06/10/12 8:45 PM ET
Amid bullpen phone glitch, Maddon improvises
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
Just one problem. When Maddon asked pitching coach Jim Hickey to make the call, Hickey could not reach the bullpen because the phone was dead.
"Hick's like, 'The phone's not working, Joe; what should I do?'" Maddon said.
Maddon called timeout and informed the umpires of the situation. Meanwhile, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen had some fun with the situation, motioning like he was disconnecting a cable.
Maddon then employed utility infielder Will Rhymes as his attache to deliver a message to the bullpen that Jake McGee and Burke Badenhop should begin to get loose.
"Yeah, he looked like the fastest," said Maddon of Rhymes. "The [starting] pitchers are so disinterested at that point. They've been eating food the whole game, so they're not really able to run down to the bullpen, like he did. Rhymsy was eager. The 'Radar O'Reilly' kind of a thing. He had that look in his eye, so I felt good about it."
Rhymes delivered the message, and upon his return to the visitors' dugout, he received high-fives from his teammates.
Maddon then enlisted the security guards to get him some walkie-talkies so he could stay in contact with the bullpen.
"Eventually, they did," Maddon said. "I don't know if they understood the urgency in the beginning. Like, 'We'll get them for you.' It's not for the Red Sox series, the next day; we need them right now."
McGee eventually got the call with one out, retiring the final two batters of the inning to prevent the two runners aboard from scoring.
Shields smiled about the situation.
"You know, those things happen sometimes," Shields said. "You know, new ballpark -- you get a few kinks here and there. Yesterday we had a blackout, and today we had some phone problems. They'll square all that stuff up."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.