Was the Phillies Bullpen Phone Purposely Left Off the Hook?

On Tuesday night the Phillies were demolished by the Orioles 19-3 after they bashed 8 home runs.

It was the most pathetic the team looked all season and the most embarrassed I’ve been as a fan for quite some time.

As we all know, they were forced to go to their bullpen early after starting pitcher Jerome Williams had to exit after just 0.2 IP due to injury.

After six innings of bullpen help, the Phillies decided to send right fielder Jeff Francoeur to the mound to make the first pitching appearance of his Major league career. In the 7th, Francoeur shut down the Orioles in order to retire the side, it was the only inning the Orioles failed to score a run. For some reason the Phillies decided to trot Francoeur back out there for the 8th inning. During the 8th Francoeur gave up 1 hit, 2 ER, 3 BB, and 1 HR.

During that 8th inning Sandberg and McClure were trying to contact the bullpen to get a guy up to start throwing. McClure picked up the phone multiple times but he couldn’t get a hold of bullpen coach Rod Nichols. At one point, McClure took it upon himself to wave a Gatorade towel at the top of the dugout to get the attention of the bullpen. The team was literally waving the white flag.

mcclure giff
Ok seriously, why the fuck was the bullpen phone off the hook? It’s not like the bullpen phones are cordless handsets that people can easily forget to hang up. Bullpen phones are attached to the wall. When the phone rings the bullpen coach picks it up, says something along the lines of, “yeah he’s ready,” and then hangs the phone up. All one has to do is simply drop the phone in place to hang it up. How was the phone slightly hanging like it was cautiously placed?

What if the phone was cautiously placed? What if somebody in the bullpen tampered with the phone because they thought it would be funny, or maybe just because they didn’t want to pitch in a game that meant absolutely nothing.

I’m not one to point fingers, however, I’m not one who believes this disaster happened by chance.

Lets state the case for the possible candidates:

  • Bullpen Coach Rod Nichols: Highly unlikely but who knows. Nichols, a former minor league pitching coach and now MLB bullpen coach has to understand the situation. If anything, Nichols was probably taking a shit on the bullpen throne as somebody else approached the phone box. He didn’t have a clue; he didn’t have a clue what inning it was. Innocent until proven guilty.
  • Set Up Man Ken Giles: One could definitely make a strong case for Giles, especially after his shouting match with his Manager and pitching coach this past week. With that said, one would hope that Giles has learned from his childish behavior from that Pittsburgh game, even if his manager and pitching coach are both dumber than rocks. Giles is a feisty guy. The attitude Giles takes to the mound with him is great for a bullpen pitcher, especially a closer. Does Giles posses the same kind of attitude while he’s off the mound as well? Probably not. But he is the second youngest pitcher in that bullpen. Giles’ maturity level may need time to grow, especially if he pulled a stunt like this. Innocent until proven guilty.
  • Closer Jonathan Papelbon: One would think Pap is for sure that dick that would pull a move like this off and get away with it. As I stated, I’m not sure what happened, I just don’t see this as an accident. If there’s one guy out in that pen who has the balls to pull such a stunt I think it would be Papelbon. I’m not like most Phillies fans, I thoroughly enjoy Papelbon. If everything was going right he would be the perfect closer for this town. The problem is that since Amaro Jr. decided to sign Jonny Pap the team has been abysmal. Papelbon has previously stated that he doesn’t enjoy pitching in games that don’t mean a whole lot to him or the team. We seen him giving Francoeur pointers before Jeff made his appearance. Does anyone really think Papelbon would have been thrilled to get up and throw in the 8th inning of a 19-3 ball game? Does anyone think he would really want to enter that said game? Not at all. Papelbon is the likely candidate that would have tampered with the phone. He could have taken it off the hook and forgot about it for all we know, but if one person in that bullpen took the phone off the hook, Papelbon would be the logical guess. I sure hope this isn’t the case. Innocent until proven guilty.
  • Coincidence: Sureeeeeee, if you say so….

Hopefully this subject doesn’t come up for the rest of the year. Truthfully, I pray the latter of this post is right. If we don’t hear anything more of this situation then i will be ecstatic that one of our players wasn’t willing to disrespect one of his teammates without their knowledge. I really hate to point the finger. Hopefully I’m wrong. For all we know it was Bob McClure who jogged out to the bullpen in between innings to disconnect the phone, or maybe that’s just what Chase Utley thinks:

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