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Philly Inquirer columnist to complaining Phillies: “Shut up and play. Be quiet and pitch.”

Aug 25, 2014, 2:35 PM EDT

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There has been some general friction between Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg and some of his players this year. Specifically the younger ones who don’t feel they have a set role. We saw this over the weekend when David Buchanan and Domonic Brown both gave quotes criticizing Sandberg’s treatment of them. Buchanan for being taken out of a game before he thought he should be taken out and Brown over playing time.

Bob Brookover of the Inquirer has a message for those two:

Shut up and play. Be quiet and pitch.

That’s the free advice being offered here to all Phillies players and pitchers – especially the younger ones – who want to gripe about how they are being used by manager Ryne Sandberg.

You know me well enough by now to not be a huge fan of that kind of stance, but here I think I tend to side with Brookover. Neither Brown nor Buchanan are being misused by their manager. Or, if they are, it’s not in any truly significant way. Contrast this to how young prospects get buried on benches sometimes or are publicly called out on other times. That can be bad. Here? Sandberg may or may not doing the best he can, but if he’s not, it’s clear that the difference between the best and what he’s doing isn’t the difference between the Phillies being in first or last place. Or these players being All-Stars or not.

It’s been a crappy season in Philly. Lots of losing. No one is particularly happy. Sometimes, when you’re on a team where everything is crappy, you do best by not telling the media how your particular situation feels crappy on that particular day. You just endure it like the other 22 dudes on the team are enduring the same crappy situation. In silence or, short of that, voicing your displeasure when the clubhouse is closed to the press.

  1. emdash01 - Aug 25, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Eh, I still think it’s a lazy and entitled attitude on the columnist’s part. “Don’t bother us with your human opinions and frustration and actual personality – just do the things I’m interested in watching you do. Be robots for my entertainment.”

    • chip56 - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      I think there’s a difference between griping about something privately and griping about it to the media. If Dom Brown wants to storm into Sandberg’s office and tear into him over playing time – I’m all for it. But put the shoe on the other foot – how would Brown respond if Sandberg was asked “Why isn’t Dom Brown playing more?” and Sandberg responded, “Because he’s not very good.” Brown would be livid.

      Keep your laundry in-house.

      • bigmeechy74 - Aug 25, 2014 at 5:44 PM

        Dude you can’t just say that to everyone. Some people can’t even afford washer and dryers and have to go to the laundromat. While some people are rich and get all their stuff dry-cleaned. To make a blanket statement like “keep your laundry in-house” and expect everyone to be able to take heed is irresponsible on your part imo

    • mogogo1 - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      It’s not about entertainment, it’s about guys failing to do the job they’re paid to do. Does your boss put your “personality” above getting the job done? Because I’ve never had one who did. And even if there were some validity to some of the players’ gripes, the young ones haven’t been around the big leagues long enough for their opinions to be considered well-informed.

      • emdash01 - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:30 PM

        Nope! But I’m not in an entertainment industry, and baseball players decidedly are. There’s a reason they’re talking to reporters after every work day and I’m not.

        I’m honestly amazed it took this long for a comment about professionalism to be posted, though.

      • tmc602014 - Aug 25, 2014 at 8:18 PM

        What these guys needed and did not get was a Crash Davis learning experience, so when they finally made the show, they new to say “I’m just here to help the club best I can…”

  2. rpiddy - Aug 25, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    Phillies hater

  3. jfk69 - Aug 25, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
    Lesson 1
    Tomorrow is another day

  4. danaking - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    I don’t have the time to do the specific research on Buchanan’s complaint, but the answer to Brown is fairly evident. He’s a corner outfielder who will be 27 next week. His 2014 line is .228/.278/.333 for an OPS of .612. His career numbers are .246/.308/.412/ for an OPS of .719. (Source: At 27. he’s as good as he’s likely to get, and the old adage applies: those who hit, play. He’s not hitting, which may be a large part of why he’s not playing. He wants to force Sandberg’s hand, he needs to hit.

    • Francisco (FC) - Aug 25, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      No question but… How does he hit if he’s not playing? He only hits if he plays, but if he doesn’t hit he doesn’t play, but if he doesn’t play how does he hit?

      I’m with Bill Baer on this one, just play the kid for the rest of the season and take your lumps. The guy who should be sitting on the bench all the time is Ryan Howard. Put Ruf at first base to see if he’s viable there.

      • tuberippin - Aug 25, 2014 at 5:26 PM

        ^If he hits when he’s penciled in to the lineup, then he consequently would be put in the lineup on a more regular basis. I don’t know why people keep pointing to that notion as though it’s paradoxical when it makes complete sense.

        Just because he’s shown flashes (really just May of last year if we’re being honest with ourselves) of the promise he once had as a prospect doesn’t mean he automatically gets to be in the lineup.

        Certainly, Grady Sizemore is not in the team’s long-term plans, but with the way Dom Brown has been playing all season (both hitting and playing defense) and his complete inability to make adjustments at the dish or in the field, he might not be in the Phils’ long-term plans either. And if such a situation comes to pass, he would be just another former Phils prospect who never met his promise in recent years (Michael Taylor, Jon Singleton, Jon Villar, Anthony Gose, JA Happ, et al).

      • Francisco (FC) - Aug 26, 2014 at 7:08 AM

        If Sizemore is not in the teams long term plans why play him? At this point actually winning games is detrimental to the teams draft position.

        A player needs lineup consistency to work his out problems, if you don’t let a player fail and figure it out (and yeah that could mean a whole season if necessary) then you don’t really know what the player can do.

        There’s nothing to lose here, heck if he stinks he helps the team in the standings get a better draft position.

      • Francisco (FC) - Aug 26, 2014 at 9:46 AM

        f he hits when he’s penciled in to the lineup, then he consequently would be put in the lineup on a more regular basis. I don’t know why people keep pointing to that notion as though it’s paradoxical when it makes complete sense.

        No it doesn’t, it caters to the Hot-hand Fallacy. That’s why people keep pointing it out.

  5. schmedley69 - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    It might be time to unleash Larry Bowa on these guys.

    • hep3 - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      Yeah, unleashing Bowa ALWAYS works (sarcasm intended).

      As Branch Rickey once said about Leo Durocher:

      “He (Leo Durocher) had the ability of taking a bad situation and making it immediately worse.”

      This might also apply to Mr. Bowa.

      • schmedley69 - Aug 25, 2014 at 4:02 PM

        I don’t think anything will turn this combination of overpaid has-beens and talent-less never-beens into winners, so watching Larry Bowa go ballistic might be the only entertainment that we have.

      • jfk69 - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:02 PM

        The 69 Met’s are eternally grateful to Leo.

  6. racksie - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Gosh, a twenty year old kid in MLB feels entitled? And the crusty old manager who has spent his life in the game is maybe sending a message? Welcome to life, kid.

  7. stupidusername - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Brown has been worst in all of baseball in fWAR for almost the entire season. The only reason Nick Swisher caught up was because Brown got benched. This guy is literally the least valuable (formerly) everyday player in all of baseball and he’s complaining about playing time? What the **** is going on when the worst player on a last place team starts complaining he isnt playing enough? He is playing so poorly and has shown such little progress in the field or with his slow swing he should just be happy he’s still in the bigs. There’s nothing worse than having a bad team with players who feel entitled to playing time. There’s a reason you’re in last place, because you suck!

  8. jss1330 - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    Maybe just maybe Sandberg isn’t the best communicator. He certainly didn’t handle Rollins very well in spring training.

  9. mikedi33 - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    Buchanan had allowed 10 base runners in 5 innings , has 14 career games and questions a HOF player unbelievable. Brown let a easily catchable ball fall in the. Then threw to the wrong base throwing it to the backstop causing a 3 run inning. Should have been taken out immediately.

  10. courtjester1234 - Aug 25, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    when I heard them complain all I thought of was rube baker telling his Indians teammates about how lucky they are to get paid to play a kids game. they should realize until they do something you’re used as the management wants. I’d take that with their pay over my job anyday

  11. phouraces - Aug 25, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    Phillies are who they are u til the good old boy regime gets out and sells the team it wasn’t Charlie’s fault last year it is and always have been the Giles clan and their books old school doesn’t work in today’s baseball. ….look next door at the Eagles and figure it out……clean out A mark who sucked as a player and bring in someone who is not a yes man….

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