Phillies

Pete Rose is Phillies' 2017 Wall of Fame inductee

Pete Rose is Phillies' 2017 Wall of Fame inductee

It's not much of a surprise, but the Phillies officially announced Monday that Pete Rose will be the organization's 2017 Wall of Fame inductee.

Rose will be inducted during an on-field ceremony before the Phillies' 7:05 p.m. game against the Mets on Saturday, Aug. 12.

"I am very honored to be inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame," Rose said in a statement. "My baseball years in Philadelphia were amazing, not just because we won it all in 1980 and came close in 1983, but also because the fans welcomed me from day one. The team's great ownership and talented roster attracted me to Philadelphia as a free agent.  I knew we could experience great success."

Rose, baseball's all-time hits king, was one of the stars on the Reds' Big Red Machine, a club that won back-to-back World Series in 1975 and 1976. He came to the Phillies as a free agent before the 1979 season. He spent five years with the Phils and his leadership was key in getting a talented team over the top on its way to winning the 1980 World Series.

"He made a big difference in our lineup obviously," said Phillies bench coach Larry Bowa, a former teammate of Rose's. "It's not like we didn't have a good team before he got here but he was like the missing ingredient.

"When he came over here, he told everybody that when teams came in to play us that we were an intimidating team and a lot of people on our team didn't believe that. But he just kept saying it and saying it until we believed it."

Rose was placed on baseball's permanently ineligible list in 1989 after he admitted to wagering on baseball during his time as manager of the Cincinnati Reds. The ban precludes him from appearing on the ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Rose is still on the ineligible list, but commissioner Rob Manfred has shown some leniency in recent years and Rose has been able to participate in some ceremonies, such as his induction into the Reds' Hall of Fame last June.

"I think hindsight being 20-20, if Pete would have come out earlier and said, 'I made a mistake,' he'd probably be in the Hall of Fame," Bowa said. "He'll be the first to tell you he made a mistake at that."

Transgressions included, Phillies fans still remember Rose fondly, and Bowa thinks he'll get a very warm reception on Aug. 12.

"It'll be electric because these people loved the way he played," he said. "He didn't consider himself a superstar, he considered himself a blue-collar player that had to work for everything. 

"He played the game with reckless abandon. I saw him play through a hamstring pull. Stuff like that -- when I watch other guys go through injuries and don't get off the field -- that means a lot."

Another sign that Joe Girardi will be hired to manage somewhere soon

Another sign that Joe Girardi will be hired to manage somewhere soon

In another sign that he's likely to return to managing in the majors in 2020, Joe Girardi stepped down as the manager of USA Baseball, the organization announced Wednesday.

Girardi, who is believed to have met with Phillies officials Monday, is a strong candidate for multiple open manager jobs. The Phillies are interested, and the Cubs and Mets appear to be hot after him as well.

Girardi is the overwhelming fan choice to manage the Phillies. It's hard not to see the appeal of his combination of experience, blend of new school and old school and track record of winning. Phillies fans seem to prefer Girardi to Buck Showalter, whose teams haven't advanced as far in the postseason.

Girardi has played things differently this year than last. He had two interviews for the Reds job last fall but pulled himself out of the process, saying it wasn't the right time.

Now, he wants to manage. And the openings this time around are more appealing — three major market clubs in Philadelphia, New York and Chicago. The Mets do not spend to their market size but the Phillies and Cubs have done so in win-now periods.

It is much more likely that the Phillies would be forced into a bidding war for Girardi than for Showalter because of the number of interested teams.



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Joe Maddon hired by Angels, officially off the board for Phillies manager opening

Joe Maddon hired by Angels, officially off the board for Phillies manager opening

The first of the eight manager jobs open across Major League Baseball to begin this offseason has been filled.

The Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday announced the hiring of Joe Maddon. Maddon's contract is reportedly for three years. A native of West Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Maddon has a long history in the Angels organization. Between 1975 and 2006, Maddon played and managed in the team's minor-league system, served as a coach with the Major League club and assumed the role of interim manager.

Maddon has a 1,251-1,068 record as a manager in the major leagues. He led the Tampa Bay Rays to an American League pennant in 2008 and skippered the Chicago Cubs to a World Series in 2016, their first championship since 1908. Maddon will take over an Angels team that finished 72-90 in 2019, led by two-time MVP Mike Trout.

Though Maddon might have appeared to be an attractive name for the Phillies job, Joe Girardi, Buck Showalter and Dusty Baker are the only candidates known for the position at the moment, according to Jim Salisbury. Baker is meeting with Phillies officials Wednesday, and a hire could come quickly, per Salisbury (see story).

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports Showalter was the runner-up for the Angles job.



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