The Phillies have a team meeting to put an end to hijinks, shenanigans and tomfoolery

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The Phillies took two of three from the first place Braves over the weekend, but Saturday’s loss was a rout and Ruben Amaro did not take at all well to the Phillies smiling and joking around during said rout. Todd Zolecki from MLB.com reports:

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Friday the team needs to play well before the All-Star break or there could be changes to the 25-man roster. So when the front office watched players giddily shower Jonathan Pettibone with sunflower seeds and place a batting helmet and paper cup (with gum as an adhesive) atop his head Saturday during a FOX in-game interview in a 13-4 loss to Atlanta, it did not sit well.

It sparked Amaro and manager Charlie Manuel to call a team meeting before Sunday’s game.

When a team is struggling and pressing managers and front office types tell them they need to loosen up and have fun out there. When they loosen up and have fun they get a talking-to. Gee whiz.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.