Charlie Manuel is not [expletiveing] happy

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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.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.