Hopefully, it's a lesson that Odubel Herrera will never forget.
Interim manager Pete Mackanin said after the game that he hasn't been happy with the attitude that his young center fielder has shown lately and it reached a level where Mackanin reacted on Sunday. The final straw was when Herrera popped-up in his second at-bat and threw the bat and jogged down the first base line. After the game, Mackanin said that he just got tired of what he called Herrera's "pouting."
"Boys play Little League and men play Major League Baseball," emphasized Mackanin. "We will not pout, we will not feel sorry for ourselves. If you want to, then you don't belong here. He had to learn a lesson. To me, he's been pouting for a few days, so I just wanted to make sure he gets the message... You can not afford to pout or feel sorry for yourself at this level. You've got to play like a man."
The Phillies have gone 3-14 and are in the throws of a six-game losing skid, with an offense that has all but vanished. Herrera has been a rare bright spot for the Phillies this season and is hitting .293/.335/.417 on the season, his first above Double-A ball. The Phillies grabbed Herrera from the Texas Rangers in last December's Rule 5 Draft, meaning that they had to keep him on the major league roster all season or risk having the Rangers reclaim him. Mackanin felt it was especially important to send the message to a young player before he gets into bad habits.
"Lately, he's been showing his emotions a little bit more. We're just not going to stand for it. He's got to understand that it doesn't work that way. I'm sure he's going to understand," said Mackanin.
Mackanin inserted Brian Bogusevic into center field and he finished the game going 1-for-2. Bogusevic is now hitting .321 in 28 at-bats with the Phillies since being recalled earlier this month. The Phillies lost to Atlanta 2-1 when A.J. Pierzynski singled to center off Luis Garcia to drive in Andrelton Simmons with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.