Moyer goes after Phils on new role

Jamie Moyer watches from the Phillies' dugout with Pedro Martinez - the man replacing him in the starting rotation - sitting behind him.
Jamie Moyer watches from the Phillies' dugout with Pedro Martinez - the man replacing him in the starting rotation - sitting behind him.
Posted: August 12, 2009

CHICAGO - Jamie Moyer sat alone in the stands at Wrigley Field yesterday afternoon. He stared at the infield where he made his major-league debut June 16, 1986, pitching for the Cubs against the Phillies and his boyhood hero, Steve Carlton.

After a few silent minutes, Moyer sent for the media and expressed strong displeasure about a late-career development. Moyer, 46, is 10-9 with a 5.47 earned run average this season, and Monday he was assigned to the bullpen to accommodate Pedro Martinez, who will make his Phillies debut tonight as a member of the starting rotation.

"I'm really not happy with this decision that the Phillies have made," Moyer said. "I will take what they've asked me to do, but I'm not real excited about the decision that's been made."

Moyer said that when he negotiated his two-year, $13 million contract with the Phils over the winter, he felt that an understanding existed between the lefthander, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and team president David Montgomery that he would be a starter.

"I feel like I've been misled," Moyer said. "I'm a little disheartened a little bit because I know this past winter when I was negotiating with the Phillies, this was a sore thumb, if you will, about this potentially happening. Ruben, you can't promise anything in this game, but I really felt that Ruben kind of parlayed to me that this type of situation would not happen.

"I actually even had some conversation with David [Montgomery], and them reassuring me this type of situation won't happen. Again, I'm a little disheartened by the way it's happened, how it's happened."

Amaro and Montgomery were not in Chicago with the team. Amaro said through a team representative: "When we signed Jamie Moyer, it was under the pretense of him being a starter. But right now, circumstances have changed. . . . We're not going to get into any contract negotiations. That's between players and club."

Manager Charlie Manuel said that the decision to remove Moyer from the rotation was agonizing. "The toughest decision I ever made," Manuel said. "It was very hard. What do you want me to say?"

Manuel added that while he did not know what Moyer's role in the bullpen would be, he would feel comfortable utilizing the lefty as he does Scott Eyre, in key situations against lefthanded hitters.

"We will look for places to pitch him and keep him sharp, and you never know what's going to happen," the manager said.

Martinez said that he has "all the regard in the world" for Moyer.

"I'm a man. I'm a human being. So is Jamie. He's my friend, my teammate, my colleague, whatever you want to call it. . . . If it happened the same way, if I went to the bullpen, I wouldn't be happy. It wasn't my decision. It wasn't me. I was placed in this position. As a matter of fact, I didn't know anything until yesterday. . . . I don't have enough words to say how I feel about Jamie."

Moyer, on the other hand, had no trouble finding words.

"Whether I like it or not, this is the situation I'm in," he said. "I will deal with it. I will deal with it in a respectful way. I'll be respectful to my teammates. I do not want to be a distraction, and I refuse to be a distraction. It's about the 25 players that are here and are playing. We all have to pick each other up. We all have to support each other. And we all have to be professional."


Contact staff writer Andy Martino at 215-854-4874 or amartino@phillynews.com.

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