In what was a display of competitive desire or selfish immaturity, Phillies pitcher Brett Myers (above) took umbrage took over being lifted in the 8th inning of the Phillies 4-2 victory over the Pirates and manager Charlie Manuel was having none of it. From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Myers pitched the third consecutive strong outing by a Phillies starter, working into the eighth inning, and picked up the decision last night in his team’s 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. But Myers had words with Charlie Manuel after the manager went out to lift him from the game.
After giving up a ground-rule double to Chris Gomez, Myers retired Freddy Sanchez on a hard line drive to shortstop Jimmy Rollins for the second out in the eighth, but Manuel came out of the dugout to bring in left-hander J.C. Romero.
Myers turned his back and walked toward second base when he saw Manuel coming. When Manuel reached the mound, Myers was visibly upset and appeared to say,“This is my [expletive] game,” before leaving to a standing ovation from the crowd of 45,060 at Citizens Bank Park.
Television cameras showed Manuel confronting Myers after returning to the dugout. The two exchanged words and Myers turned his back on his manager, who tried to grab him by the shoulder until Myers disappeared up the tunnel leading to the clubhouse.
Manager and player had a brief meeting after the game, however. Myers admitted to reporters, “It’s my fault.”
“I’m a competitor,” Myers said. “I like competing and I wanted to stay in and finish the game. But sometimes your emotions get the best of you and you might do something irrational out there. He thought I did. That’s part of the game. It’s all patched up now, though. We’re buddies”.
I am happy to read that Myers and Uncle Cholly have no lingering hard feelings but this was not Myers “fucking game”, it was the Philadelphia Phillies game. Regardless of Myers pitch count and recent effectiveness after being demoted to AAA, he had still given up 3 hard hit balls that inning (kudos to the Phillies fans who ducked out of the way to allow Jason Werth to reach into the stands to make the first out) and given Myers propensity of giving up big innings and coughing up the longball, it was a prudent decision by Manuel to go for the near-automatic JC Romero vs lefthand batter 2-out situation (especially when the very capable Chad Durbin was available for the 9th) and minimize any chance of the Pirates getting back into a game where the Phillies had to win. It also wasnt like Myers was blindsided as pitching coach Rich Dubee called for a time-killing conference at the mound before Myers last batter, obviously to buy time for Romero to loosen up. Myers is embarrassingly silly looking when he is angry and after showing up his manager on the mound, I give Cholly all the credit for waiting until he got back into the dugout before laying into Myers rather than going at it with him right there on the mound.