Philly Inquirer columnist to complaining Phillies: “Shut up and play. Be quiet and pitch.”

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There has been some general friction between Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg and some of his players this year. Specifically the younger ones who don’t feel they have a set role. We saw this over the weekend when David Buchanan and Domonic Brown both gave quotes criticizing Sandberg’s treatment of them. Buchanan for being taken out of a game before he thought he should be taken out and Brown over playing time.

Bob Brookover of the Inquirer has a message for those two:

Shut up and play. Be quiet and pitch.

That’s the free advice being offered here to all Phillies players and pitchers – especially the younger ones – who want to gripe about how they are being used by manager Ryne Sandberg.

You know me well enough by now to not be a huge fan of that kind of stance, but here I think I tend to side with Brookover. Neither Brown nor Buchanan are being misused by their manager. Or, if they are, it’s not in any truly significant way. Contrast this to how young prospects get buried on benches sometimes or are publicly called out on other times. That can be bad. Here? Sandberg may or may not doing the best he can, but if he’s not, it’s clear that the difference between the best and what he’s doing isn’t the difference between the Phillies being in first or last place. Or these players being All-Stars or not.

It’s been a crappy season in Philly. Lots of losing. No one is particularly happy. Sometimes, when you’re on a team where everything is crappy, you do best by not telling the media how your particular situation feels crappy on that particular day. You just endure it like the other 22 dudes on the team are enduring the same crappy situation. In silence or, short of that, voicing your displeasure when the clubhouse is closed to the press.

MLB executive: Bruce Maxwell’s kneeling may keep him from finding work, not his arrest

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In September 2017, former Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first major league player to kneel during the national anthem, joining the handfuls of NFL players who had been doing the same to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Maxwell’s effort was laudable, but he got into trouble a month later when he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct. Maxwell allegedly pointed a gun at a food delivery person.

Maxwell, 27, played sparingly for the Athletics in 2018 and then was designated for assignment at the beginning of September. He officially became a free agent on November 2 and has had trouble finding work in the month-plus since.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Maxwell fired his agent, Matt Sosnick on Thursday because he’s still jobless. According to an unnamed MLB executive Slusser spoke to, “It’s the kneeling thing that might keep him from getting another job, not the arrest. Owners aren’t going to want to deal with that whole anthem issue.”

That makes a lot of since since abusive players haven’t had too much trouble finding new work otherwise. Addison Russell, Jeurys Familia, and José Reyes, among others have either stayed with their teams or quickly found new work. Given the relatively weak catching market, had Maxwell only had the assault charge, there is no doubt he would have been signed to be a backup catcher somewhere.

In the NFL, Colin Kaepernick — who popularized kneeling during the anthem — has remained unsigned even though teams have opted to sign and start clearly inferior quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley, and Sam Bradford, among many others. Team owners tend to run conservative in terms of politics, so they may not like the protest to begin with, then there is the public blowback to signing such a player as those who dislike such protesting make up a slight majority in the U.S., according to various polls including one done by the Washington Post.

It’s worth noting that Maxwell has a career .240/.314/.347 triple-slash line in 412 plate appearances. We’re not talking about J.T. Realmuto or Buster Posey here. That being said, there have been 15 other catchers to have put up a lower aggregate OPS since 2016 (min. 400 PA). One of those players, Derek Norris (.600 OPS since 2016), signed a minor league contract with the Tigers just three months after being suspended by Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy. Makes you think.