Good penmanship

Pete Mackanin is the keeper of the Phillies' lineup.

Before every game, Mackanin, the bench coach, delivers the lineup card to the umpires behind home plate. That version is a small card with computer-printed names on it.

But in the dugout, Mackanin is more creative with how the lineup is displayed.

Every day he fills out the lineup card with what manager Charlie Manuel hands him. On some days, like Sunday night, Mackanin wrote out the lineup card in beautiful calligraphy script.

"I went to Catholic school," Mackanin said. "So penmanship was important growing up."

Mackanin, who managed briefly with Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, said he has always filled out the lineup card wherever he's been. It's not that Manuel's handwriting is bad, Mackanin said. But the bench coach takes a little more pride in writing it out.

"It's just fun," Mackanin said. "I change sometimes. I'll do block. Sometimes I slant it. I get bored. Sometimes it's all capital letters. And sometimes I do script."

And of course, like anything in baseball, it's subject to superstition.

"If we're winning, I'll do it the same way every time," Mackanin said. "If we're losing, I'll change it. You have to try everything."

Wristband update

In the ongoing saga of Power Balance bracelets, Manuel has since moved from wearing a white one on his left arm to wearing two black ones on both wrists.

He's becoming quite the spokesman.

"My hands feel stronger and better," Manuel said. "I'll wake up in the morning - I have arthritis and gout on my hands. It takes me a while to even move my fingers. Until I put these on. That's why I put another one on.

"I might even put a couple on my ankles."