
Well, they’re not, but they are making their fan base a little nervous.
The Phillies have not renewed contracts for the following Minor League personnel: Domingo Brito, Dominican Summer League Phillies manager; Luis Melendez, Gulf Coast League Phillies coach; Jerry Martin, minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator; Jerry Lafferty, pro scout; Sal Artiaga, Director of Latin American operations; Mal Fichman, Independent League Coordinator; and Aris Tirado, Gulf Coast League Phillies pitching coach.
It’s how it happened that bothered Charlie Manuel the most. So he held a 20-minute team meeting following Sunday’s 12-3 loss at Citizens Bank Park.
You can bet Manuel did most of the talking.
“Today’s game got me a little bit,” he said. “I’ll be very honest with you. Today’s game, how we played, things that happened in the game, how we went about it and things. It was not about how we played yesterday or nothing like that, and not because we lost three games in a row.
“I was upset kind of with how he played today. I felt like we lost our composure and we did some things that we usually don’t do, and we didn’t play like we usually play. … We’re not the team that you saw on the field today. I think that we definitely can be much better than that. We are better than that.”
What was said?
“Whatever I said is my business,” Manuel said. “I hope my message was sent.”
This was a bad weekend for the Phillies. They had a chance to step on Florida’s throat. They had a chance to kill its spirit. If the Phillies had taken 2 of 3, they would have had an eight-game lead in the National League East with a little more than a month and a half to play. But now it’s down to 4, giving the Marlins a feeling they could actually upset the Phillies.
That’s the last thing the Phillies wanted.
The Phillies have lost eight of their last 11 games. They’re averaging 2.9 runs per game in that stretch, which is the worst average in the Majors.
Shane Victorino‘s ejection in the seventh inning might have been the most bizarre ejection I’ve ever seen.
I would expect Pedro Martinez to start for the Phillies sometime this week. An announcement could come Monday because I don’t see how the Phillies can wait to announce their pitching probables until Tuesday, when they open a three-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Jamie Moyer might get pushed out of the rotation at this point. Signs just point that way.
“When I need to be addressed or spoken to, I’m sure I’ll be spoken to or I’ll be told what’s going on,” Moyer said. “We don’t make the decisions here. We just work here.”