Saturday’s Goofs Lead to Phillies Closed-Door Meeting – Phillies Nation

Saturday’s Goofs Lead to Phillies Closed-Door Meeting

CliffLeeApparently so. According to Todd Zolecki of, Phillies management was not happy with some of the goings-on during Saturday’s 13-4 blowout loss on National TV. So much so, they closed the doors and had a meeting about it.

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.

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 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.

Interesting. It appears some of the powers-that-be were none too happy with smiling and laughing during a rout.

Are you all about keeping it loose during a long season, or are you too upset with how they handled things during the in-game interview?



  1. G7

    July 7, 2013 at 9:25 pm least someone has a pulse in the organization..I found the in game interview and seed tossing to be ridiculous myself..

  2. David P

    July 7, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Baseball (and sports in general) really boil down to one thing – entertainment. The interview hijinx were entertaining and I think that pitchers on their off day can enjoy themselves in a dug out. I’m on team cliff.

    • G7

      July 7, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Win first then yuck it up later…looks like the meeting had a positive effect based on today’s performance..

  3. Nick M

    July 7, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    What was the score at that point during the interview? I think it was only 3-1 or 4-1. Saw nothing wrong with what they were doing.

    • Anthony B

      July 8, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      I’m glad someone beat me to it. The game wasn’t out of hand at that point. Im sure no one on the bench was laughing by the time that game was over.

  4. Lefty

    July 7, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Seriously? With everything that has gone wrong this season? – Goofy interviews by pitchers on their off-days is what management is worried about?

    Um hello! Your bullpen is a shambles, many of the players on the roster are at an age that health is a constant issue, and your minor league system can’t seem to produce a single decent every day major league player.

    Yup, Throwing sunflower seeds and funny hats during interviews, that’s the reason the team with a 160 million dollar payroll can’t play .500 baseball. That’s what gets the closed door meetings called. They’re worried about their stinkin’ image? I’m starting to believe this club really is being run by a bunch of PR people who scout by reading the backs of baseball cards.

    Ugggh, stories like this really annoy the ___ out of me. Sorry folks, sometimes I just gotta vent.

    • wbramh

      July 8, 2013 at 1:19 am

      Well said, Lefty.

      • J

        July 8, 2013 at 8:22 am

        Perfectly said!

    • "Big Ed" Delahanty

      July 8, 2013 at 5:46 am

      Great response and I share your frustrations.

    • Panda

      July 8, 2013 at 7:50 am

      Lefty, while I agree with most of what you said, the minor league system part kinda pissed me off. Being from an area that I can go see either the Triple-A Lehigh Valley or Double-A Reading it’s not the minor league systems fault. It all comes back to Amaro. The teams have no talent to work with, Amaro has traded it all away in the last 3 years. Guys that were doing great in Reading and were promoted to Lehigh Valley and would have eventually been promoted to the Bigs, were traded away for players Amaro could have on the Phils roster immediately!! He was not thinking ahead and keeping guys in the minors who could be molded into great big league players.

      • PhilliesChick

        July 8, 2013 at 10:30 am

        Panda, I agree with you. Lefty never said it wasn’t Amaro’s fault. In fact Lefty has said that many times in this forum over the last few seasons.

      • Beth

        July 8, 2013 at 11:23 am

        Panda, I have to agree with you 100 % !! they gave away some good talent and now have a lot of young kids who are just not ready. At a time when we need strength we don’t have it !!

      • Lefty

        July 8, 2013 at 11:40 am

        Panda, good comment., point well taken.

        Please understand that all I meant was what I said. I didn’t specify WHY the system is in the condition it’s in, and frankly I don’t have enough time to follow it closely enough to know or discuss. I read Jay Floyd’s columns here at PN, and that’s about the extent of my knowledge.

        What I see is the final product once they come up. And after Dom Brown a few years ago, I haven’t seen much to get excited about. I am hopeful about Franco, and Ruf, and a few others, but I think back to the days when Rollins and Hamels and Utley and Howard were all coming up. We just don’t see that kind of supply chain anymore. That’s what I meant, I’m sure there are lots of hardworking people there trying their best with the low picks we’ve had over the past number of years.

    • joycedaffodil

      July 8, 2013 at 9:17 am

      I agree with almost all you said, except the Minor League system. Yesterday Ruf gave us some idea of what is out there.

      It seems frightening to think of 20+ million dollar every now and then player, has anyone in baseball ever had their contract bought out, in these contracts are there no performance criteria? I think the only way this is going to get resolved is to clean house, there seems to be something in the clubhouse that isn’t healthy, thus seed throwing. I am not sure who is running this club? B. Giles?Amaro? The major millionaires who have no say in how club is run, but again, notice the stands are full. Maybe a boycott day by the fans might get some attention. Gave up our season tickets this year.

      • PhilliesChick

        July 8, 2013 at 10:32 am

        The problem with Ruf is he is 26 years old. He is much older than most of his competition in AAA and older than a good number of major leaguers. And he won’t ever be more than an average replacement major league starter, if he even hits that, which is doubtful. If you want a real example, we will need to look at Singleton when the Astros finally call him up.

    • errin

      July 8, 2013 at 9:50 am

      Great comment! Totally agree! It was funny, stupid, and somehat inappropriate, but worthy of a “closed door meeting”? Management needs to get their priorities in order! It was the only thing in that dismal game that made me smile.

  5. Petty Officer James

    July 8, 2013 at 7:32 am

    I grew up watching Dutch, Dykstra, Kruk, Wild Thing and so on, the Phillies have always been a lite silly team. They weren’t loosing by 12 yet, and the biggest deal in the organization is the lack of consistency. They are either kicking ass or getting their asses kicked. Keep it lite and keep the stress low. They are a team and the dynamic is still there. Amaro was just embarrassed when he should have just shook his head and moved on. Take the stick out of your ass and go with it.

  6. me

    July 8, 2013 at 7:32 am

    At the end of the day, its just a game. I think it sets a great example to kids watching, that will badly losing they are still having fun.

  7. Sue

    July 8, 2013 at 7:36 am

    I thought nothing was wrong with the interview but my husband was very upset over it. I remember last year Hunter Pence running into and knocking over Samuel at third and him and Victorino being hysterical about it for innings. i thought that was inappropriate for the way they were playing and to be laughing. i tweeted them both and told them that if I sucked at my job rhe way they did and laughed about it, i wouldnt have a job! nothing was done about that except to get rid of both of them later on.

  8. The Original Chuck P

    July 8, 2013 at 7:41 am

    I am surprised that there are two sides here… My thought was that it had to be done. Perhaps it was an emotional reaction on the part of ownership/management but this team needs to find a reason to ratchet it up and maybe this was it. This team has been less business than teams in the past… There is seemingly less urgency and less ownership of the overall results which haven’t been great. We all know that the team as we know it is one bad stretch away from being blown up… Rube doesn’t want to do it but he will have no choice if they can’t cut the deficit. Rube is conflicted and upset and probably doing everything he can behind closed doors to convince ownership that they can turn it around. The last thing he wants to see right now is his team of well paid professionals – $160 million payroll serves as proof – acting like they don’t care in the dugout during a game where they have gotten shellacked. The preparation needs to be better, the sense of accountability needs to be greater and if we have any shot, the play needs to be elevated from here until the All-Star break just to get back in it. I’m sure they didn’t really need to hear it but there is a lot riding on the next couple weeks… It’s now or never.

  9. Phillies Phan

    July 8, 2013 at 7:44 am

    This team has way more serious problems than goofing off in the dugout! They need to have more conversations about their lacking performance on the field!

  10. Chuck A.

    July 8, 2013 at 7:45 am

    I gotta disagree with some of you and say that when a team is playing and losing like this team is at times…then there is no place for antics like that on national TV. Like G7 said above…”win first then yuck it up later.” I’m glad that Amaro and Charlie had the balls to say something to these overpaid clowns.

    And what’s with Cliff Lee and the attitude?? Acting like a baby now and questioning it??? Dude…. just shut up and go out and pitch. You’re making $25M per. I’ve got no symapthy for you.

  11. Monti M

    July 8, 2013 at 7:52 am

    I don’t like to see them losing but I wouldn’t want to see them depressed in the dugout. Depression leads to two things; a bad season or amphetamines. It’s a long season and they should stay loose. Plus, they’re entertainers. I would love to see them win. But if they’re not winning then they should do something else to enjoy themselves (play around in the dugout just a bit). Nobody should be threatened for having fun, because after all, even though there’s a business side, it is a game.

    • Chuck A.

      July 8, 2013 at 7:55 am

      I’m not saying they have to be depressed. Staying “loose” is fine. I get that. But this was over the top being on national TV and all. It just sends the wrong message in my opinion.

  12. Annie

    July 8, 2013 at 8:20 am

    I think the management was completely justified. Especially with Mike Adams, who could not pitch his way out of a wet paperbag, all that cabbage to throw sunflower seeds. What is next having a couple of beers while Pap finished the game. This team needs a checkpoint, they completely blow, and it seems they just don’t care.

    • Chuck A.

      July 8, 2013 at 8:30 am

      Adams is hurt…that’s why he was struggling. Not saying he should be exempt from management’s comments, however.

  13. Jennifer

    July 8, 2013 at 8:37 am

    I think it’s stupid needing to have this meeting. None of the guys horsing around were pitching. If they were pitching that day, then I could understand. It’s not their fault the Phillies stink. It’s injuries and the bullpen. It’s also the O’s fault because they can’t get any runs. If something this little is that bothersome they have issues. Try focusing on fixing your team!

  14. Debbie M.

    July 8, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Frankly, I don’t appreciate the idea that FOX Sports is anything but silly in itself. Making it out to be the greatest interview in the world. Talk about jokes! The commentators were thinking we’re going to get this terrific interview and make ourselves look great! Please….While I am disappointed in the way the Phillies have played this year, I think letting off steam is better for the overall health of a team then to let it stew. These guys do have a tendency to act silly at inappropriate times, but it is a game. It sounds to me that management (Ruben and Charlie) are having the jitters here about their own jobs. Let us all start seeing sports as they are, as someone else mentioned, it is entertainment. If you’re worried about your own job, don’t make everyone else depressed about it.

  15. G7

    July 8, 2013 at 9:08 am

    That’s what the meeting was about.. Fixing the you think there would of been a meeting if they won the game?

  16. liz

    July 8, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Cliff Lee can do whatever he wants. Hes Cliff Lee. Best player we’ve got. Baseball is entertainment not brain surgery. Lighten up. If they want to do something construtive, get some better players so we can win!

    • Chuck A.

      July 8, 2013 at 10:00 am

      What??? Cliff Lee can do whatever he wants just because he’s Cliff Lee?? Explain the logic in that.

      • rellis

        July 8, 2013 at 11:40 am

        Yes, please explain the logic in that. I have had enough of the Cliff Lee-can-do-no-wrong in this town! Especially when Cole Hamels can do no right after what he’s done for the franchise.

  17. rednick261

    July 8, 2013 at 9:58 am

    I’m kind of in the middle on this one.

    One the one hand, I think that it would be unfortunate if the guys took a somber approach to hard times on the field. When they’re on the field, they need to be focused on the game and doing their absolute best to win, but when a group of pitchers who are not active in the game decide to have fun while another is interviewed on TV, I have no problem with it. In fact, I found myself laughing hysterically while it was going on. I appreciated that they were able to have fun and stay loose in spite of the team’s sub-par performance.

    On the other hand, if management’s actions in calling the meeting lights a fire under the guys and gets them to perform better, then I like that, too. The one fear that I do have is that management is getting frustrated to the point where they are going to try to manage by fear, which creates an environment where guys will not perform at their best, and some may want out of the situation altogether. As long as management uses the opportunity the right way and doesn’t attempt to overdo it, I think the meeting could have been a good thing.

  18. George

    July 8, 2013 at 10:05 am

    The meeting was likely about way more than throwing seeds. The team has played badly on far too many occassions and that needed to be addressed. The interview incident was the “straw that broke the camel’s back,” and although it may have been a poor excuse, the meeting would have occurred at some point in the near future, simply because you can’t play like garbage half the time without being told about it. Keeping loose is one thing; acting like imbeciles while doing nothing positive is something entirely different.

    While I agree with Lefty that there are more issues than throwing seeds, I will continue to maintain that some of those issues fall on some of the underperforming players themselves, and that their stupid behavior is indicative of that.

    • G7

      July 8, 2013 at 10:11 am

      Absolutely agree George..if they were 10 games up and won Sat night instead of embarrassing themselves on the field, no team meeting..kind oif reminds me of the scene in Moneyball where Jeremy Giambi is dancing on a table after a loss and Billy B comes in and reams em out..

  19. Ben

    July 8, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I think in game interviews are the most ridiculous thing in the world anyway.

    • Chuck A.

      July 8, 2013 at 10:13 am

      Especially when it’s FOX.

    • George

      July 8, 2013 at 10:16 am

      In general, I find in-game interviews more anoying than ridiculous. I tune in to watch a game, and all I get is a player or coach’s ugly face staying stupid things. I want to know the pitch count, the score, who’s on base, how many outs, and all I get is “I…cliche…other cliche…ya know?…um…cliche.” I’d much rather see where the fielders position themselves than have to watch players making asses of themselves.

  20. Mike in NJ

    July 8, 2013 at 10:19 am

    It’s about time someone in management got mad about this team’s performance. I want the players on my team to care as much as I do, and not think it’s funny when you’re getting your ass kicked on national television.

  21. LC9er

    July 8, 2013 at 10:21 am

    The team is not playing poorly because they are goofing around in the dugout. They are playing poorly because they are a crappy team, put together by a crappy GM. Hopefully, someone pointed that out to Rubes during the meeting.

    Also, the in-game interview is terrible and deserves to be treated with complete disregard.

    • Chuck A.

      July 8, 2013 at 10:58 am

      Yeah, but the goofing around in the dugout when they are playing like sh!t… “a crappy team”…sends the wrong message to all the teammates, the rest of the organization and to the fans.

      • schmenkman

        July 8, 2013 at 11:09 am

        Chuck, I get where you’re coming from, but they had just taken 3 of 4 from the Pirates and Braves, and were in a 3-1 game at the time.

        Although I didn’t see the interview it sounds like it got a little silly, but in general I don’t have any issue with some levity during the grind of a 162-game season.

  22. Lefty

    July 8, 2013 at 11:27 am

    If, and it’s a big if, but if Cliff Lee is being quoted in context, then I agree with Chuck that he is being a jerk. I don’t feel any different than I did about this report on the closed door meeting than I did last night, but I agree about Lee.

    if you want to surmise, as George has done, that this was just the straw that broke the camels back, That’s very possible and I can buy into that. But that’s not how it was being reported in the above posting, which is what I reacted to. My response was to these exact words-

    “Phillies management was not happy with some of the goings-on during Saturday’s 13-4 blowout loss on National TV. So much so, they closed the doors and had a meeting about it.”

    • George

      July 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      Some of those “goings-on” probably included being completely overwhelmed 13-4, playing rotten defense, and the bullpen not doing any kind of damage control. It’s also likely the press put their own spin on things. Phils management doesn’t usually say out loud their exact reasons for meetings, and never mentions what is actually said in those meetings.

  23. Chuck A.

    July 8, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Well, I think it could have been that proverbial “straw.” And so what.. SOMETHING had to be done. Their play has been too inconsistent so far. I hear schmenkman when he says that they had just won 3 of 4 games and that it was only 3-1 at the time in this game. ..

    But I think they are at a point in the season where it’s make it or break it. A little shake-up is good sometimes and maybe was warranted here. They responded yesterday and rebounded back nicely. Let’s see how things play out against the Nats this week to see if it has any long-term effect.

  24. Johanna

    July 8, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I think when one of the BEST guys on the team is goofing one of the BEST rookies we have had in a while, it’s all in good fun and not that big of a deal. I think it is a little mis-placed anger on the part of Ruben and company where they had the opportunity to focus on something that was visible to everyone and make a big deal about it. Lots of other teams do goofy stuff on the FOX interviews.

    I’m sure though that the meeting had far more to do about the teams struggles and not so much about seed throwing.

    • Lefty

      July 8, 2013 at 12:14 pm

      Spot on Johanna, on all points. But I think what you said about lots of other teams doing this every Saturday is important. I can’t blame this silliness as a symptom of a lackadaisical team not trying to win. Other teams doing it are winning.

      This team as constructed by management, may just not be good enough to go very far this season, and nothing they do on air is going to change that. It doesn’t mean that they are not trying their best on the field of play, I think they are. Guys like Jimmy Rollins who have played all 89 games, and people think he is not giving it his all. Does anyone know how hard that is for a man in his mid thirties? Every single day after the WBC, and ST. Sheesh, so they had a little fun.

      • schmenkman

        July 8, 2013 at 12:32 pm


  25. Dr. Dave

    July 8, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    To me, it is pretty simple. Management is frustrated. Players (who do care) are frustrated.
    Management had a closed door meeting. I am sure that the hi-jinks during the interview were mentioned. However, that was not the point of the meeting. It was about a team under-achieving.

    Management says: Win some ballgames, we buy. Lose some ballgames, we sell.

    Pretty simple.

  26. Pete

    July 8, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Charlie and Ruben are totally correct. Clowning around when you’re getting spanked by another team makes it look like you don’t care (or is a sign that you really DON’T care). Time for Rollins, Cliff Lee, Papelbon, Ruiz, Michael Young and Delmon Young to go. I wish Howard could be dealt too, but we’re stuck with him. Keep Utley if you can at a reasonable price.

    • schmenkman

      July 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      I didn’t see it, but I understand it was a 3-1 game at that point — is that not correct?

  27. IrishLaw322

    July 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    I’m directly in the middle here… you don’t want the team to get tight — in fact, I can recall this team being quite loose and fun-loving in their prime, with Victorino and Rollins making light of things — but I can understand people (whose jobs are possibly on the line) in management getting a little touchy when they perceive that losses are not hitting the team hard.

    Does this make it more likely that Cliff is going to go?

  28. ChristianT

    July 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I often read comments on Phillies blog sites about Amaro giving away so much minor league talent in recent years, but could someone who feels this way please provide some names? Who are these incredibly talented prospects we gave away who are now flourishing for other teams? I think if you were to list all the minor league players traded away in recent years, you would find that very few of them have become productive major-league players.

    • Hogey's Role

      July 8, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      that’s true and I agree that what we gave up, or who, doesn’t seem to be hurting us, plus you have to realize we were in the win now window and we played great had a good run and the ball didn’t roll the way we would have liked it too… the major names to watch are d’arnaud cosart and singleton… they all should develop into very good players, several others have either debuted and not been very spectacular or haven’t progressed much in the minors, those trades don’t make us look like losers right yet anyway and I don’t know if they ever will..

    • George

      July 8, 2013 at 2:59 pm

      Some of those players traded have been too young to be called up yet, particularly the ones swapped for Hunter Pence, and they are doing quite well in the minors and will very likey be very productive in the ML in a couple of years. The catcher they sent to Toronto is also supposed to be excellent and will be arriving soon.

      As in any trade, some of the players didn’t pan out. But it’s too early to say that all of them are bad. D’Arnaud, Singleton, and a few others have gotten consistently high marks from every scout who’s seen them.

      • Hogey's Role

        July 8, 2013 at 3:49 pm

        Santana a guy I forgot, also traded for pence has been very impressive as well, that was probably the worse trade of them all we gave up some good talent in that one

    • hk

      July 8, 2013 at 4:29 pm


      Of course, when a team trades away 18, 19 and 20 year old players for a proven veteran, the team that receives the prospects is not likely to get MLB results from the deal within 2 or 3 years. However, if you look back at deals like Texas trading Mark Teixiera to Atlanta for Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, Elvis Andrus and Jarrod Saltalamacchia in 2007, you see that in 2008 or 2009, you could not be sure of what Texas had received, but by 2010 and 2011, three of the players that they received were instrumental in the team getting to back to back World Series. Some minor leaguers who have been traded recently and are thriving as young and cheap players are:

      1. Patrick Corbin, who is 10-1 with a 2.40 ERA this year. Corbin was traded to Arizona from the Angels in a deal for Dan Haren before the 2011 season.

      2. Jean Segura, who is hitting .317 with 11 HR and 26 SB this year. Segura was traded to Milwaukee from the Angels in a deal for Zack Greinke last year.

  29. Chuck A.

    July 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    I also wonder if this might be Ruben’s little warning directed at Charlie.

    “Listen, Charlie…I know you’re a player’s manager and all…but these guys need shaking up and what I saw on national TV sends the wrong message when you’re basically playing .500 baseball and mired in 3rd place.. The deadline is a few weeks away, plus you’re playing without a contract…basically a lame duck. Let’s tighten things up a bit.”

    Something like that. How much of that meeting was Ruben and how much was it Charlie??

    • john

      July 8, 2013 at 6:28 pm

      2 things mentioned in other posts hit home with me. moneyball, and the 93 phillies. billy beane teams, and the 93 phillies had one thing in common, they got on base. never seen a team like the 93 phillies, talk about walks, and working a count, plus adding to starters pitch count. look at this years a’s team, what jumps out at your are the walks. and i never heard of most of the guys on the team. the more people on base, and the more pitches you see, the better the advantage to the batter, and more pressure on the pitcher. this team for the most part is fundamentally unsound. it’s getting old. i knew the door had closed when they lost to the cardinals. i blame charlie for bad moves in the playoffs for the reason this team never won it all again. could this team have a late season surge ? i think their a chance. will it happen is another story. really, i’m ready to go with the youth movement. then the ball park will have the diehard baseball fans only, and not all these fair weather fans. the party is over it’s time to rebuild !

  30. Barto

    July 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Maybe Charlie should have been chastised for leaving Kendrick in for so long Saturday night . . . 5 ip 12 hits, throw in a couple of walks – that is horrible . . . at least the hijinx gave me something to watch other than poor baseball

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