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News » Philadelphia Phillies Notes, Quotes 2009-04-17


Philadelphia Phillies Notes, Quotes 2009-04-17


Philadelphia Phillies Notes, Quotes 2009-04-17
--SS Jimmy Rollins was the hottest hitter on the United States' team in the World Baseball Classic for three weeks last month. Turns out, it was a false start. Rollins, the Phillies' leadoff-hitting catalyst, went 0-for-3 Thursday night and is mired in a 3-for-33 slump. And while the middle of the lineup -- Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez -- carried the Phillies to four victories in their first eight games, Rollins batted only .111 (4-for-36) with three RBIs and a .154 on-base percentage.

"Jimmy's going to hit," said manager Charlie Manuel, sitting in the dugout before the game while Rollins took extra swings in the batting cage. "When Jimmy's right, his swing is very easy. He's very basic. He's got good balance at the plate. Everything is kind of parallel, and he's short and quick (with his swing)."

Manuel observed pitchers have been feeding Rollins and No. 2-hitting Shane Victorino (.250 entering Thursday night) first-pitch changeups and curveballs, and Rollins, in particular, has been chasing bad pitches. Rollins batted .417 (10-for-24) with one double, two triples, one home run and four RBIs in the World Baseball Classic and was named to the All-Tournament Team. But Manuel said WBC performances can be deceiving. If anything, Rollins' success may have been attributed more to adrenalin than technique.

"There's a lot of times you go to spring training, and I've heard guys say, 'That guy came right out of the winter, picked up a bat and hit a home run,'" Manuel said. "All of a sudden, you feel good and hit for two or three days, then you can't hit (anything). It's getting in shape. Your arms and legs get heavy, and you go through a period where you've got to build them back up. He may be going through that right now."

--CF Shane Victorino wanted to organize a fitting tribute to broadcaster Harry Kalas before Monday's game in Washington, and there was only one thing he could think of. So, Victorino organized several teammates, and they passed around a cigarette in the dugout. Kalas, who died Monday, was a longtime smoker, and the habit became part of his persona. "I asked for it and a couple of other guys thought it would be cool to do," said Victorino, who joined 1B Ryan Howard, LHP Scott Eyre and several other players in the tribute. "It was like, why not? So, we called who we could -- I forget who had 'em, but we got 'em. I just thought, what did you always see him doing, other than broadcasting or being with his family? It's an HK thing, you know? It's so sad, just sad."

--SS Jimmy Rollins, the longest-tenured member of the Phillies, spoke for his teammates on the day the team lost longtime broadcaster Harry Kalas, who collapsed in the broadcast booth a few hours before Monday's game and died at George Washington University Hospital at about 1:20 p.m.

"Harry was a joy," Rollins said. "You always looked forward, especially on travel days, to seeing Harry in the back of the airplane, knocked out, mouth wide open, drooling, waking up when we get there and saying, 'Oh, we're here already.' There was only one person who could sound that way all the time. When I first met him, I thought it was his TV voice and he put on a show. But that was HK. My entire career, that's short when you look at it in the life of HK and all the games he got to announce and all the games he saw. Not only that, he lent his voice to the NFL and even to Campbell's Soup commercials. You'd be like, 'Is that HK? Yeah, that's Harry.'"

BY THE NUMBERS: 9.62 -- ERA for Phillies starting pitchers through six games. Between them, RHP Brett Myers, LHP Jamie Moyer, RHP Joe Blanton, Hamels and RHP Chan Ho Park have allowed 31 earned runs and 11 home runs in 29 innings.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He has to pitch to get stronger. He has to get work in, and that's the only way he is going to get strong. It's just a matter of him getting work. The more work he gets, the better off he's going to be." -- Manager Charlie Manuel on LHP Cole Hamels' slow start.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 17, 2009

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