Myers' Attitude Becomes An Issue

Something unusual happened the other night. Brett Myers accepted responsibility for one of his all too frequent on-the-mound meltdowns. Of course, the next night, he was back to looking elsewhere to lay blame.

A closer's job is black and white. He either gets the job done or he doesn't. The good ones succeed far more often than they fail and when they do fail, they understand that they were the ones that failed. Brett Myers hasn't accepted that part of the job just yet.

Myers said he deserved what he got Tuesday night when he blew a save in the 10th inning of an eventual 14-inning Phillies victory because the Cardinals hit him hard. But he thought he warranted a better fate in the 10th inning Wednesday night when an infield single and a liner through the left side of the infield gave the Cardinals a 2-1 victory. Myers hinted that maybe the Phillies didn't have their infield aligned properly. "They hit the ball in the right spot. Just a bad run of luck. We're playing no-doubles defense. That leaves a big hole. That hole beats a lot of teams," said Myers about the defensive alignment. "(Tuesday night) I deserved to lose," explained Myers. "Tonight, I thought I made good pitches."

The only problem with Myers explanation is that the Phillies weren't in a no-doubles defense; an issue that seemed to ruffle a few feathers in the clubhouse. Manager Charlie Manuel bristled at the suggestion, and the replay showed Gregg Dobbs, who was playing third base at the time, wasn't hugging the foul line, as third basemen will do in a "no-doubles" defense. "We weren't playing no doubles," Manuel insisted. "We won't be playing no doubles there. In that situation, we know a single would win the game."

Earlier in the season, Myers blamed Citizens Bank Park for a blown save. Other times it's been the umpires. One of these days, he's going to say that his dog ate his glove and that's why he couldn't lock down a Phillies win.

Myers' ERA has hung right around or just under the five-mark this season and currently stands at 4.60. That's too high for a closer and Myers simply isn't the dominating closer that a team needs. The Phillies have to consider if moving Myers back to the rotation next season would be a necessary step up. They might also consider putting him on the trade block over the winter and let another team sort out whether he should start or close.

The meltdowns are too frequent and Myers' willingness to accept the responsibility is much too seldom seen. Whether it's the ballpark, the defense or anything else, Myers' career in Philadelphia could be at a crossroads.


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