Phils Extend Uncle Chollie: 2 YearsOption

Phils Extend Uncle Chollie: 2 YearsOption

ESPN.com reports that the Phillies and Charlie Manuel have agreed to a 2-year extension with a club option for a third. All season we've been hearing the questions regarding whether he'd be back after this year, and for a while, it didn't seem like there was even a chance. But after the Phillies' record continued to improve despite seemingly countless injuries, the buzz regarding his termination was replaced by legitimate talk of Manager of the Year considerations. If not for the impressive run by Bob Melvin's young D'Backs squad, I think he'd be a shoe-in.

Most of us are still reeling from a first-round sweep by the hottest team in baseball, so it's hard to focus on the fact that Charlie really does deserve the extension. He made a costly mistake in game 2 when he took Kyle Kendrick out too early, and in games 1 and 3, his team couldn't hit a beach ball, and he's supposed to be a great hitting coach. The fact of the matter is, it will always be easy to find fault with Charlie Manuel, especially in Philly.

We're about as urban as he is country. Hell compared to Charlie, NASCAR
looks like cricket. But they did win this season. They beat the Mets.
They won the division for the first time since '93. Sure they fell
flat, but let's face it—they had no business making the playoffs after
losing so many starting pitchers to injury, the bullpen, and
inefficiency. Charlie didn't single-handedly carry the team to the
postseason; the bats were hot this year, and they lit up the scoreboard
better than any team in the league. He was their leader though, and
they overachieved, all things considered. So when faced with a decision
on bringing him back to lead them again, I don't think it was ever much
of a choice. They had to, and probably wanted to.

There will be naysayers, and they'll have a point. His in-game
management can be downright dreadful. But every time I heard it
suggested that they let him walk, I wondered who they'd get to take his
spot. I think I'll snap if I hear another word about Jim Leyland. Joe
Girardi also comes up a lot. They'd never hire him, at least not under
the current ownership. Who does that leave? A long list of candidates
who didn't take their team to the playoffs and a division win this
season (except maybe Joe Torre, but I don't think he'll be fired, nor
would the Phils pay him Adam Eaton money). Plus Charlie called out
Howard Eskin and showed him what it means to be grow'd up.

I think signing him now as opposed to waiting is the right move. He
was a lame duck manager this year, and signing him right away said to
the players, city, and Manuel, that he is their guy, so it's time to
get behind him and get ready for next season.

Beerleaguer's take... a great read as always.

Brian Carroll's goal in 92nd minute gives Union draw with Rapids

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Brian Carroll's goal in 92nd minute gives Union draw with Rapids

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- Brian Carroll tied it in 92nd minute and the Union escaped with a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids in a showdown of the Western and Eastern conference leaders.

Carroll ran underneath Fabian Herbers' high-arching header and slotted the finish under goalkeeper Zac MacMath from close range.

The Union (5-3-5) responded only 5 minutes after the Rapids (8-2-4) opened the scoring on Sam Cronin's header in the 87th minute. Cronin made a deep run to connect with Marlon Hairston's cross from the right flank, redirecting it into the far corner of the goal.

Both Dillon Powers and Luis Solignac had shots crash off the crossbar for the Rapids after the 70th minute.

The Union extended their unbeaten streak to seven while the Rapids stayed unbeaten in their nine home games this season.

Chase Utley haunts Mets in Dodgers' rout at Citi Field

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Chase Utley haunts Mets in Dodgers' rout at Citi Field

NEW YORK -- Chase Utley hit a grand slam and a solo homer after Noah Syndergaard threw a 99 mph fastball behind his back, and the Los Angeles Dodgers went deep a season-high five times in routing the New York Mets 9-1 on Saturday night.

In a scene that seemed inevitable since October, Syndergaard was immediately ejected following the third-inning pitch -- almost certainly his shot at retaliation against Utley for the late takeout slide that broke the right leg of then-Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada in last year's playoffs.

Plate umpire Adam Hamari tossed Syndergaard, sending Mets manager Terry Collins into a rage, but no trouble ensued between the teams. A longtime New York nemesis, Utley raised one hand slightly in the direction of the Dodgers' bench to keep teammates calm -- and later answered by doing all sorts of damage with his bat.

Kenta Maeda (4-3) shook off an early line drive that appeared to hit him in the pitching hand and threw five shutout innings for the win. The right-hander yielded two hits, both in the first, and snapped his three-game losing streak.

Adrian Gonzalez homered and had four hits for the Dodgers, who spoiled the Mets' 30th anniversary celebration of their 1986 World Series championship. Corey Seager and Howie Kendrick also connected, all after Syndergaard was gone.

Pinch-hitter Juan Lagares homered in the eighth for New York, long after the outcome was decided.

The stoic Utley is playing at Citi Field this weekend for the first time since Tejada was injured. The Mets -- and their fans -- were incensed by the aggressive slide, which led to a change in baseball rules this season designed to protect infielders in what some call the Utley Rule.

But the Mets had not tried to retaliate until Saturday night.

With one out and nobody on in the third inning of a scoreless game, Syndergaard's first pitch to Utley sailed behind the second baseman's back by a considerable margin.

Hamari immediately ejected Syndergaard, prompting Collins to come storming out of the dugout. Collins also was ejected after screaming at Hamari and pointing in his face during an animated argument. The manager was finally escorted back toward the New York dugout by another umpire.

After waiting near the mound with teammates for some time, Syndergaard walked calmly to the Mets' dugout without showing any emotion as the crowd cheered him.

Logan Verrett (3-2) entered for the Mets and, with a vocal contingent in the sellout crowd of 42,227 urging him to hit Utley with a pitch, eventually threw a called third strike past him. But then Utley homered on Verrett's first pitch of the sixth to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

Booed all night, Utley added his sixth career slam off Hansel Robles in the seventh, giving Los Angeles a 6-0 cushion with his 38th career homer against the Mets.

In the series opener Friday night, Utley was greeted with loud jeers and derisive chants. He had four RBIs in a 6-5 loss, including a three-run double that tied the score with two outs in the ninth.

Where are you now?
Tejada was released by the Mets during spring training and signed by the St. Louis Cardinals, who designated him for assignment Saturday.

Trainer's room
Dodgers: RF Trayce Thompson exited in the fifth with lower back soreness. He was replaced by Yasiel Puig, who hit an RBI single off Verrett in the sixth.

Mets: INF Wilmer Flores (hamstring) went 1 for 2 with a sacrifice fly in his fifth rehab game for Double-A Binghamton. Before the game, Collins said it was reasonable to think Flores could come off the disabled list Sunday.

Up next
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (7-1, 1.48 ERA) starts the series finale Sunday night against 43-year-old Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.44). Kershaw, coming off a two-hit shutout against Cincinnati, is 7-0 with a 1.17 ERA in 10 starts against the Mets. He is 5-0 with a 0.64 ERA in May -- including a three-hit shutout of New York on May 12 at Dodger Stadium. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has struck out 55 and walked two this month.

Soul drop 1st road game of season to Gladiators

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USA Today Images

Soul drop 1st road game of season to Gladiators

The Soul fell on the road to the Cleveland Gladiators, 63-49, at Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday night.

The loss was just the second of the season and the first away from the Wells Fargo Center for the Soul. Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh completed 25 of 44 passes for 342 yards and seven touchdownsi in a losing effort.

The Gladiators were led by receiver Quentin Sims, who finished with 10 receptions for 114 yards and three touchdowns, and signal caller Arvell Nelson who completed 22 of 36 passes for 307 yards and seven touchdowns.

Next week, the Soul travel to Jacksonville to take on the Sharks on Saturday, June 4. The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports and 97.5 The Fanatic.  Kick-off is set for 7 p.m.