Charlie Manuel lost his cool during his postgame press conference last night, snapping at a reporter:
For those who can’t see the video, a transcript of the conversation can be read over at CSNPhilly.com. He ends the presser when the exasperated reporter asks him “when are you gonna score ten runs?” and Manuel says “when I knock you out, that’s when.”
In defense of Charlie Manuel, the questions he was asked leading up to that exchange — is the lineup “going to be fine” and what will he do if it isn’t? — were kind of dumb questions. they’re the sort of things a reporter asks not because he wants or needs information, but because he’s writing a story and needs to insert a quote from Charlie Manuel to put in right after “Manuel is not worried, however, saying …” or “Manuel sounds worried …”
I mean, really, how on Earth does Manuel answer that in any way that provides information and insight? What’s he gonna say? “No, I think we’re all doomed. I think the only thing any of us has to look forward to is the inevitable march to the grave.” Please.
That said: Manuel has been in this game a long time now. And he knows that an essential part of a manager’s job is to answer dumb questions in a way that doesn’t create controversy. It’s sad that so much time of ballplayers and managers is spent doing this and I know that if we were inventing the whole relationship between baseball teams and fans anew the current role of the press would be radically different than it has come to be, but that’s not where we are. Manuel knows this and the fact that he lost his cool about things is now a much bigger deal than the dumb question ever could have been.
Now it’s part of a talk radio and newspaper narrative in which the Phillies aren’t only underachieving, but they’re out of control in some way and Manuel has lost his patience and all of that. Bad times.
In Saturday’s column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo suggests that free agent Cliff Lee is seeking a guaranteed major league deal between $6 and $8 million plus incentives. That is turning some otherwise interested teams away, as the lefty is still recovering from a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow. Lee hasn’t pitched since July 31, 2014.
Last month, Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker said the pitcher would need “a perfect fit” to pitch in 2016. He also noted that Lee has begun a full offseason throwing program.
In his most recent season, Lee compiled a 3.65 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 12 walks in 81 1/3 innings for the Phillies. The Phillies had signed him to a five-year, $120 million contract in December 2010 but declined a club option for the 2016 season, instead buying him out for $12.5 million.
In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.
Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.
Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.
The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.
MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.
Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.
“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”
Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.
MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.
It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.