Pat Gillick, as everybody knows, plans to retire at the end of the season and move to Seattle, where he owns a home.
The 70-year-old general manager, who has taken each of the four teams he's run (Blue Jays, Orioles, Mariners, Phillies) to the postseason, was working as a consultant for Seattle before being hired by the Phils.
The Mariners yesterday fired general manager Bill Bavasi.
So it was natural to wonder if Gillick might be a candidate for that opening. He denied it, while not completely closing the door.
"At this point, I certainly wouldn't have any interest," he said last night.
What if the position remained unfilled after the World Series?
"Right now, I think this is probably the end for me," he said. "I might change my mind at the end of the year. But I'm really not thinking anything except trying to win this thing."
The Citizens Bank Park outfield had noticeable patches of yellow grass last night, the result of hosting Saturday night's Jimmy Buffet concert.
Cosmetics aside, this can lead to safety concerns. Two years ago, after Wrigley Field had been used for non-baseball events, Phillies centerfielder Aaron Rowand stepped in an indentation on the turf and broke a leg.
That apparently wasn't a problem last night after the grounds crew spent the better part of 2 days prepping the surface. After having a chance to check out the condition of the field during batting practice, leftfielder Pat Burrell pronounced it "absolutely perfect."
Juan Samuel told the story of flying into Toronto and having the customs agent look at his passport and say, "You played for Philadelphia."
"I also played for the Blue Jays," he told the official.
The Phillies officially introduced Samuel yesterday as the newest member of the team's Wall of Fame. The plaque will be hung during ceremonies before the Aug. 8 game against the Pirates.
Samuel, currently third-base coach for the Baltimore Orioles, also played for the Mets, Dodgers, Royals, Reds and Tigers during his 16-year career but has always considered himself a Phillie. Most people do, which was the point of the story he told about going through customs.
He was clearly touched by the award. "It's a tremendous, tremendous honor to be part of the Phillies Wall of Fame," he said, his voice catching slightly. "Coming out of the Dominican Republic and finding myself here now is just tremendous.
"My mother always told me that one day I was going to grow up and go far. And look how far I've come."
In June 1989, he was traded to the Mets for Lenny Dykstra and Roger McDowell. "I never saw it coming," he said. "What do I remember? That I cried."
Samuel was a fan favorite because of his blazing speed and all-out style of play. "The fans are the reason I did what I did, why I played the way I played," he said. "Juan Samuel never cheated the fans once while I was out there."
He paused and grinned. "It wasn't always pretty," he added. "But I gave it all I had."
Rx for Myers
Brett Myers is 3-8 with a 5.58 earned run average after getting knocked around by the Cardinals on Sunday. He has given up a frightening number of home runs, 20 to be exact, most in the major leagues.
So what will he and pitching coach Rich Dubee be working on between now and his next scheduled start against the Angels on Saturday?
"Before the last start we thought we had hit on something and we'll keep working on that," Dubee said. "We want him to take the ball out of his glove earlier to get more downward plane on the ball. He did it, but not consistently enough. His [pitches] are a little flat right now."
With the Phillies in first place and the Red Sox in town, there was an influx of national media into Citizens Bank Park last night. Some of the reporters were talking to first baseman Ryan Howard about the possibility of second baseman Chase Utley becoming the team's third straight National League Most Valuable Player, following shortstop Jimmy Rollins last season and Howard in 2006.
"That would be great," Howard said. "But if you ask Chase, he's not focused on that. Same thing as when I went through it and when Jimmy went through it. At the end of the season, if you get it, you get it. The main focus is on winning the World Series. I think if you ask anybody, they'd trade [the MVP] for a World Series ring." *