Trouble in the Phillies Clubhouse? – Phillies Nation

Trouble in the Phillies Clubhouse?

You can’t ignore it now. Last night, after the Phillies third straight win to make is five of their last six, starter Cole Hamels made it clear (sort of) he was upset with manager Ryne Sandberg‘s decision to pull him in the eighth inning after Hamels allowed a lead off home run.

He dodged questions on whether he was upset with Sandberg.

Hamels is now the fourth player to appear to have an issue with some of Sandberg’s decisions. The other three were Kyle Kendrick, Dave Buchanan, and Domonic Brown.

Prior to Hamels, the players that were displeased weren’t super stars. They weren’t in the same class of player that Hamels is. Hamels led the team to a World Series title in 2008, and just got a big contract. And he’s one of the best left-handers in the game.

That’s why this cannot be ignored any longer. I know that it’s normal for players to want to stay in the game, get more playing time, etc. But it’s now a trend, and I don’t think it’s a good one.

There is apparent trouble in the locker room, and regardless of who you may think is at fault (I’m in no position to make a guess)–both Sandberg and the players need to address it with themselves and the media before it gets out of hand. The Phillies–and the fans–don’t want a Hall of Famer in his first year at manager to lose the team for any reason. That would just add on to the list of sub-optimal things that have happened in 2014 for the Phillies.



  1. Rabbi

    August 27, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Hamels’ troubles last night started during the Scott Hairston AB in the 7th. Hairston took an inordinate amount of time to get in the box initially — and then he stepped out of the box again just as Hamels was ready to start his wind-up. You could see the exasperation in Hamels when that happened, and it was all downhill from there. This is a problem I’ve seen with Cole before. The opponents know it, and they use it against him. Frandsen did the same thing in his AB later in the 7th.

    • Jonathan Nisula

      August 27, 2014 at 8:05 am

      I’m not arguing that, though. I agree that he should’ve been taken out, and I also realize that Hamels has a right to be upset as well.

      It just seems to me (enough obviously to write on it) that there’s a rift in the locker room between the players and Sandberg

  2. KEG

    August 27, 2014 at 7:40 am

    If you’re a starting pitcher and aren’t ticked about giving up 3 runs to end your game and one of them is a game tying homer….then you shouldn’t be a starting pitcher. It doesn’t matter if you’re a superstar or not. Hamels was starting to leave his pitches up. Sandberg made the right move. Did I want to see Hamels get the win, sure, but it was time for him to be removed. Same for the Buchanan removal the other night. This trouble in the locker BS is just to stir up crap. Just so you know…anytime Dom isn’t in the game for defense is a good move. Hello future DH.

    • Jonathan Nisula

      August 27, 2014 at 7:50 am

      I think there’s a lot more to it than just Hamels being upset. When is the last time four different phillies players insinuated displeasure with a manager?

      • Vinnie

        August 27, 2014 at 8:14 am

        I think Sanburg has communication issues with his team. I also think he has already lost them.

        How can you bench players (Rollins and Howard) without even telling them why? Yea, they probably figured it out after the fact, but it should be explained to them from the manager. I think that the frustration from the players is mounting, and is starting to show.

      • Hugestones

        August 27, 2014 at 8:50 am

        The last time four players complained about a manager? Larry Bowa was the manager and is now the bench coach. Sandberg is an ahole manager just like he was an ahole teammate, just like he “left” the game because he didn’t like the way the game was going and the players were turning into. He might be an ok x’s and o’s guy (but I question that) but it’s obvious he’s a horrible communicator and relationship guy, a aka Charlie’s strengths.

        This tough guy manager crap doesn’t fly anymore. If Chuck was manager this would be a .500 team. Just saying.

  3. bigdaddy

    August 27, 2014 at 8:08 am

    The players are acting like spoiled brats. There is know reason they should show-up their manager with immature comments and actions

    The real question is did Phils management make a another bad decision in bringing in a manager who had no mlb managing experience for a team whose core players are veterans.

  4. Chuck A.

    August 27, 2014 at 9:48 am

    If Hamels was going to come out it should have been in the 7th inning. OR… he shouldn’t have batted in the bottom of the 7th and Giles should have just started the 8th. Hamels has a right to be upset. He was flat out dealing for 6 innings. If he had struggled throughout the game that would be one thing. This is pure mismanagement and disrespect for your ace pitcher on Sandberg’s part.

  5. Bart Shart

    August 27, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Let’s face it, the Phillies stink and it is NOT Sandburgs fault. You cannot blame him for shaking things up. Kendrick has no reason to bitch. He stinks and the Phils should demote him to the minors. Dom Brown has stunk all year. And Hamels is a big baby. Personally, I’m glad Sandburg is shaking things up a little. It would be a damn shame if Sandburg gets any of the blame for Amaro’s ineptitude as a GM.

    • rellis

      August 27, 2014 at 11:39 am

      Been hearing this for years now. How exactly is Cole Hamels a baby? I honestly don’t understand this sentiment about this competitive bulldog of a pitcher that has the respect of MLB but not in his home fan base even after winning a championship. You’re going to miss him when he’s gone.

      • Lefty

        August 27, 2014 at 11:54 am

        Nothing new here. This home fan base has been like this as long as I can remember. I went to plenty of games where they booed the man that most baseball people now view as greatest third baseman of all time. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like the web was in every ones household back then. Luckily, he never left.

      • schmenkman

        August 27, 2014 at 12:17 pm

        And when will Hamels start talking to the media again? Oh, wait — that’s another lefty.

        Seriously though, Hamels’ stats are comparable to Carlton’s at the same age, and I’d say probably better. If Hamels stays to the end of his contract, I’ll look forward to the debates when I get to be an old man on who the better Phillies lefty was.

      • Lefty

        August 27, 2014 at 4:07 pm

        Oh boy,
        That’s a can of worms there pal, a gigantic can !

        I’ll give you one guess which side I’ll come down on.

    • glutenous

      August 27, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      The home fan base, it seems, did not get over Cole’s 2009. He underachieved just one season after being the only ace on a less than spectacular staff, leading the team to the WFC. He was described as a head-case that year. He would constantly seem to allow his emotions effect his performance. For example, being frustrated over lack of run support, leading to implosion. I wouldn’t blame it entirely on that, as this was the year he was also sort of further developing his other pitches (not fastball or change up) out of necessity. It can be argued that if Cole had performed better in 09, the Phils would have had 2 WFC in a row.

      That said, Cole has moved on from that stage in his career and is now a bona fide ace on any squad. The fan base, however, doesn’t seem to want to ever get over it. He is in his prime and is truly a complete pitcher now. I do not wish to see Cole ever leave town. Hopefully, he will play out his entire career in Philly and we will see the team compete for a championship again sometime before the end of his tenure.

      • schmenkman

        August 27, 2014 at 10:38 pm

        Funny thing about 2009, in the things that he could most control, he was just as good as in 2008.

        Good article by Matt Swartz here:

        “Taken all together, Hamels simply is the same pitcher he was last year. He throws the same pitches at the same speeds, and induces the same amount of contact and same magnitude of contact. He throws as many balls and as many strikes.”

  6. George

    August 27, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Another example of the press blowing a player’s disgust (probaly disgust with himself) out of proportion. Hamels DID NOT SAY ANYTHING in criticism of Sandberg, and also didn’t say anything about his own performance, which he surely knew was lousy after the 6th inning.

    As far as the other players, some frustration is to be expected from a Kendrick or a Brown, who are having pretty terrible seasons. Buchanan probably wants as much time on the mound as possible to prove he’s a capable starter. Whether Sandberg has been handling these situations very well is impossible to say without being in the clubhouse, but he must be under enormous pressure being manage of a terrible team. I’m not sure he’ll ever be a good manager, but this is his first year, so I’ll cut him some slack for a while.

    Maybe four players complaining is too many, but I don’t think it’s the first time it’s happened on a ballclub. There have even been punches thrown at other managers from time to time. I’ll also say it’s not four, but only three, until Hamels actually complains. “It was a good game, and we won,” is not a complaint in my book.

  7. Lefty

    August 27, 2014 at 11:16 am

    I agree the players and manager need to address this, but I don’t think they need to explain anything to the media. In fact, I’d prefer they didn’t, just take care of it in the clubhouse and be done with it. If I were in charge, my explanation to the media would be “We took care of it” end if story.

    The only thing I ever want to see or hear is the sight and sound of bats cracking and gloves popping. I have always believed the best managers handle things privately, maybe that’s just me.

    • Jonathan Nisula

      August 27, 2014 at 11:23 am

      I’d like to see them address it to the media simply because if the media is guessing, it’ll just fuel the fire. Address is once and be done with it

      • Lefty

        August 27, 2014 at 11:35 am

        That’s cool. As you can probably tell, most of my comments here come when the game is on, The other stuff is interesting to me, but not nearly as much.

      • George

        August 27, 2014 at 3:13 pm

        The media isn’t guessing, they are just making assumptions based on their own biases.

        Clubhouse issues, or non-issues are clubhouse matters, anyway, and the press shouldn’t be in on it. If I were married, I certainly wouldn’t want the entire world to know every time I disagreed with my wife.

  8. andys2424

    August 27, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Sandberg would have been better off with a younger team like the Cubs. These older vets won’t give him the time of day. They’re grumpy, whiney and need to be unloaded ASAP. GM needs to be s-canned too.

    • Chuck A.

      August 27, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      I’ll take this as frustration and not an actual serious comment.

  9. Ken Bland

    August 27, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    There might be a story here. But it’s difficult to pinpoint what it is, ad how extensive it is.

    The recent pace of wham,bam, thank you maam heightens it, but if we count Hamels dodging questions last night, it’s at least the 3rd time he has been less than agreeable with when he was pulled. He was pulled earlier than he’d have liked in his first post injury start. 130 pitches sometimes, right around 100 others might be confusing. And is Bob McClure any sort of a factor ion this? Go back to spring training, and Jimmy Rollins came across as jacked around.

    Bowa, 2 days ago, was quoted as saying Sandberg communicates effectively with players. If nothing else, that reminds that unless you’re on the inside, it’s a lot of guesswork, unless you are shortsighted enough to just want to discredit the opinion entirely.

    The only steadfast thing I’d cling t is that to this point, Utley hasn’t complained. When a guy like him does, then you’ll know you have a problem. Until then, I lean toward it just being part of the process. Kendrick’s frustrated, Brown has limited, if any credibility, and that’s pretty cool that Buchannan stood up for himself. As for Hamels, who can blame him for being frustrated.

    • George

      August 27, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      And just how do you know that Utley has never complained?

      • Ken Bland

        August 27, 2014 at 5:30 pm

        Respect the English language. Understand words. Recognize the words used. Big time misquote. Just how do you know is an apples statement to an orange thought. Clinging, ie., thinking, suspecting don’t have nothing to do with a convictional position like I know. Which wasn’t used.

      • George

        August 28, 2014 at 8:15 pm

        Just what are you trying to say? You said Utley hasn’t complained, you didn’t say that you THINK he hasn’t complained. You said it was a THING you’d cling to, not a belief or an opinion. You basically stated it as ironclad fact. That’s why I asked how you know that. I don’t see any misquotation, disrespect of the language, or apples to oranges comparisons.

        Maybe you should look over some of the poorly worded hooey you post before you hit the “submit comment” button. Then maybe you’d understand why some people think you’re unintelligible and others are confused by your ramblings. Calling someone out for misunderstanding what you yourself have so horribly stated just points out further your inability to make clear, concise, statements, especially when you attempt do it in the same spastically worded manner.

        You need to decide what is germaine to your own chosen subject and learn to edit out all the extraneous rambling nonsense about whatever happens to echo through that space between your ears. You need to stop wording things in a way thet you (and probably ONLY you) think are clever (i.e.”The recent pace of wham,bam, thank you maam heightens it…”) and stick to some better grammar, real sentence structure, and better word usage.

  10. kjeeee

    August 27, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    1) I don’t know any pitchers who likes getting pulled. He wants to stay in. Good! The Phils need more intensity and fire in their bellies.

    2) They are somehow winning.
    Getting upset at Sandberg = winning

  11. TJ'smom

    August 27, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    If any of you have been in management you know that you need to make decisions that will benefit the whole even if individuals get upset. As far as far as I am concerned Buchanan and Hamels can hold their own with their abilities. Brown and Kendrick haven’t done much to be beneficial for the team. I am talking about Sandberg not Amaro’s thought process.Amaro’s is awhoke different topic.

  12. Bob D

    August 27, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    I think its more of an issue with the reporters than the team and the players.

    • Ken Bland

      August 27, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      I am universally known for my simplicity. Make your point, vaminose. So it should come as no surprise that I pay my respects to Bob D, who in 1 sentence, spoke dialogue better than anybody since The Chief went, “MMMM, Juicy Fruit in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Wonder whatever happened to Randall from Jack’s support staff of sickos in the dingbat wing.
      What a moron that nurse was.

      • George

        August 28, 2014 at 8:22 pm

        No, you are not known for your simplicity. You are known for rambling on about things that have no relationship to other comments, and sometimes no relationship to your own comment. . “What a moron that nurse was”–what the hell is that supposed to be about?

  13. betasigmadeltashag

    August 27, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    What is Bowa going to day Sandberg didn’t communicate well with the players. I think there is a little disconect between Ryan and this veteran team. And if continues into next year then it will be an issue. I am not a big Sandberg guy and think it was a bad choice. I always thought they should have waited until the end of last year to let Charlie go and taken some time in the off season to find a good fit.
    Saying that I think it is a learning process for both players and coaches. And I believe good managers adapt and change. The start of next year will be the key for Sandburg to see if he can adjust to the roll. He may be able to I will give the guy the benifit of the doubt the he can become better. This year he has made some, dare I say many, rookie manager mistakes.

    • Ken Bland

      August 27, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      You missed the boat on your assessment of the Sandberg hire. Hiring him wasn’t a mistake. The 2 “mistakes” were one, many people overexpecting his managerial ability, suspecting he’d be different than Charlie. Charlie was frequently criticized for in game management abilities, and people assumed Sandberg’d be different/better. Hadn’t a one of ’em ever seen him make a bullpen change, but they assumed he’d be excellent at it. Guy managed in the bushes for 6 years, a couple of which were in this organization, so he knew some players, wasn’t anything wrong with giving him a shot. You’re fair to consider 2nd year growth, with a dose of skepticism on it. Not likely that the Weavers of the world would have looked back on their first year at the helm and realized what a learning curve running an MLB team, let alone a not too good one would be.

      The other “mistake” regarding Sandberg, and that is a poor word choice, but I’ll stay with it is comparable to do you marry the first girl you date. Sometimes you have to be patient. I’m not telling you Sandberg shouldn’t have taken the job, but to this day, I don’t look back on my thought at the time of what would happen if he played it coy and chanced what else might come along. That’s a we’ll never know, but it’s easier to do cancer research than to have expected the last part of last year and this one to have gone differently.

      Re Bowa, the what’s he gonna say card is a silly play. Fact is, he said it, and it provides a measure of assessment that is usable, rightly, or wrongly. For all, I know, maybe it’s right, although it doesn’t seem to be.

      If there was a standout choice that came to mind, I’d be more agreeable to the Phils having passed on Sandberg. Clueless on that possibility. But he was deserving of a shot. Seems like the GM’s more important than the manager anyway.

  14. lew

    August 28, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    The only person attending or watching the game who thought hamels shouldnt have come out was hamels. Even the outs the nats made in the 7 th inning were hit hard

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