Phillies Fans Questioning Charlie Manuel’s Decision to Pitch Don Rickles
Sunday night saw one of the most exciting games in recent World Series memory, and perhaps one of the most memorable post-season games of all-time. History was made on a single play as Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel made a puzzling pitching decision in the top the 9th with two outs.
In an unprecedented move, Manuel pulled closer Brad Lidge with only one out left to get out of the inning, and put in aging insult comic, Don Rickles.
“He was looking good in practice. He had good control of his punchlines, good velocity on his wit. But when he got out there, his stuff didn’t look the same,” Manuel said after the game.
Fans were stunned when Rickles slowly shuffled out of the bullpen, the 83 year old seemingly confused as to exactly where he was. As he took the mound, the first clue that things weren’t going to go right was when Rickles began talking into the baseball as if it were a microphone.
“The way these guys are dressed out here…who’s their stylist — Stevie Wonder??!”
As he continued to spout of one-liners insulting the players and audience, Johnny Damon casually walked from first base all the way to third, setting up an emotional win for the Yankees.
“I heard him saying something about Frank Sinatra, and knew that was my chance.”
When asked what he thought about Manuel’s decision to put him in the game, Rickles responded, “the thing about that guy is that you always have to kiss his ring when you see him —
the problem is he always has his hand in his back pocket.”