Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hey -- at least it's only September

The Phillies and their distraught fans can be glad this embarrassment happened on Sept. 5th and not Oct. 5th.

Hey -- at least it's only September

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Charlie Manuel was ejected from Sunday´s game after arguing with umpire Joe West. (Lynne Sladky/AP)
Charlie Manuel was ejected from Sunday's game after arguing with umpire Joe West. (Lynne Sladky/AP)

Angry reactions heard after Sunday’s emotional Phillies loss.

1. Somebody has to get Cowboy Joe West under control.
Don't forget -- this is a sport run by a cadaver, Bud Selig.

2. Charlie Manuel made a huge mistake by asking for a review of Hunter Pence’s drive to the top of wall.  By asking the umpires to review the play to see if it was a home run, he opened the way for an inveterate publicity seeker like West to jump in with both cowboy boots and rule interference.

On Matt Gelb’s blog “The Phillies Zone,” on Philly.com, Charlie vehemently disputes this claim.  He also points out that Florida manager Jack McKeon would not ask for a replay that might turn a double into a home run.

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West responded by saying that calling for a replay was appropriate because the Phillies argued the deep fly was a homer.

"Once we look at the replay, we have to use all the evidence that replay gives us," West told reporters.

By the way, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark points out that no protest has been upheld since 1986. But the Phillies should at least get an explanation of why the umpires could make a ruling on a defensive play and assume Bryan Petersen would make the catch.

3. Manuel made another mistake by putting in reliever David Herndon and worse, leaving him in for four excruciating innings.

At that point it was either use Antonio Bastardo for the fourth straight day, or use Ryan Madson for two innings.  Or more. Since it was September 4th, there was no point in either.

4. It’s a good thing this happened on Sept. 4 and not Oct. 4.

Amen.  But the chances of it happening in October remain very high.  Bastardo and Madson will pitch nearly every night, and if a starter has to leave the game before the 7th, getting to B & M will be torturous.  And, pitching every night will make the two of them a gamble, too.

5. So what's the solution?

Try scoring more runs.  As much as we all love piling on Charlie and the pigpen, keep in mind that the millionaires in the lineup were 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11. Fan faves Chase Utley (0-7) and Pence (0-6) were especially awful and Super Shane (1-6) wasn't far behind.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the high-priced offensive stars could give Roy Halladay more than two runs in his six innings?   That team they just lost to is 27 1/2 games out after winning two straight from the Phils.

6. Has new acquisition John Bowker made contact yet?  Perhaps even a foul tip?  Egads.  No matter what Lehigh Valley is doing in the AAA playoffs, wouldn’t slugger Brandon Moss be a better pinch-hitter?  It’s not like they’d have to release Bowker, with the expanded roster.

7. The fan who interfered with Hunter Pence's double-turned-into-an-out was Alex Dicandio, a college student in Tampa. He probably goes to South Florida and was still hung over from celebrating the win at Notre Dame.

The dirtbag actually was proud of himself and preened for the South Florida news media.  What happened to throwing these clowns out of the parks?  Or fining them for disorderly conduct?

Finally:  Sunday was David Herndon’s birthday.   So don’t be too rude if you see him in the pancake house at breakfast on Monday morning.

Contact Don McKee at dmckee@phillynews.com

Inquirer Sports Writer
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About this blog
Don McKee arrived at the white Inquirer building the same month (August of 1974) that Richard Nixon departed the White House, but claims no connection. He has covered Penn State football, the Flyers of Fred Shero, the Eagles of Dick Vermeil and backed up several beats. After 25 years covering high school sports in three cities and two states, he says the only teams he is allowed to root for are Conrad Weiser High School and Penn State, his two alma maters. LIKES: Straight talk. HATES: Spin doctoring and mindless devotion to conventional wisdom. Reach Don at dmckee@phillynews.com.

Don McKee
Don McKee Inquirer Sports Writer
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