05/05/10 7:38 PM ET
Manuel expresses sadness over Harwell
By Zach Schonbrun / MLB.com
Manuel said he met Harwell when he came up with the Minnesota Twins in 1969, and he got to know the Hall of Fame announcer through the years.
"I used to talk to him every time I'd see him," Manuel said. "I have a lot of respect for him. I feel very honored to get to know him personally and I definitely feel like he's a friend."
The news of Harwell's passing touches a different nerve in Philadelphia, where the sudden death of longtime Phillies announcer Harry Kalas last year is still on many minds. Manuel said there must be similar sentiment around Detroit.
"Him and Harry were a lot of alike as far as what they did, what they represented, and what they brought to the ballclub and the organization and the fan base," Manuel said. "Ernie's voice could hold you."
"He did a piece on baseball that I think is absolutely off the charts -- the game of baseball and how it's played and things like that," Manuel added. "I've got it somewhere at my house. He sent it to me. We're going to miss him. I can't say enough about him. He was good for the game, good for everything about it."
Phillies look to prevent fan-on-field antics
PHILADELPHIA -- When one Phillies fan jumped the fence in right field and ran through the outfield on Monday night, it made national headlines because of security personnel's use of a Taser.
When a second man ran onto the field during Tuesday's 2-1 win over the Cardinals, it indicated there may be a trend. And the Phillies are taking measures to make sure that ends.
According to a statement released on Wednesday, the fine for all persons entering the field of play during a game will be $2,500. There will also be full prosecution to the maximum extent of the law, which could include prison time.
Fan interference remained a vibrant topic in the Phillies' clubhouse after a 34-year-old man scaled the fence in left field in the ninth inning Tuesday, with Philadelphia leading St. Louis, 1-0. The man was corralled and taken off quietly, but the incident did not sit well after what had happened the night before, when a 17-year-old was Tasered after he ran on the field in the eighth inning of Philadelphia's 6-3 loss.
The Phillies said that the Philadelphia Police Department is investigating the use of the Taser and have had discussions about proper use in future circumstances. It was determined that normally only Phillies security personnel will apprehend trespassers on the field, and then hand the person over to Philly police, unless excessive force is necessary.
One Citizens Bank Park security man stationed in left field said it's difficult to prevent such acts from occurring, despite how much police presence there may be.
"There are a lot of knuckleheads out there," the man said.
"You're not supposed to run on the field," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said Tuesday. "The bottom line is, you're not supposed to run on the field."
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said Tuesday that he was not opposed to the idea of security personnel having to use a Taser gun on somebody running on the field of play during the game.
"To me, the idea is to make a deterrent, and that was a pretty significant deterrent," La Russa said. "I don't know if I'd be thinking too much about going out there again if that was possible."
Rollins' next stop is rehabilitation in Florida
PHILADELPHIA -- Jimmy Rollins will head to Clearwater, Fla., to continue his rehabilitation from a right calf strain when the Phillies go on the road on Monday, general manager Ruben Amaro said.
Rollins isn't ready to begin a rehab assignment, but Amaro is hopeful after a week of continued exercises at the team's facilities at its Class A affiliate in Clearwater he will be able to start an assignment.
"He's going to continue to progress and try to get to the point where he's sprinting and he's comfortable," Amaro said. "At that point, we'll try to get him on a rehab assignment."
At that point, Rollins will likely play three to five games before he's ready to join the big league club.
The injured shortstop has been out of Philadelphia's lineup since April 13. He has yet to do any sprinting but has fielded ground balls and taken batting practice. Amaro said they will wait until he's capable of sprinting before they send him on an assignment.
"He's progressing, but I guess that's kind of like the last thing before he starts doing rehab assignments is exploding with the legs," Amaro said. "We've had issues before with Shane [Victorino], who kind of went through the same sort of thing and had a setback in his rehab. So we want to make sure Jimmy's 100 percent before he starts training."
The offense has suffered without its leadoff hitter and offensive sparkplug, but the Phillies will not be taking any chances by rushing Rollins back and risking anything long term. Estimates for his return seem to be around early June.
"We want Jimmy back," Amaro said. "We just want to make he's back in the right time frame."
Lidge earns raves from manager Manuel
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was pleased with the performance of reliever Brad Lidge in his third appearance since coming off the disabled list, but was hesitant to say whether or not Lidge would make an appearance for a third consecutive night Wednesday.
If unavailable, Manuel will likely go with right-handed reliever Jose Contreras, who threw a scoreless inning against St. Louis on Tuesday and now has a 1.17 ERA in nine games this season.
"He's got good stuff," Manuel said. "He has a big arm. He's got two or three out pitches. His fastball's a big pitch. He's definitely tough on righties, and when he gets ahead his split becomes big on lefties."
When Lidge is ready to resume the closer role, which Manuel said he expects him to do, Contreras could be the one to regularly slip into the eighth-inning spot in the bullpen order.
Left-hander J.C. Romero is another candidate for the role, though he continues to ease his way back from offseason elbow surgery.
"[Contreras] is going to get a lot of time in the eight-hole," Manuel said. "When we get Romero going an inning or four outs, I know Romero can get lefties. And I think when we get him really going right he can throw in the seventh and eighth inning for us, too."
Lidge was pleased with his progression since allowing a home run to the first batter he faced after being activated off the DL. He said his feeling about his slider is as good as it's been in two years.
"The last two days has felt a lot better," Lidge said. "The adrenaline's been a lot higher. Now, getting into these situations really gets everything fired and gets the juices flowing. I'm definitely ready, and hopefully Charlie's seen what he wanted to see. I can tell the way the ball's getting out of my hands that I'm ready."
Zach Schonbrun is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.