Raul Ibanez remained in the Phillies lineup Friday night despite a .169 batting average and an 0-for-26 slump that included a hitless seven-game road trip. (Ibanez went 0 for 4 in the game, and his average dropped to .161.)
Whenever a player of an advanced age - Ibanez is 38 and a little more than a month from 39 - struggles, it's natural to wonder whether his problems are simply a by-product of getting old.
Asked about this issue, manager Charlie Manuel had an amusing answer.
"I wrote Julio Franco off three times - and he played another 15 years," Manuel said.