Tomorrow may be the day of reckoning for the lackluster, just-below-mediocre 2013 Phillies. That’s when Ruben Amaro and his gaggle of stubborn, stuck-in-their-old-ways executives will meet to discuss the future of the franchise. Will the Phillies be buyers (oh please God no) or sellers at the trade deadline? The answer to that question may very well be dependent on the team’s play during the current home stand. So, it apparently rubbed Rube the wrong way when Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, both veteran interview bombers, harassed Jonathan Pettibone during his in-game interview on FOX Saturday night. The Phillies were trailing 3-1 at the time. They went on to lose, 13-4.
Amaro and Charlie Manuel were so enraged at their millionaires acting like humans while the Phillies were trailing that Manuel called a team meeting before the game yesterday. Doesn’t sound like Cliff Lee was a fan.
It sparked Amaro and manager Charlie Manuel to call a team meeting before Sunday’s game.
It sounded like they had a tough audience waiting for them.
“I’m not doing the in-game interview today,” Cliff Lee barked at a Phillies media relations staff member beforehand in front of a MLB.com reporter. “If they’re going to get mad about that, we’re not doing them anymore.”
Asked about the meeting, Amaro said, “I have nothing to say.”
Did it go well?
“Nothing to say,” he repeated.
“I’m not going to comment at all about that,” Lee echoed.
The Phillies have occasional meetings throughout the season, but this one carried some additional significance with Amaro and the front office involved (Manuel usually calls meetings to talk to his team). But on a typically quiet Sunday morning, there was a flurry of activity with doors opening and closing, and catching coach Mick Billmeyer summoning pitching coach Rich Dubee and bullpen coach Rod Nichols from the bullpen so Amaro could speak with the entire coaching staff.
The clubhouse closed to reporters a short time later.
No truth to the rumor that Lee gave Amaro a wet willy during the meeting. But he probably should have.