WASHINGTON – Charlie Manuel says he can handle it. If presented with a chance to manage a player who might be a bit of a discipline problem, Charlie doesn’t see it as an issue.
“I like talent,” Charlie said.
Of course the subject of the talent was potentially ex-Red Sox superstar Manny Ramirez, a player Charlie managed in the minors and coached in the big leagues with the Indians. In the past, Ramirez said he wouldn’t mind being reunited with his old hitting guru.
Manuel says he doesn’t think the Phillies need to add a hitter, but if they did he has one guy in mind.
“Manny Ramirez would be the hitter,” he said. “My time with Manny was very special," Manuel said. "He was a kid then. He's grown up a lot. Well, he's gotten older. I feel like I know him to a certain degree.”
But that would mean Ramirez is heading to Philadelphia, which doesn’t seem to be the case.
According to the banter making the rounds in the press box at Exxon (Nationals) Park, the Red Sox, Pirates and Marlins were ironing out a deal that would send Jason Bay from Pittsburgh to Boston and Manny from Boston to the Marlins. In fact, newspapers in Florida are reporting that a tentative deal has been struck.
That means no Manny for Charlie. But could it tip the balance in the NL East to the upstart Marlins who stand just 1½ games behind the Phillies?
“One player can make a lot of difference,” Manuel said, “if you get the right player.”
If a deal does occur and the Marlins get Ramirez, or if the Mets pull off a deal before the deadline, what does that mean for the Phillies? Will they try to keep pace?
“You don't like to react to someone else,” general manager Pat Gillick said. “I've always said you like to do what you think is proper for your club. If the Mets or Marlins improve their club, they improve their club. We'll hopefully try to improve our club, but we're not reacting.”
The GM might not be reacting, but the Phillies fans definitely will.
On another note, how did the relationship between the Red Sox and Ramirez get so bad? Why is Manny saying things like, “the Red Sox don’t deserve me…” They are paying him $20 million! How is that disrespectful.
Maybe they want him to run the bases?
WASHINGTON - There is less than an hour to go before the trading deadline (this sentence was written at 3:04 p.m.) so consider this the last update before the clock strikes.
After 4 p.m. the 2008 Phillies and the entire landscape of the great, National Past Time could look dramatically different.
Anyway, there is nothing new to report here. Apparently a Manny Ramirez trade to the Marlins is DOA, though the Ken Griffey Jr. trade to the White Sox is quite intriguing. For one thing, the White Sox now have a member of the 500 Home Run Club (Jim Thome) and the even more elite, 600 Home Run Club (Griffey).
But all is quiet on the Phillies front. At least all is quiet for now. The first team bus arrived at the park around 3 p.m. and all the usual suspects were aboard. So for the time being, general manager Pat Gillick is standing pat.
Otherwise, I had a nice leisurely morning and afternoon here in The District. After a humid and sultry morning jaunt through a wooded trail (I saw another deer), I rolled through Florida Ave. and the U Street corridor to the Adams-Morgan section of town where I finally got to eat at The Amsterdam Falafel Shop.
Now I have never been to Amsterdam or Holland, but folks who know better say the Adams-Morgan Amsterdam Falafel Shop is as authentic as it gets. In fact, one giveaway to the authenticity of the TAMF (not sure people call it this, but you know, I'll put it out there) is that they serve brownies and make it a point to inform the consumer that they are not "enhanced."
Enhanced is my word. On the menu they were called "virgin" brownies.
Anyway, the menu is very basic at The Amsterdam Falafel Shop in Adams-Morgan, located just a half block from the famous Madam's Organ - the place Playboy magazine named the best bar in the United States. In fact, they serve just falafel (two sizes), Dutch baked fries (two sizes) and un-enhanced brownies (square shaped).
Each sandwich is made to order and each diner can add any of the 18 different sauces and toppings from the garnish bar.
It's definitely a treat, man. Plus, they usually stay open late (but not past midnight on a Sunday as I learned last month) so if you find yourself in the area and get a hankering for authentic Dutch falafel, by all means, drop in.
After lunch, I drove to the ballpark via Capitol Hill where it looked as if there was a lot of governing going on... a lot of gentrification, too. It seems to me that The District has at least one Starbucks for every household. Interestingly, neighborhoods that were once talked about in hushed, scared tones are now filled with people walking around in madras shorts and business suits with a chai latte in hand.
OK, time for the clubhouse. By the time I get back we'll know if the Phillies have any new players or not.
 Why is it that whenever I see deer, elk or coyotes during runs while in Colorado I just shrug it off as no big deal, yet when I cross paths with a deer in Washington or Lancaster I get freaked out? Historically, there have been a lot of deer in the Northeast and their habitat (obviously) is shrinking, however, when I see one I run away... fast. I run away completely scared to death and afraid even to look over my shoulder for fear that it might be chasing me. Meanwhile, in other parts of the country I try to get as close as possible to those unfamiliar wild animals. Passing an elk in town in Colorado is like seeing a stray cat... what gives?
CC Sabathia - gone.
Rich Harden - gone.
How about lefty Erik Bedard of Seattle?
It's no secret the Phillies are looking to trade for a pitcher before the July 31 deadline, but it's not even the All-Star Break and the top two pitchers on the market have already been dealt. Last Sunday the Indians traded CC Sabathia -- a pitcher highly coveted by the Phillies -- to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Meanwhile, the A's traded away another top-notch young pitcher when they sent Rich Harden to the front-running Chicago Cubs.
Yes, the proverbial gauntlet have been thrown down in the NL Central...
Oh, it's on.
Anyway, the next best available pitcher on the trading block is Erik Bedard. The former Oriole turned disgruntled Mariner recently went on ESPN radio in Philadelphia to discuss the trade rumors and got himself noticed a bit back in Seattle.
Take a look.
Though Bedard says otherwise, the move to Seattle hasn't been too good for the pitcher. Maybe he needs a change of scenery?
Then again, if Bedard has trouble with the media in Seattle as evidenced in the interview in the linkage above, wait until he gets a load of us...
We aren't exactly a sewing circle around here.