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Cliff Lee’s Reaction to the Phillies Team Meeting Was Very Cliff Lee-esque (Awesome)

Jul 8, 2013, 9:51 AM EDT

source:  The Phillies won another series over the weekend. This time they did so against the division-leading Atlanta Braves to cut one game off their lead which now stands at 7.5 games on July 8th. Every little bit of ground is needed at this point.

But a series victory was not the only news to come out of Citizens Bank Park over the weekend as Charlie Manuel has lost his first baseman to the 15-day DL with knee issues. Howard will have an MRI on the knee today to get a better understanding of how serious the issue is and determine whether or not some extended rest will be enough or if surgery may be an option.

And then there was the whole team meeting thing called by Ruben Amaro Jr. and Charlie Manuel. Apparently, someone in the front office was not happy with the team having some fun with Jonathan Pettibone getting sunflower seeds thrown at him and a bubblegum and cup-emblazoned batting helmet placed on him while he did an in-game interview on Saturday night. It was a perfect instance of baseball players having fun and as’s Todd Zolecki put it, “some believe appearance matters.”

Cliff Lee reacted to the talking to in a very Cliff Lee-like fashion. From Zolecki’s article:

“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.”

You’ve got to love Cliff. All business on the mound, all barking at media relations staff off of it.

For RAJ or someone in management to get perturbed about some in-game interview hijinx comes off as pretty humorous to me, even in a defeat as ugly as Saturday night.

It’s tough to really make to much out of these things when nobody wants to talk about it after the fact, but Cliff Lee’s response at least provides some giggles.

[Pettibone screen cap via Alex Reardon]

  1. Chris - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Actually I had a problem with that as well. To me it was a perfect illustration of how this team doesn’t understand the difference between being loose and goofing off. When your team is getting bent over in the middle of the field and you’re in the dugout playing sunflower seed toss, that’s not staying loose, that’s just not giving a crap. And that’s the attitude we’re gonna have to ride out to the end of the season when Manuel retires. Hey, the guy was the perfect manager for the relatively young-yet-veteran, hungry, self-motivated ’08 team, but he’s lost out there now.

    • willh888 - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      Jogging to a shallow flare in RF and letting it drop 4 ft in front of you is not giving a crap. Sitting in the clubhouse during the game is not giving a crap. Hazing a rookie with some seeds is being silly.

      A lot of athletes take themselves way too seriously.. so it’s nice to see a couple guys messing with a teammate during a forced in-game interview. Maybe hold a meeting with Fox and say f-off when they ask to do these stuffy, awkward interviews in the middle of the game. Maybe it would do management some good to take a cue from one of the only two Phillies actually playing good baseball in 2013. Maybe that’s why Cliff maintains such focus.. he knows when to be serious, and when not to.

      • Vance - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        Apparently there was more fun in the dugout than the $80 tickets I paid for up in the club level. I came to watch a ballgame on Saturday (from out of state) and instead I roasted in seats to a crap product out on the field.

        If I wanted to watch grab-assing at a game, I’d save the cash and watch a local beer league rather than professional athletes having at it.

      • willh888 - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:33 PM

        1. You bought tickets to a game in July, complains about the heat.
        2. You seem pretty hardcore about baseball. What are you doing watching the dugout?

        What else did you notice Scoob?

      • VanceIsRight! - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        Yo, Vance is right. Time for more accountability from this group of has-beens.

        I am in a local beer league (out of state, too) that displays way more professionalism than this and we’re not making millions of dollars. We play hard because we love the game.

        The saddest part is the look on my kids’ faces when they see this. Daddy’s getting tired of making up excuses…

      • Zoo With Roy - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:48 PM

        Screw being silly. Halladay would never be bush-league to chuck seeds on a rook.

    • Pete D - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:29 AM

      Cmon. 162 games. Shit like that is part of the reason baseball player is the best job there is out there. There is no correlation between interview hijinks and team success. Look it up.

    • Guest - Jul 8, 2013 at 11:38 AM

      Agree. Lee’s attitude is getting tiring with the team not winning anymore. At least he can play unlike Hunter “but he’s cool on Twitter” Pence.

    • SOP - Jul 8, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      ::wanking motion::

    • Getoverit - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:14 PM

      First of all the score was only 3-1 when this “outrage” occurred. Pettibone is a rookie thrown into a tense situation and dealing with a lot of pressure. If you see them interact it’s obvious that Lee, Hamels and the rest of the staff have taken him under their wing and are helping him stay loose. Clearly he wasn’t at all bothered by it unlike the pearl clutching Fox announcers whose righteous indignation sounded petty and ridiculous. Focus your anger and disappointment on Amaro who signed two of the best pitchers in baseball and surrounded them with a piss poor team then has the stones to reprimand them for this trivial nonsense.

  2. Mike - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    The only thing I take from this is that, for a guy who has built a mediocre team, Ruben has way too much time on his hands.

  3. Murgatroid - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    RAJ is constantly trying to deflect criticism onto everyone else. This is just the most recent example. The Phillies aren’t losing because people aren’t being held accountable, they aren’t losing because players are having too much fun in the dugout, and they aren’t losing because players are underachieving. They’re losing because RAJ is an idiot and devoted a ton of money to aging, mediocre players who have unsurprisingly failed to produce. Cliff has a right to be pissed. He signed here hoping to win a World Series. Meanwhile RAJ has ruined the team around him but pulls stunts like this to avoid blame. The person who really needs to be held accountable is RAJ.

    • Scott Rolen - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      “Cliff has a right to be pissed. He signed here hoping to win a World Series. Meanwhile RAJ has ruined the team around him …”

      Shades of Scott Rolen anyone?

  4. Bender - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Ruben, they’re not a mediocre team because of their lack of professionalism.

    They’re not a mediocre team because their two best pitchers happened to be having some good-natured fun with a rookie early in a baseball game for all of two minutes.

    They are a mediocre team because they have mediocre players.

    All the closed door meetings in the world aren’t going to alleviate that issue.


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