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Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg meets with unhappy players … again

Aug 25, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

For the second week in a row, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg began his Sunday at the ballpark by having a meeting with an unhappy player.

This time, actually, it was two players.

Sandberg spoke separately with Domonic Brown and David Buchanan before Sunday’s 7-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals (see story). Both players had made comments that were interpreted as being critical of the manager after Saturday night’s game.

Buchanan, a 25-year-old rookie who has made 14 starts in the big leagues, was not happy about being lifted after five innings Saturday night.

“I didn’t expect that and I wasn’t too happy about that,” the right-hander said after throwing 90 pitches and allowing eight hits and two runs.

Buchanan met with Sandberg Sunday morning.

“That’s been addressed,” was all Sandberg would say of the meeting.

The manager also spoke with Brown, who insinuated that his recent decline in playing time contributed to his inability to make a catch in left field Saturday night. That play was followed by Brown’s making a throwing error that led to a run.

“I had a conversation with him on that,” Sandberg said of Brown’s comments. “It was more frustration than anything.”

Brown was back in the lineup Sunday for the ninth time in the last 14 games. He went 1 for 4 with a run scored.

Brown has lost some playing time to Darin Ruf and Grady Sizemore. But Brown has made it easy for Sandberg to sit him by playing shaky defense and hitting just .226 with a .611 OPS for the season.

“I have no beef with Ryno; everything is good,” Brown said after Sunday’s game. “We talked. He just wanted to make sure we’re on the same page and we are. Everything is good. Ryno’s doing a great job.”

Brown did indicate that he’s frustrated.

“I just want to play,” he said. “That’s it. Ryno knows that. It’s tough on him. Grady has been swinging the bat well and Ruf has to play as well. It’s tough for him right now.

“I want to play. I want to be out there. I don’t want days off. I’m not used to that.”

Brown can cure his frustration and get more playing time simply by playing better. The Phillies have given ample time to nail down an outfield job. He could be a fixture in the lineup for years if he would simply produce consistently. The Phillies would like that to happen. It hasn’t and that’s why the team is taking a look at other players.

The comments made by Buchanan and Brown were not the first affronts made against Sandberg’s authority in recent days. A week ago, pitcher Kyle Kendrick showed up Sandberg on the pitcher’s mound in San Francisco. Sandberg met with Kendrick the day after and Kendrick apologized for his actions (see story).

Are these affronts merely the product of a long and frustrating season or does Sandberg have an authority issue with this club?

This is certainly something to keep an eye on as the rest of this season plays out.

  1. chc4 - Aug 25, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    David Buchanan? Seriously? That ought to get him an immediate 1 way ticket back to AAA.

    • txrngr34 - Aug 25, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      Thank you! When the hell did guys with less MLB service time than Ryno’s Minor League service time get the OK to bitch about their manager?!

  2. deathmonkey41 - Aug 25, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    He should bring a box of extra strength Kleenex to dry up all those tears.

  3. recoveringcubsfan - Aug 25, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Hilarious. Domonic Brown says all the right things and sounds like a team guy, but fans were killing him yesterday. Bet they don’t rephrase after this. Also love that the article posits the paradox that Brown can get more playing time by playing better…while not playing…but playing better…while not LOOP!

    • tuberippin - Aug 25, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      It’s not a paradox, doofus. If Dom Brown can show improved hitting at the dish and improved defense in the outfield (both of which are huge question marks) during the games he DOES play, then consequently Sandberg would be more apt to start Brown over Ruf or Sizemore. Especially when you consider the fact that Sizemore has essentially been brought in to compensate for the drastic drop-off in Brown’s production in 2014 compared to 2013.

      Every player wants to play every day. Your play is what earns you that right. Dom Brown has not done that this year.

  4. 1harrypairatesties - Aug 25, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    These guys are lucky if they turn out to be half the player Sandberg was. Sit down and shut up & just be happy your ass hasn’t been sent to the minors. Your Manager is a Hall of Famer and you are a bench warming overpaid Baby.

    • greymares - Aug 25, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      Apples and oranges a hall of fame player doesn’t necessarily turn into a great manager. In fact it doesn’t happen much at all.

  5. binarymath - Aug 25, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    A limerick for the disinterested Phillies…

    Fresh on the heels of a loss
    Three Phils take a shot at the boss
    But none have the stats
    To engage in such spats
    The waiver wire soon to be crossed

    For Kendrick to be such a f**t
    for just being pulled from a start
    If only he’d own
    the disasters he’s thrown
    He’d know he’s not doing his part

    And then there is Domonic Brown
    Who handles the glove like a clown
    The once standard-bearer
    Now just makes errors
    And is whiffing his way out of town

    And who in the heck is Buchanan
    You’d think he could throw like a cannon
    They hit all of his pitches
    And still the kid bitches
    Maybe they should have kept Lannan

    • baberuthslegs - Aug 25, 2014 at 1:37 PM

      That was awesome binary.

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:49 PM

      Outstanding Binary! Well done fine Sir. Well done.

      Just one thing I couldn’t help but notice…
      You refused to spell “fart” but yet, you spelled “bitch.”

      WTH?

      Regardless, wonderful limerick nonetheless!

  6. edavidberg - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:14 PM

    How long is Dom Brown going to remain a major leaguer? He should enjoy it while he is one.

  7. 1harrypairatesties - Aug 25, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    Apples and oranges? You sound like a fruit to me.

  8. joeflaccosunibrow - Oct 9, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    Dead man walking…

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