Lieberthal, always a Phillie at heart, signs and retires
Mike Lieberthal never got to the playoffs with the Phillies. He arrived in the majors in 1994, the year after the Phils played in the World Series, and played his last game for the team in 2006, the year before the Phils cracked a long playoff drought by winning the National League East.
never got to the playoffs with the Phillies. He arrived in the majors in 1994, the year after the Phils played in the World Series, and played his last game for the team in 2006, the year before the Phils cracked a long playoff drought by winning the National League East.
But Lieberthal left a mark in his 13 seasons in red pinstripes.
That's why club president David Montgomery invited the former catcher back to town yesterday to officially retire as a Phillie.
"Mike played here for a long time, and for me, it went beyond that. It was a real friendship," said Montgomery. "In many ways, Mike was the face of the franchise for a number of years because of the continuity he brought. He always played hard. He cared about the community. This seemed like the right thing to do."
Lieberthal, 36, spent 2007 as the backup catcher for his hometown Los Angeles Dodgers.
He went through the formality of signing a minor-league contract (worth $4) so he could end his career as a Phillie.
"I know I finished with the Dodgers, but it's definitely an honor to come back here," Lieberthal said. "I was still a Phillie at heart when I was in L.A. I watched pretty much every game that was on TV, and I still do. The Phillies are definitely deep in my heart."
Lieberthal, who caught 1,139 games, most in Phillies history, donned his old No. 24 and threw out the ceremonial first pitch before yesterday's game. He was honored with a video presentation highlighting his career, which included two All-Star Games and a Gold Glove. He was also honored for the charity work he performed, particularly with sick children, during his time with the Phils.
Lieberthal was joined by his wife, Kelly, who is expecting the couple's first child.
improved to 8-0 against the Florida Marlins in yesterday's 7-5 win. Moyer (6-3) is tied with Hall of Famer
for 57th on the all-time wins list with 236. He has won four straight starts.
"I'm happy with where I am," Moyer said. "But that doesn't mean I can sit back and say I'm where I need to be and I'm going to put it on autopilot."
Moyer trailed, 5-1, after three innings, but held the Marlins scoreless over his last four innings, and the NL's second-highest scoring team responded.
"We never feel like we're out of a game," said Geoff Jenkins, who tied the game with a two-run, pinch-hit homer in the sixth.
To the fat farm
, the pitching prospect who electrified the final week of spring training with four dazzling innings against the Yankees, has been put on the disabled list.
Carpenter, 23, is listed as having "turf toe," but there is nothing wrong with his toe.
Phillies officials put Carpenter on the DL because they believe he is out of shape. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound righthander has reported to Clearwater, Fla., to work on conditioning and pitching mechanics. Mostly conditioning, insiders say.
A second-round pick in the 2006 draft, Carpenter led minor-league baseball with 19 wins last season. He was not invited to major-league spring-training camp, but came up for one game on March 26 and wowed manager Charlie Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee with four shutout innings and six strikeouts against the Yankees.
"I don't think he's that far away," Dubee said after Carpenter's performance.
Carpenter hoped to build on that spring outing at double-A Reading, but went 2-7 with a 6.94 ERA in 11 starts. Team officials are still high on Carpenter, but he won't get a chance to lower his ERA until he lowers his weight.
Here come the Reds
Fresh off their first sweep of Atlanta since 1996, the Cincinnati Reds, with phenom outfielder
, arrive tonight for a four-game series.
Bruce, rated as the game's top prospect by Baseball America, is hitting .591 (13 for 22) with two homers and six RBIs in his first six games.
Ken Griffey Jr. needs one homer for 600.
"It would be great to see history made," Phils shortstop Jimmy Rollins said. "After we're up 10-1, of course."
has homered in four straight games and is hitting .370 with six homers and 17 RBIs in his last seven. . . .
has hit in 13 straight games at a .411 clip. . . . The Phils will face four righthanded starters against Cincinnati. If they wanted to add a lefthanded bat for the series, they could activate outfielder
, who has been playing at Clearwater on a minor-league rehab assignment. Snelling went on the disabled list April 20 with swelling in his left knee.