Lopes Moves On; Giants Are Champs

In their first major blunder of the off-season, the Phillies allowed 1st base coach and base running guru Davey Lopes walk.  Lopes was happy in Philadelphia, but with the additional responsibilities he has handled in his 4 years with the club, he felt he should be properly compensated.  Lopes told reporters, “I just felt it was time to make a stand.”

Normally first base coaches are low man on the totem pole as far as salary goes.  But Lopes did much more for the Phillies than point runners in the right direction. 
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He taught them how and when to steal bases and was the sole person in charge of the running game, something that is the manager’s job on most teams.   Since 2007, Lopes ensured that the Phillies led all of baseball with an 84.3% stolen base success rate.

Lopes is right; with the added responsibilities, he deserved a larger pay check.  He said the money they offered was good, but it did not reflect his true value to the team.  Lopes stated, “I wanted to get paid what I felt I was worth…Believe me, I wasn’t trying to break the bank.”  So, why not pay the man?

I spoke with Lopes during an event in 2009 about base stealing and also about player discipline.  I asked him why a particular player (who shall remain nameless ;o) continually seemed to be in the wrong field position during certain situations.  Lopes told me that he had personally spoken to that player about that exact issue on numerous occasions, but the player felt he knew better and would not follow instructions.  I then expressed that I did not think discipline should be part of his job, to which he agreed.  But Lopes is the kind of man that always does the right thing, whether it is his job or not.  So after four years of doing many tasks that he was not getting paid for, I can see why he felt the need to make a stand.

The real shame here is that when Lopes expressed this to the management team, it fell on deaf ears.  He should not have been allowed to walk.  Will the Phillies suffer as a result of this loss?  Only time will tell, but I can assure you that either way, he will be greatly missed by both the team and the fans.  I wish Mr. Lopes all the best in his future and hope he lands in a city that appreciates his talents.

And The New Champs Are…

…the San Francisco Giants!  Ok Phils fans, you can now officially feel better about the Giants whooping us in the NLCS; they did the same thing to the Rangers in the World Series, taking the title by 4 games to 1.  The Giants pitching totally shut down the Rangers powerful offense, just as they did to the Phillies.

Another thing to feel good about?  Cliff Lee lost both games he pitched in the series.  I will always appreciate Lee for what he did for the Phillies in 2009, but losing him stings a little bit less now.  It will be interesting to see where Lee lands in 2011.

So congratulations to the World Champion Giants and their fans…they deserve the title!  See you next year :O)

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

10 Comments

I am really bummed to see Davey go. For as much as the Phillies seem to have become big spenders, it seems an odd place to be pinching pennies – I can’t imagine Lopes was asking for anything outrageous. I hope he lands somewhere else for next season.
Can’t you give us just a little hint who the offending player was? Now my curiosity is piqued!
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

Jenn,
That is the worst part of this first few days after the ending of the World Series. Teams will be announcing or not retaining some of the people who have grown a part of our extended baseball families.
I agree Lopes should have gotten a bump up or even some sort of concession for what he has done in Philly, but we all know the Coaches are valuable and see their merits that sometimes go blind from the high suites.
I think Lopes will rebound somewhere nicely, and with a little extra cabbage in his wallet.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

WOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

Jenn,
As I was reading your post I was thinking “Can we have Lopes back?” but then I saw he wants more money and I got deflated. Does McCourt have enough money to bring him back? I hope so. We also had some running blunders this year and some probably not following directiions. Still I would love to have Lopes back. Cey and Garvey work for the organization and Russell does show up every once in a while so to have our infield back would be great.
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com

Sounds like a real loss to let Lopes go. This is the part of the end of the season that scares me – the whole guessing game about who will stay and who will leave. Should be an interesting winter.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Shame to let Lopes move on, sounds like he made his mind up without any discussion, I wonder if that was part of why the guys didn’t seem to want to run this year.

-peter

Phillies Outside

Sue…don’t want to disclose it here…just didn’t think it was right to say as I was asking him as a curious fan and not as a reporter…but ask me next time I see ya ;o)
Cliff – I think you are right…hope so…he deserves it.
Michael – Yeah, yeah, yeah….*sigh* ;o)
Emma – You may still get your wish…he is looking for a west coast team.
Jane – It’s a whole new kind of stress now…lol
Peter – Whatever the reason, this can only hurt the running game next year :O(

I can’t remember the last time I watched a Phillies game where Lopes’ base-stealing and pitcher-timing skills weren’t celebrated by the broadcasters. I thought that was his calling card? Ruben Amaro, once again, taking a step backwards.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

Jenn, Thank you for the congratulatory remarks… both here and on my page.
It was almost a shame that the Rangers gave up so much to get Lee and not have it pay off (again… ‘almost’ a shame) as they probably won’t be able to retain him.
I’m finally beginning to float back to earth and will look forward to all of the off season banter.
http://giantsgirl24.mlblogs.com/
Lynn

I was just doing some research for my site and was looking up MLB off-season moves and ran across this article (a little late…but better late than never). I think this is a major blunder by Philadelphia. You’d think with the amount of money they put out for pitching they could afford to give Lopes a little more money. I don’t know how this will impact wins and losses, but I don’t think it can be a positive. Good article and thank you for the additional information.
http://www.afsportsbets.com

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