Charlie Manuel says it's time for a talk.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. . .it's only spring training. But Manuel isn't satisfied with the way these Phillies have been playing. After the latest in a string of losses - 7 of the last 8, to be exactly - the Phils manager told us he's planning on addressing his team at some point in the next few days. The topic of discussion? Underachieving.
“It’s about time for us to talk,” the Phillies manager said. “We’ve got some guys who are too cool. . .there’s a fine line between having a real good time and being relaxed and enjoying what you are doing and taking it for granted and getting complacent. We’ve got some of that, but it’s nothing we can’t take care of.”
Seems Manuel thinks that some of his players are coasting. He didn't say which ones, but six projected regulars are currently hitting under the Mendoza Line. It's probably a safe bet that Manuel isn't concerned about Chase Utley, who has hit over .290 in each of the last three seasons, or defending NL MVP Jimmy Rollins. In fact, he's said he isn't concerned several times.
Jayson Werth and Geoff Jenkins, both of whom are expected to play extensively in right field, each went 0-for-2 to drop their spring averages to .174 and .162 respectively. Joining them at or below the Mendoza line are outfielders Pat Burrell (.194) and Shane Victorino (.250), catcher Chris Coste (.222) and infielders Rollins (.156) and Utley (.200).
But Manuel seems to take exception more with the attitude of certain players than the production.
“I think different individuals will look at things in different ways and I think sometimes they like their position. . .and they take for granted that just because they are a regular player they are always going to be or that somebody can’t beat them out, and that’s not the right attitude to take.”