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Larry Bowa on the Phillies’ current play: “It’s not big league baseball”

Jun 3, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 1.47.13 PM Getty Images

Phillies bench coach Larry Bowa appeared on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philly today and he ripped the Phillies a new one.

Bowa said he’s angry and that the clubhouse is angry. He said that the young players aren’t stepping up and may not have the best baseball instincts. He called out his pitchers — Roberto Hernandez specifically — for not going deep enough into games and said “if you’ve got a big league uniform on, you gotta go more than five innings.”

He called out Dom Brown for his attitude somewhat subtly, saying Brown comes to the ballpark happy every day and Bowa’s not sure how he can given his poor performance. He also said that if you take away Brown’s good “five or six weeks” last year he hasn’t done much and made it sound like, if he were in charge, Brown wouldn’t be playing. Though Bowa admitted that there aren’t many alternatives.

He called this past homestand the worst he’s ever seen and summed it up by saying that the Phillies just aren’t playing big league baseball right now.

Go here to listen to the entire interview.

It’s not often that you hear someone call out a team from the inside like this. It happens, but it’s rare. It’s even more rare when it’s a coach as opposed to the manager. Larry Bowa has a track record, of course, but he’s not in charge. And you have to wonder how happy Ryne Sandberg and the Phillies’ brass is that he ripped the club in public like this.

  1. tbird05 - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    There will either be some serious damage control, or he is a short-timer…and I’m not talking about because he is old.

    As honest, and accurate as he may be, saying publicly that the sky is falling (even if it is) is probably not the best tactic for the Phils leadership. Of course, if they had leadership, this wouldn’t be a topic on HBT right now…

    • zengreaser - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:51 PM

      Completely disagree. First, Bowa’s not getting into trouble for this. This is par for the course for Larry Bowa. Plus, when you have the resume Bowa has (arguably the best shortstop in franchise history, a World Series champion, multiple All-Stars), you get a pass on certain things. Secondly, I don’t think it was a bad tactic. Sandberg has already held 2 closed-door meetings with the players. It’s time to go public. Doing so serves a two-fold purpose: it (might) light a fire under the players who are currently playing like poo, plus it puts pressure on the ownership group to finally hold Amaro accountable for putting together such a craptastic roster.

  2. jimmywho14 - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    Bowa is absolutely correct!!

  3. theebbandflow - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    As if they didn’t know he was going on local radio AND going to say this stuff.

    Come on…

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      It’s entirely possible they did not know. Radio hits are super casual things. It’s a text like “hey, can you come on tomorrow morning and talk a bit?” followed by a “sure.”

      • theebbandflow - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:07 PM

        Don’t buy it.

        It’s Larry Bowa. Him of MLB Network fame. As you said yourself, he’s got a track record.

        Nah, this all sounds like something that was at least tacitly approved. As others have said, probably acting as Ryne’s enforcer. About time too.

  4. scotttheskeptic - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    This is Bowa being Sandberg’s heavy, to my way of thinking. Oh, and this team has returned to the Spring Training standard of, “horrible, and unwatchable.”

  5. mdpickles - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    RAJ deserves his his fair share of blame for this team. However, the ownership group, specifically David Montgomery, operate in the stone age. Whenever RAJ is canned, I do not trust the owners to find a good hire. Brian Cashman ’15!!

    • jrbdmb - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      You had me until the last sentence fragment. What exactly has Cashman proven except that he can assemble an occasionally winning team with a $200M budget?

      • chadjones27 - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:07 PM

        Occasionally winning is still better than the declining pile of ancient poop RAJ has kept around.

      • brewcrewchamps - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:53 AM

        Cashman has a declining pile of ancient poop. Just better quality poop. Better quality poop is also more expensive too.

  6. nolanwiffle - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    Pretty sure we’ve already established the phact that they’re phinished, and their phuture is murky… best.

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:09 PM

      Pherget it!

  7. schmedley69 - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    Bowa is playing the bad cop role that Dallas Green has been known to play in the past by calling out players in the media. I’m sure that this has the organizational stamp of approval. It is meant to ruffle the feathers of some players, but some of those players don’t care enough to let it effect them. That is the root of the problem.

  8. phillysports1 - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Oh please, Hernandez has been doing fine lately. But blame it on our farm system. One day we’ll get to see Franco & Giles !

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:11 PM

      Yea….when youre blaming the #5, whose ERA is 4.03…that is a stretch.

      Everything else I agree with

  9. El Bravo - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    [biting tongue]

  10. sportsfan18 - Jun 3, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    About time someone called a spade a spade…

    Ryno HAD to know what he was getting into though… The Phils had a great run from like 2008 to 2012 but what goes up must come down…

    The Phils record the the season and a half before Ryno took over was beyond bad…

    Any new manager taking over the Phils was going to be in for a rough stretch…

  11. mancave001 - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    We Phucking suck. We have guys at the bottom of the lineup batting 180 for crap’s sake. Our pitching blows. Fire RAJ immediately.

  12. mancave001 - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    We Phucking Suck. Pitching is a nightmare, and so is offense. We had two guys batting under 200 for crap’s sake. Fire Ruben ASAP.

  13. jerseygirl57 - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    So Bowa’s not OK with Dom Brown coming to the ballpark in a good mood everyday, but he’s OK with Chase Utley basically shrugging off every loss with “can’t do anything about it now.”? I get to watch the post-game news conferences on the news every night, and if he says that one more time, I may go to the park and slap him! (And I’m not even a Philly fan).

  14. joerut - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    The problem with this team is they continue to bring back the old timers i.e. the good old boys network. Time to get rid of Amaro, Bowa, Schmidt, Samuel and any one previously related to the organization. When they won the WS it was new blood Manual, Williams, Gillick. not previously related to the organization. Time to get new outside blood to run this organization. Also Sandberg is not all that but gets a break because it’s his first full year and he doesn’t have much to work with. Break up this team and build up the empty farm system.

  15. phillysports1 - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    Bowa is a racist. He blames Hernandez and Brown but doesn’t say anything about Asche ?

    • mazblast - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      I hope that was intended to be sarcastic. If not, a guy mentions TWO players, neither white, and that makes him a “racist”?

  16. mazblast - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    From what I remember about the first few Phillies teams Bowa was on, he’s an expert on “not big league baseball”. The guy has seen it from both sides–the glorious and the brutal.

    As for who will get the boot first, Amaro, Sandberg, or Bowa, my money’s on Bowa. His temperament just won’t go over well with ownership. Amaro SHOULD be the one to go, as he’s spent years decimating the meh farm system, trying to shore up an aging nucleus rather than rebuilding, but I expect the usual Punishment of the Innocent to take place. Ryno is caught in the middle, trying to hold together a sinking ship.

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