Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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Charlie Manuel, Flipping the Bird and Talkin' About Practice

Is it just me, or is Charlie Manuel's slavish devotion to his veterans getting as irritating as a Red Sox-Yankees game?

Charlie Manuel, Flipping the Bird and Talkin’ About Practice

(Eric Risberg/AP)
(Eric Risberg/AP)

Is it just me, or is Charlie Manuel’s slavish devotion to his veterans getting as irritating as a Red Sox-Yankees game?

Clearly the manager wants to find out if Brad Lidge can be of any help in the post-season and the only good thing about that is he did so on August 8th.

Lidge’s tottering performance at Los Angeles on Monday night, saved only when an idiotic base-running blunder by Juan Rivera gave him an out and kept another runner from advancing, should have shown the manager all he needs to know.

Charlie’s uber-devotion to leftfielder Raul Ibanez is more forgivable, since Ibanez can occasionally still flash back to 2008. But Lidge’s brilliant 2008 now is shown only in the highlight films.

Should Brad Lidge be a late-inning relief pitcher for the Phillies in the playoffs?
Yes. He's proven he can do the job when it counts.
Yes. But only as a backup to Stutes and Bastardo.
No. His best days are behind him and he's not reliable enough.

Let’s put this experiment to rest.

AND SPEAKING OF ... the Yankees—Red Sox, if you think games between these two are interminable, you’re right. I know die-hard baseball fans who can walk their pet turtle between Josh Beckett pitches.

SI.com and the MLB network broke down Sunday night’s glacial 10-inning Red Sox victory and what they discovered makes a farce of baseball’s rules regarding the pace of games.

SI.com found that, in selected innings, Beckett averaged 23 seconds between pitches with nobody on and 43 seconds with runners. He once took 59 seconds between pitches to Eric Chavez!

That wasn’t even acceptable in 1911, when fans attended games in horse-drawn buggies, let alone 2011.

The rules say a pitcher must deliver a pitch within 12 seconds with no one on or else a ball is added to the count.  But, as Tom Verducci of SI.com pointed out, no umpire has enforced that rule in two years, since Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon was targeted in 2009.

Sox manager Terry Francona said the umpires mentioned nothing to him or to Beckett about the pace of the game, adding he didn’t think Beckett was stalling deliberately. But Francona did say the Red Sox have received letters on occasion after long games and he expects to get one this week, too.  A stop watch might be better.

WHAT’S IN A NAME? The Los Angeles City Council just voted to approve a plan that will build an NFL stadium in downtown LA by 2016.

The proposed name is “Farmers Field.”

I know, I know...it’s an insurance company.

But, really? In the glitter capital of North America? There hasn’t been a farmer in downtown LA since Zorro.

'SALUTING' THE CROWD. A Kansas City Chiefs fan who was arrested in 2009 at a Chiefs-Chargers game after flipping off the crowd was subject to the NFL code of conduct but did not commit any crime under California law, a San Diego judge has ruled.

In her Aug. 5 ruling, Superior Court Judge Gale Kaneshiro said the gesture was an alleged violation of the NFL code but not a crime.
In other words, the team can kick him out, but not lock him up.

Eagles fans, you have been warned.

'TALKIN’ ABOUT PRACTICE? And finally we offer this note of light humor:

Asked about a sloppy showing by the Green Bay Packers offense the night before, quarterback Aaron Rodgers channeled his inner Allen Iverson.

“Practice?” Rodgers said in a deadpanned tribute to the former Sixers star’s oft-imitated rant. “We’re talking about practice? Not talking about the game, talking about practice, right?”

The Packers open preseason play at Cleveland on Saturday.  Rodgers promised to wear No. 3.

Contact Don McKee at dmckee@phillynews.com

Don McKee Inquirer Sports Writer
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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