Looks like all of those reports about Cliff Lee heading to the Yankees were premature. Does the Rangers' acquisition of the veteran lefthander make the situation any more palatable to Phillies fans who never wanted to see him leave Philadelphia in the first place?
It is hard to imagine the Yankees parting with Javier Vazquez now that their deal for Lee fell through, although there are still plenty of options on the free agent market. Vazquez to the Phillies was floated as a possibility by a few of the national media outlets, although if such a deal required parting with Jayson Werth it almost certainly wasn't going to happen. That's not to say, however, that trading Werth isn't a possibility. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. made pretty clear that it was a couple days ago when he said he would consider trading a piece off his major league roster if it meant an overall upgrade to the club. Werth is signed through the end of the season, and the two sides do not appear close to an extension. Problem is, Werth is the only right-handed power bat in the line-up, and it's difficult to see who would fill the void if he left. The only way such a move would occur is if the Phillies were overwhelmed with a dynamic player or dynamic players who could help them both this season and the future. Think Phil Hughes instead of Vazquez, for starters.
Werth, for one, said he isn't paying attention to the rumors.
"Honestly, I'm not really too concerned," the right fielder said. "We're 2.5 games back in the Wild Card, we're 5.5 back in the division, and I think it's a winnable division. We've got a team right now who can do it, and we're getting guys back that are on the DL. We'll have guys down the stretch. We're where we need to be. I'm not concerning myself with anything else but that. If something comes up, I'll deal with it."
On Daily News Live today, I downplayed the significance of Werth's outburst at a fan who prevented him from having a shot at catching a foul ball against the Reds last night. After reading some emails from readers about the situation and watching the clip again, I understand why many people are upset. I still think many competitive people would have reacted the same way as Werth did, myself included. It was the 10th inning of a tie ballgame, and who knows what was going to happen during the remainder of the game. But I also understand why many people think an apology is in order. The last thing you want when you take your son to a game is to be embarassed by one of the players.
Werth addressed the situation earlier this afternoon.
"Obviously in the heat of the moment and a situation that goes on on the field, I'm defintiely in a different mindset than I would be in a normal setting," he said. "I don't think I would have yelled at anybody like that if that wasn't the case. We've got the game on the line. If a guy comes up and hits a home run on the next pitch, it's a pretty big deal. Obviously, I feel bad for the guy and kid who were sitting there and the people who were around there. It was definitely out of character a little bit. But I don't feel bad about playing hard and going after balls in the stands and things like that. It's just one of those deals - It's part of the game."
Charlie Manuel said prior to tonight's game that he expects Carlos Ruiz to return to the team tomorrow. Ruiz went 2-for-4 with an RBI last night, and is making his final rehab appearance tonight for Class A Lakewood.
Wilson Valdez was scratched from the line-up due to a sore wrist.