Results tagged ‘ Mick Billmeyer ’

Joyner, Billmeyer to Join Tigers Coaching Staff

The Phillies announced shortly after the 2013 season Wally Joyner would not return as assistant hitting coach.

They announced a little more than a week later he had changed his mind.

But then today the Phillies announced Joyner left the organization again to “pursue other opportunities.” Sources confirmed a FOXSports.com report Joyner will become the new Tigers hitting coach.

Those sources also said former Phillies catching and bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer will be named Tigers bullpen coach.

Joyner received high marks this season from players, particularly leftfielder Domonic Brown, who enjoyed a breakout season. Steve Henderson is the Phillies’ head hitting coach. The Phillies are expected to hire somebody to replace Joyner.

Billmeyer was one of the most well-liked people in the clubhouse and organization because of his high-energy personality, positivity and sense of humor. It is why the Phillies moved him into the dugout this season.

The Phillies still remain without a pitching coach since deciding not to renew Rich Dubee’s contract. They are still interviewing candidates. A source said they recently interviewed former Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis.

The Phillies previously offered the job to Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell and Pirates special assistant to the general manager Jim Benedict.
Both declined.

Billmeyer Won’t Be Back

billmeyerThe Phillies announced today that long-time coach Mick Billmeyer will not be back next season.

Billmeyer might not have been the most high-profile coach on the big-league staff, but his presence loomed large in the clubhouse. Earlier this week, the Phillies announced pitching coach Rich Dubee will not return. It could lead to bullpen coach Rod Nichols being promoted to pitching coach, or the Phillies could go outside the organization to fill the spot.

Billmeyer joined the organization in 2000 as the Minor League catching coordinator before he joined former manager Larry Bowa’s staff as catching instructor in 2004. He served that role five seasons before he became bullpen coach in 2009. He held that position four seasons before the Phillies moved him into the dugout as catching coach this year.

Billmeyer, 49, was one of the most well-liked people in the clubhouse and organization because of his high-energy personality, positivity and sense of humor. It actually is why the Phillies moved him into the dugout this season.

Besides his regular duties, he simply had a knack for knowing when to keep things loose in the clubhouse. The Astros swept the Phillies in a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park in Aug. 2010 to drop them three games out of first place in the National League East. The Phillies then flew to San Diego to open a seven-game road trip. Billmeyer, sensing the team was down and tight, had players rolling on the ground before the series opener at PETCO Park, impersonating pitchers’ mannerisms on the mound.

The Phillies swept the series and finished the season 27-8.

Sure, it might have been coincidental, but he frequently brought levity to the clubhouse when it needed it.

Manager Ryne Sandberg must fill the coaching spots vacated by Dubee, Billmeyer and himself. He had been third base coach before the Phillies fired Charlie Manuel in August.

Watch Those Tricycles, Charlie!

Charlie Manuel occasionally reminds people he has been in baseball 50 years.

In other words, he has seen almost everything.

But it took until this afternoon for a grown man pedaling a tricycle to crash into him on the field. The Houston Astros had a mid-inning tricycle race between two men, who pedaled from the Astros dugout down the third-base line past the Phillies dugout down the first-base line. One of the contestants steered his tricycle smack into Manuel, who was seated on the warning track between pitching coach Rich Dubee and catching coach Mick Billmeyer.

Billmeyer and Dubee nearly collapsed from laughing.

Manuel chuckled a bit, too.

“That three-wheeler got me,” Manuel said after the 7-1 victory at Osceola County Stadium. “I saw him, man. I thought, ‘He better get over.’ He got me. He ran over me with a three-wheeler. Dubee was supposed to stop him there, isn’t he? He’s supposed to save me. He let me get run over. He said, ‘Go ahead, hit him.’ He ran over my toes too, man.”

Years from now nobody will remember the details of this game. But everyone will remember the time some dude rolled over Manuel’s foot on a trike.

“Watch those tricycles, Charlie!” Phillies front office advisor Dallas Green said afterward.

 

Phillies Hire Samuel

The Phillies announced today they have hired Juan Samuel to be their third base coach and outfield instructor.

Sam Perlozzo, who served as the team’s third base coach the previous two seasons, will move from third base to first base and handle the team’s base running instruction. The Phillies hired Samuel because Davey Lopes, who handled the team’s outfield and base running duties as first base coach the previous four seasons, left the organization following a stalemate during contract negotiations.

Samuel and Perlozzo join pitching coach Rich Dubee, hitting coach Greg Gross, bench coach Pete Mackanin and bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer on the 2011 coaching staff.

“I feel fortunate that we were able to add someone of Juan’s stature to our coaching staff,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said in a statement. “He was a tremendous Major League player and a big part of Phillies history and I’m looking forward to him passing on his knowledge of the game to our players. He’s a great addition to our organization.”

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Phillies Deny Stealing Signs (Again)

mick.JPGIt seems every year somebody accuses the Phillies of stealing signs, doesn’t it?

“Every year,” Shane Victorino said. “Every year we’re accused of cheating somehow.”

The latest accusation: The Rockies complained to Major League Baseball that Phillies bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer used binoculars from the visitor’s bullpen in center field Monday to help relay signs to Phillies hitters.

MLB issued the Phillies a warning.

“Absolutely no,” Charlie Manuel said of the accusations. “Absolutely (bleeping) no. Absolutely not.”

Rockies manager Jim Tracy strongly disagreed.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s out of line,” he said. “It’s one thing in my opinion to go out and play a club as tough as you can possibly play it within the framework of the way they’ve structured things to be done. And cheating, until you get caught, nobody says that you don’t explore something like that. But if you’re cheating and you get caught, you know what? Then you’d better do something about it. That’s my reaction to that.”

A FOXSports.com report said the Mets might have complained about the Phillies stealing signs earlier this season, but the Phillies and MLB are unaware of it. But the Mets have suspected the Phillies of stealing signs for some time. They formally complained to MLB in 2007, saying they use a camera in center field to help relay signs to hitters at the plate.

Manuel got fired up when the Mets were mentioned.

“Somebody ought to check on the Mets if they did (complain) because their … home record is out of this world and they’re losing on the road,” Manuel said. “That’s a good indication sometimes, if you want to know about signs and (stuff). When I see somebody is 17-2 at home and 4-12 on the road I kind of get concerned about that. That kind of crosses my mind.”

The Mets are 14-7 at home and 4-8 on the road.

So why do so many teams think the Phillies are stealing signs? Former Phillies manager Larry Bowa, who coaches third base for the Los Angeles Dodgers, said during the 2009 World Series that teams suspect the Phillies of stealing signs at Citizens Bank Park using a center field camera.

“Because we beat them,” Manuel said. “That’s why. What the hell? Keep crying. I’m sure if they can steal signs they’ll steal them. And believe we will, too, if we can get them. Yeah, we will. Legally. If you’re dumb enough to let us get them then that’s your fault. That’s been in the game for a long time.”

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Credit to @phylan for the screen grab.

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

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