The World Champion Philadelphia Phillies dropped four games to the Houston freakin’ Astros this weekend, and Charlie Manuel was not at all pleased:
“I hear some of them talking, saying we’re a team that plays better when we have to. [Expletive] the last couple years. What the hell? That don’t mean [expletive]. Last year is dead and gone. We play for today . . .When I get up in the morning, I feel good. When the game is over, the last four, five days, I haven’t felt too damn good.”
One of those losses came on yet another Brad Lidge blown save. Apparently Manuel doesn’t want to [expletive] the part of last year that had Lidge’s name written down in permanent marker as the closer, however, because Manuel appears to be sticking with him.
The Phillies have lost eight of 13, mostly it seems, due to bad hitting, not poor pitching. But if Manuel is going to shake this team up — and he certainly sounds like he wants to — maybe throwing some bats into the shower, demoting Brad Lidge and showing everyone that they can be replaced if they don’t step it the [expletive] up is the best way to do it.
Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.
Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.
The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.
It’s been on the verge of happening for a few days now, but now it’s official: the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista have reached a one-year deal with a mutual option. The deal is pending physical. An announcement making the deal official is expected later in week.
The exact financial figures have not been disclosed, but Jon Heyman reports that it will be in excess of the $17.2 million Bautista turned down when he turned down the Jays’ qualifying offer.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.