Phillies

Former Phillies pitcher Phillippe Aumont retires at 27

Former Phillies pitcher Phillippe Aumont retires at 27

Does the name Phillippe Aumont ring a bell?

Of course it does. For all the wrong reasons.

He was part of the return in one of the most ill-fated trades in Phillies history — the deal that sent star pitcher and 2009 Philadelphia folk hero Cliff Lee to the Seattle Mariners.

After years of struggles and inconsistency, the hard-throwing righty decided to call it a career on Monday at age 27.

The Charlotte Knights, the Chicago White Sox's Triple A affiliate Aumont was playing for, announced the news on Twitter.

It marks the end of a tumultuous career that began when the Mariners made him the 11th overall pick in the 2007 draft.

He quickly shot up the Mariners' prospect rankings and became a Phillies target when the talks for Lee heated up during the 2009 offseason. He was eventually acquired along with outfielder Tyson Gillies and pitcher J.C. Ramirez.

But he never panned out as he struggled mightily with control. The Canadian made it to Philadelphia for parts of four seasons. He finished his major-league career with a 1-6 record, 7.01 ERA and 34 walks in 46 appearances. Aumont's last appearance in a Phillies uniform came last season when he made a spot start after being converted from a reliever. It did not go well as he walked seven batters and gave up six runs in four innings of work.

Perhaps his most famous moment in Philadelphia was when he criticized then-Phils pitching coach Rich Dubee for his handling of prospects.

"Baseball is a very confusing thing because you have so many people who have so many different perspectives on how to do things," he told the Easton Express-Times. "At the major- league level, [bullpen coach] Rod [Nichols] is telling me something, then I come down here and can hear different stuff. Which way do I go? Do I want to please the people while I'm down here right now or do I do the things the big-league team wants me to do, even if I'm not doing the stuff they want me to do here?"

The Phils cut ties with Aumont this past offseason. He was picked up by the White Sox but did not make the club out of camp and was sent to Triple A Charlotte.

In 10 games with Charlotte this season, Aumont was 0-2 with a 12.27 ERA.

With Aumont's retirement, two of the players the Phillies acquired in the Lee deal are now out of major-league systems. Gillies now plays for an independent league team in Sugar Land, Texas. Ramirez has bounced around major-league organizations for the last few seasons. He's now in the Reds' bullpen and is sporting a 5.82 ERA.

10 years ago today: Unheralded Ryan Madson key to Phillies' World Series run

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10 years ago today: Unheralded Ryan Madson key to Phillies' World Series run

Ten years ago this month, the Phillies won their second World Series title in franchise history. Over the next few weeks, Jim Salisbury will look back at the team's run through the NLCS and World Series.

Baseball is an everyday game of rhythm and momentum and when a team is riding a good wave the last thing it wants is a day off. The Phillies got six of them between their NLCS clincher in Los Angeles and Game 1 of the World Series in St. Petersburg.

The Tampa Bay Rays had advanced to the World Series by beating the favored Boston Red Sox in the ALCS and they were a majors-best 57-24 at home.

So heading into Tropicana Field, the Phillies needed a quick start for a lot of reasons, mostly to knock off any rust that had accumulated after a weeklong layoff. They got it from two of the offensive forces of their team. Jayson Werth drew a one-out walk against Scott Kazmir in the first inning and Chase Utley followed with a two-run homer to give the Phillies the quick lead they needed. The Phils manufactured a run in the fourth to go up, 3-0, and pitching and defense made it all stand up for a 3-2 win. (The pitching and defense had to be good because Phillies' hitters were 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 men.)

The starting pitching matchup featured two exciting, young lefties. Kazmir had been the 15th overall pick in the 2002 draft. Cole Hamels was the 17th overall pick. Hamels continued his breakout month with seven innings of two-run ball to improve to 4-0 in that postseason. In 29 innings, he'd struck out 27 and allowed just five runs to that point.

Hamels got some assists in this one. Manager Charlie Manuel liked to use slick-fielding Pedro Feliz at third base behind lefties Hamels and Jamie Moyer. The move paid off when Feliz made a big play to start a clutch 5-4-3 double play to get Hamels out of a bases-loaded jam in the third.

Brad Lidge wrapped it up with his sixth save of the postseason but before that Ryan Madson logged a scoreless eighth inning. To that point in the postseason, he'd pitched 10 innings and given up just one run.

Late in the season, Madson became a demon out of the bullpen for 2008 Phillies. Something clicked for him. His shoulder, which had bothered him a year earlier, got healthy and he became more serious about his craft. He gained confidence and attacked hitters with a high-90s fastball and a knee-buckling changeup. So many things came together for that championship team. Madson's emergence might have been overshadowed at times, but it was huge.

"Ryan's confidence is like a closer's right now," Lidge said after the Game 1 win. "He's learned how to dominate guys."

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Previously in this series

Reds name former Phillies third baseman David Bell manager

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Reds name former Phillies third baseman David Bell manager

A former Phillies third baseman has landed his first MLB managing job in Cincinnati, and no, it's not Scott Rolen.

The Reds on Sunday morning named David Bell their next manager and will introduce the former Phillie on Monday afternoon. It's a three-year contract with a club option for a fourth.

Bell was the Giants' vice president of player development in 2018 and previously managed the Reds' minor-league system. He managed Cincinnati's Double A affiliate, the Carolina Mudcats, from 2009-11 and then its Triple Affiliate, the Louisville Bats, in 2011. Bell, a Cincinnati native, was reportedly up for the  Blue Jays and Rangers manager jobs.

Phillies fans will remember Bell from his four-year, $17 million contract he signed with the team in the winter of 2002. Bell never duplicated the success he had with San Francisco here. He had an abysmal first season here, hitting just .195 in 85 games. He bounced back the next year for a respectable .291/.363/.458 slash line with 18 homers and 77 RBIs, but that was as good as it got.

The Phillies were able to move on from Bell in 2006, trading the third baseman to the Brewers.

But now the 46-year-old has worked his way up the coaching ranks and has a chance to manage the team he grew up rooting for. That doesn't happen too often.

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