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ST. LOUIS (AP) — After losing another key bat, Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel wasn’t too excited about trade deadline speculation.
Manuel said Wednesday that he’d be surprised only if the team acquired Ted Williams, the Hall of Famer whose remains were cryogenically frozen after he died in 2002.
“If that happens, I’ll be looking for him,” Manuel said Wednesday. “I’ll be one of the first to come and find him. That would be pretty good.”
He also said the Phillies would “better play like hell” if they want to reach the postseason.
Domonic Brown, who leads the team in home runs and RBIs, wasn’t in the lineup and was unavailable against the Cardinals while being evaluated for concussion-like symptoms from an unsuccessful attempt at a diving catch. Assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said the team would know Thursday whether they’d have to place Brown on the seven-day concussion disabled list.
The injury-wracked Phillies were two games below .500 and seven games back in the NL East. Manuel doesn’t know whether help is coming at the trade deadline.
“From what I hear, we’re not really close on deals,” Manuel said. “Talk ain’t nothing. Somebody comes in to make a trade, then that’s when we’ve got something.”
Even if they make a trade, Manuel knows the Phillies can’t afford mistakes.
“In order for us to make a run at it, we’ve got to really, really, really play good,” Manuel said. “I’m not saying we can’t, I would never say we can’t.
“It definitely will be tough for us.”
Then he added, “We’ve got to play like hell.”
Brown was tested Tuesday night and again Wednesday. He’s among the National League leaders with 24 homers, and has 69 RBIs.
Manuel knew after the game that Brown had been injured on a hard landing near the stands on Carlos Beltran’s triple in the seventh inning Tuesday.
Laynce Nix started in left field and batted sixth. Chase Utley was the Phillies’ top RBI man in the lineup against St. Louis with 36 RBIs and the eight starters totaled 43 homers.
The Phillies recalled designated catcher Humberto Quintero for assignment before the game and purchased the contract of utiltyman Michael Martinez from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Martinez was batting .298 with a .358 on-base percentage but offers no power with two homers and 23 RBIs.
“I think that’s about what they had,” Manuel said. “They said he was playing good, and that’s what they sent me.”
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