Rookie right-hander Jonathan Pettibone tried doing one of those in-game dugout interview for the Fox Sports broadcast Saturday as he was pelted with sunflower seeds and other distractions by his Philadelphia Phillies teammates. The content of what Pettibone said in the top of the fourth inning was secondary when compared to the hijinks perpetrated by Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Mike Adams, who tormented the kid for nearly four minutes.
Pettibone was showered with seeds, he had an unnecessary batting helmet put on top of his head over his headphones, and then a cup with gum stuck to the bottom was placed on top of the helmet — presumably to give the players a basket/target for their seeds.
Funny, right? Or at least harmless fun to break up the monotony. Not to the Phillies brass, it wasn't funny, MISTERS. Not with the Phillies trudging along with a 43-46 record. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports:
It sparked Amaro and manager Charlie Manuel to call a team meeting before Sunday's game.
It sounded like they had a tough audience waiting for them.
"I'm not doing the in-game interview today," Cliff Lee barked at a Phillies media relations staff member beforehand in front of a MLB.com reporter. "If they're going to get mad about that, we're not doing them anymore."
Asked about the meeting, Amaro said, "I have nothing to say."
Did it go well?
"Nothing to say," he repeated.
Yeesh! No more fun for the Phillies until they start winning some games — as if the activities of Hamels, Lee and Adams, all of whom were not playing Saturday — really had an impact on the game. Amaro probably didn't like the example set, that the Phillies were trailing the Braves and the entire team wasn't standing on the top step of the dugout with rally caps turned inside-out. And maybe he has a point. But was it worth calling a team meeting over? Probably not. Will it change how the Phillies are playing? Almost certainly not. Does it make Amaro look like a curmudgeon who has little idea how to fix a mess he helped create? Absolutely.
Of course, we'd be hearing about how the "Phillies are too tight, emotionally," if they weren't pelting each other with sunflower seeds. It's always something when you're not winning enough. All of the stuff that doesn't matter is easier to try and fix.