Charlie Manuel auditioned for his fourth inning ejection by second base umpire Angel Hernandez by a public and prolonged harangue of his entire team in the dugout after they gave up a sloppy run to Florida in the bottom of the first inning of last night’s game.
The normally placid Manuel strode back in forth in the dugout engaged in an animated monologue as players looked past him or stared out into space. No one appeared to be listening but given Manuel’s performance doubtless everyone within earshot heard him. Some would argue the long overdue rant awakened the slumbering Phillies and propelled them to their 8 – 5 comeback victory over the Marlins but I am not among them.
The Phils won last night because of a little luck, a little pluck and the Marlins’ own brand of bonehead defense. In the process, they pulled out another improbable win over a dominant Dontrelle Willis.
Jimmy Rollins’ dash home when Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla took his sweet time returning the ball to Willis following a bloop hit that had already scored two runs was the key moment of the game. Give J-Roll credit for seizing that moment and, probably, ignoring third base coach Bill Dancy.
As Jimmy goes, so go the Phillies.
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The Phils’ chances of landing Dontrelle Willis when the left hander becomes available are probably somewhat on the order of persuading Steve Carlton to appear in a ESPN reality show. Too bad. If nothing else, they could use Willis’ bat off the bench. He is some kind of ball player whether pitching or faking a bunt and swinging away. The guy has serious moxie.