As promised, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin spoke with reliever Edubray Ramos on Tuesday afternoon, the day after the right-hander buzzed a 96-mph fastball over the head of the Mets' Asbrubal Cabrera in the eighth inning of a tie game.
Ramos assured Mackanin that he did not do it intentionally.
"I'll take him at his word," Mackanin said.
Ramos and Cabrera have some history. Back in September, Ramos gave up a three-run, walk-off homer to Cabrera in a 9-8 Phillies' loss in 11 innings in New York. Cabrera celebrated the game-inning poke with a big bat flip. Ramos admitted after Monday night's game that he remembered Cabrera's celebration and did not like it at the time.
But he insisted it had nothing to do with the pitch "that got" away Monday night.
Cabrera got the last laugh Monday night. He ended up drawing a walk and scored when Jay Bruce belted a decisive two-run homer two batters later.
After the game, Mackanin said Ramos had acted "inappropriately, especially in a tie game in the eighth inning."
Ramos is from Venezuela and English is his second language. Mackanin had third-base coach Juan Samuel, a native of the Dominican Republic, sit in on his meeting with Ramos, just to make sure his message was delivered.
The Ramos-Cabrera incident Monday night set up an interesting subplot for Tuesday night's game. Would there be any carryover of bad blood? Mackanin actually held a brief team meeting Tuesday afternoon in which he covered several topics. One of them was reminding his team to play ball.
But one still had to wonder if the Mets would retaliate. After all, this all started with a bat flip that a Phillies pitcher apparently did not like, and the Phillies have a big-time bat flipper on their roster in Odubel Herrera.
Mackanin does not like bat flips and does not believe they have a place in the game. He has spoken to Herrera, but Herrera continues to launch.
"I know there’s a big contingent of people that think it’s fun, let the players enjoy it," Mackanin said. "But if I’m a pitcher on the mound and I’m trying to make a team or stay on a team or not get sent down, I don’t want somebody rubbing it in when a guy hits a home run off me. Fans might like to see it, I guess, but for me it’s just unprofessional.
"Odubel has been spoken to many times. The one thing I will say: I don’t like when players flip the bat on a home run, but how can you be mad at a guy that when he walks he flips the bat? I don’t see why you get mad at that."
Mackanin believes Herrera can one day win a batting title. But you can't win a batting title on the disabled list and there has to be a fear that some pitcher might drill Herrera (and cause an injury) in retaliation for one of his bat flips.
Mackanin was asked if he worries about that.
"We saw it happen last year," Mackanin said. "He was drilled a half dozen times last year. He is who he is and he’s been spoken to about that, and told to be careful about that type of thing. But once again, you can only do so much, if that’s who he is and who he wants to be, then he has to suffer the consequences."