File this one under some sad news for the Phillies. Davey Lopes will not return in 2011 as the Phillies first base coach, according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Lopes has spent the last four season with the club.
Lopes, 65 apparently was in a contractual dispute with the team and felt under-appreciated saying,
“We just had a difference of opinion on what I felt my worth was,” Lopes said by telephone. “That’s all. It was a really tough decision because I loved my time in Philadelphia, I loved working for [manager] Charlie Manuel, and I have the utmost respect for everyone in that organization.”
In his four years in Philadelphia, the Phillies led the National League in stolen base percentage each season. Lopes was a running guru and he will clearly be missed on the basepaths. He also had a great rapport with speedsters like Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins. No word yet on a replacement.
UPDATE, 5:15 pm:
Phillies Senior Vice President and General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. made the following statement today regarding Davey Lopes:
“I found out about Davey’s decision today and clearly we are disappointed that he will not be a Phillie next season. We were hopeful that he would have remained with us as he did a fine job with our baserunners and our outfielders for the last four years. Going forward, we will immediately begin a search for his replacement.”