Posted on: November 9, 2011 12:48 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 12:57 am
That contract the Phillies were discussing with Ryan Madson, the one that was rich enough to perhaps set the bar for Jonathan Papelbon and others this winter?
It might have been too lucrative for the Phillies' own good.
The deal currently is in flux -- with Philadelphia ownership hitting the pause button, according to sources with knowledge of the discussions.
Whether it or not it gets put back on track -- today or in the near future -- now will be the subject of great interest.
Madson and the Phillies on Tuesday were discussing a four-year deal worth $44 million, according to sources with knowledge of the talks, with a fifth year option worth another $13 million. The deal, negotiated between Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and agent Scott Boras, was said to be reaching its final stages -- offered, and accepted. Then it went upstairs to Phillies' CEO David Montgomery, and the club hit the brakes.
This doesn't necessarily mean the Phillies will not sign Madson, who converted 32 of 34 save opportunities in 2011. But it does mean that if they've got pause on the price tag -- a price they initially appeared to be OK with -- they might decide to in a different direction -- Papelbon? Heath Bell? -- before what has turned into a highly curious negotiation finishes.
Madson, 31, compiled a 2.37 ERA in his first full-time season as a closer, with 62 strikeouts over 60 2/3 innings.
Posted on: November 4, 2009 10:00 am
NEW YORK -- Now clinging to their season by Pedro Martinez and a very creaky bullpen, one of the most pressing questions surrounding the Philadelphia Phillies heading into tonight's World Series Game 6 is this:
If the Phillies carry a slim lead into the ninth inning, does manager Charlie Manuel trust Brad Lidge to close it out?
"I don't want to sound like smart or nothing, [but I'm] probably going to use him the way I want to [depending on] when we get there and how I feel," Manuel said late Tuesday. "I'll do a lot of talking in the dugout with [pitching coach Rich] Dubee, and we'll decide on which one we want to put out there."
Lidge is either the Phillies closer or former closer, depending on how you read the tea leaves.
His struggles this season already well documented (he blew a major-league leading 11 save opportunities), the Good Lidge was 1-0 with three saves and no runs allowed in five postseason appearances before the Bad Lidge re-emerged in Game 4 of the World Series.
Looking to protect a 4-4 game in the ninth and give the Phillies a chance to win it Sunday, the Yankees scorched Lidge for three runs and tagged him with the loss.
Tellingly, Manuel summoned Ryan Madson to close Philadelphia's 8-6 Game 5 victory on Monday night, leaving Lidge in the pen.
Afterward, Manuel noted Lidge's high pitch count from the night before -- 30 -- as one reason he didn't use him.
On Tuesday's off day in New York -- the Phillies elected not to work out -- Manuel repeated that his still has confidence in Lidge.
"I sure do," Manuel said. "I think the only thing I'm trying to do with Brad Lidge is get him right. You know what, I'll always have confidence in him. He's got a lot of talent, and he proved that last year when he goes 48 for 48 in save situations. I've seen him work out of some tough jams. I've seen him go bases loaded, nobody out and get right out of it. ...
"I said last night, he is our closer, and basically what we're trying to do is get him as good as he was, or somewhere in between."
If the Phillies lead by a run or two or three heading into the ninth tonight, we'll find out whether Lidge is still the closer. He's had two days to rest after throwing those 30 pitches in a tough Game 4 loss.
He will be fresh.
Posted on: October 14, 2009 10:58 pm
LOS ANGELES -- The Phillies and Crazy Like a Fox Manager Charlie Manuel are at it again.
They named only their Game 1 starter, Cole Hamels, on Wednesday for the NL Championship Series.
Manuel said he'd get back to everybody with further rotation details.
Last round, the Phils named only their first two starters, leaving everybody to guess on their Game 3 starter. J.A. Happ and Joe Blanton were the favorites, which made for a real interesting scenario when Manuel summoned each of them in relief in Game 2.
For the NLCS after Hamels ... based on his starting Monday in Colorado, Cliff Lee probably will pitch Game 3. Happ, who started Sunday in Denver, likely will pitch Game 4.
Which leaves Game 2 a mystery.
Don't look now, but indications are that it could be Pedro.
Manuel said Wednesday that Blanton and Happ would be available out of the bullpen in the "first few games" of this series. Martinez, meantime, threw a simulated game Tuesday in Philadelphia.
Which means, adding two and two, you get ... Martinez as the Phillies' Game 2 starter?
"I'll say this about Blanton: I definitely look at Blanton as a starter," Manuel said a moment after confirming that Blanton would be available out of the bullpen in Game 1. "I told you before, he is the guy that can really set our bullpen up. In front of [Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson] ... give me some leverage in the back, if that makes sense.
"And I feel like he is that guy, ... with the mentality and the go get 'em and the grit and the desire and whatever you want to say."
Regarding Martinez, who has not pitched in a game since Sept. 30 and has thrown only seven innings since Sept. 13, Manuel said he was impressed with Pedro in Tuesday's simulated game.
"His stuff is there," Manuel said. "That speaks for itself. Tremendous, beautiful pitch. And therefore he gets back his command. In order for him to pitch good and win games, he's got to have good command."
Posted on: October 29, 2008 6:12 pm
PHILADELPHIA -- Arguably the most unusual game in World Series history is set to resume at 8:37 p.m. this evening, with Philadelphia and Tampa Bay tied 2-2, and the most fascinating thing of all is that the tactical moves will begin immediately.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said just before batting practice Wednesday that Ryan Madson will "start" for Philadelphia. The first Phillies pitcher will take the mound in the top of the seventh inning.
Before that, Manuel is expected to pinch-hit for pitcher Cole Hamels, whose spot in the order is up first when the game resumes in the bottom of the sixth.
Reliever Grant Balfour is in the game for the Rays, and the big question will be whether Rays manager Joe Maddon will immediately go with left-hander David Price or allow Balfour to face what is expected to be a left-handed pinch-hitter for Hamels -- likely Geoff Jenkins, possibly Matt Stairs or Greg Dobbs.
If Maddon does go to Price, the danger is this: The pitcher's spot in the lineup is up fourth when Tampa Bay hits in the top of the seventh. With the Rays only getting three at-bats and the Phillies four (barring extra innings), Tampa Bay can ill afford to give up an out.
Another option, of course, if Maddon elects to start Price is to double-switch right out of the gate.
"I think we're going to find out real early," Manuel said of the Price question. "He came in against us in Florida, of course, and he went through our left-handed hitters twice, ... I figure that, evidently, they gained confidence in him there.
"And I think we're going to see him."
Tampa Bay's Maddon declined to divulge whether he will stay with Balfour or switch pitchers immediately. He also declined to say whether he would even have another pitcher warming up when the game resumes, so stay tuned.
In addition to Price, the Rays will have starter Andy Sonnanstine available.
"David threw about 40-some pitches his last time out," Maddon said. "He has not pitched as a starter in awhile. I'm a little concerned about how many pitches he can throw. I would say, comfortably, 50 to 60 would be within my mental range.
"Andy, I have to check with him but I believe he's going to be fine. I've already had Hick (pitching coach Jim Hickey) start that conversation with him, but I have not heard back yet. But I would say Andy is good for the same number."
As for Manuel's decision to start with Madson, even though it surely will be an odd feeling for the right-hander to be pitching so early and right off the bat, the manager said he thinks it will be fine.
"He's got experience and, a couple of years ago, he was a starter," Manuel said. "He's been throwing the ball real good. I think from a mindset (perspective), he also knows that we've just got actually three innings of baseball for our bullpen to pitch."
Never before has a World Series game been suspended like this. There have been 40 postponements in World Series history, 29 because of rain, one because of cold (1903) and the 10-day postponement following the San Francisco earthquake in 1989.
The weather here in Philadelphia is cold and windy. Game-time temperatures are expected to be somewhere between 42 and 44 degrees, with a wind chill in the 20s.
Posted on: October 10, 2008 10:13 pm
PHILADELPHIA -- I can't say for sure whether Game 2 of the National League Championship Series here was the toughest game Philadelphia's Charlie Manuel ever managed, but surely it was. The skipper mostly stayed secluded Friday after learning that his mother had passed away earlier in the day, skipping pre- and post-game news conferences, appearing only when his team was on the field.
Manuel learned that his mother, June, had passed away in Virginia at the age of 87 Friday morning following a pre-game strategy meeting with his coaches. He was in a room with his coaches when he took a phone call and learned the news. His mother had been hospitalized earlier this week.
Making for an even sadder day for the Phillies, outfielder Shane Victorino learned immediately after the game that his grandmother, Irene, had passed away.
As Manuel privately grieved and the club prepared for the Dodgers, news of his mother's death affected the entire club.
"I went up to him right before I warmed up before the game and told him, 'I want to win this for your mom today,'" Phillies starting pitcher Brett Myers said.
Myers said Manuel and his mother were on his mind for much of the game.
"I told him after the third or fourth inning that I loved him," said Myers, who notably became involved in a dugout shouting match with his manager earlier this season, an argument in which the two men had to be separated by Phillies coaches.
Manuel's response to Myers' expression of love?
"He said, 'Let's go! Pitch, kid!'" Myers said, slipping into a dead-on impression of Manuel's West Virginia accent.
"It was tough," said closer Brad Lidge, who collected his second save in as many games in this NLCS. "I think we all tried to make our rounds to him and tell him we're sorry for his loss. Even though we didn't say it verbally, I think we all wanted to win this game for him. You play baseball, but family comes first.
"I'm glad we won today. Whether people say it or not, we all have a ton of respect for him."
The Phillies did not have any information on services for June Manuel. After the game, a club spokesman said Charlie was planning to board the team charter to Los Angeles for Game 3 of the NLCS on Sunday in Dodger Stadium.