Tag Archives: Mitch Williams

Philography series of Philadelphia Phillies mini-bios to resume

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It was October 2014 and I was writing for another site when I decided to begin a series of mini biographies on important figures in Philadelphia Phillies history.

Over the next few years and across a handful of different writing outlets, that series which I named “Philography” would continue to accumulate entries, a few during each off-season.

This year the tradition continues, beginning next week with what will be the 22nd entry in the Philography series. The new entry will highlight the career of the greatest pitcher in Phillies history, Steve Carlton.

To get Phillies and overall baseball history fans ready, below are links to the previous 21 pieces. These bios will usually key on the individual’s playing career, but I try to provide more personal and professional background if widely available.

I hope that you will find the series increases your enjoyment of baseball and the Phillies in particular, and come back for the new entries. There will be one each month during December, January, February, and March.

Click on the “date” in order to read the Philography piece. Click on the individual name to view their stats page at Baseball Reference.

PHILOGRAPHY SERIES

 

10.17.2014Greg Luzinski

10.24.2014Mitch Williams

10.31.2014Chris Short

11.07.2014Von Hayes

11.14.2014Placido Polanco

11.21.2014Jim Konstanty

11.28.2014Dick Allen

12.06.2014Dick Ruthven

12.12.2014Grover Cleveland  Alexander

12.20.2014Darren Daulton

12.13.2015Larry Bowa

1.09.2016Sherry Magee

1.26.2016Kevin Stocker

2.10.2016Granny Hamner

2.15.2016 – Edith Houghton

12.27.2016Bob Boone

1.19.2017Mike Lieberthal

2.02.2017Red Dooin

11.29.2018Richie Ashburn

2.03.2019Jim Bunning

2.10.2019Mike Schmidt

 

MORE RECENT PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES CONTENT:

Phillies improved but still missing a strong lefty arm in bullpen

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Paredes signed as a free agent and has pitched well this spring

The best Phillies teams of the last half-century, a period of time in which bullpen usage has become more and more critical in Major League Baseball, have featured strong left-handers helping the team get through the late innings and close out tight ball games.

Most famous of all was the late screwballer and Phillies Wall of Famer Tug McGraw. The popular Tugger blew a fastball past Willie Wilson of the Kansas City Royals to close out the 1980 World Series.
That 1980 team also got 40 appearances from Kevin Saucier and dealt for veteran southpaw Sparky Lyle, who was a tremendous help during the push to the NL East crown in September.

Three years later, the ‘Wheeze Kids’ reached the World Series with a trio of lefties in McGraw, Al Holland and May trade acquisition Willie Hernandez.
In 1993, a surprising Phillies club captured another National League pennant with lefty Mitch Williams as their closer. That club also featured left-hander David West coming out of the bullpen to appear in a staff-high 76 games.
The Phillies emerged in the early 21st century from years of losing, beginning a run of more than a decade as a postseason contender. Lefty Rheal Cormier was a key member of the bullpen during the entirety of the first-half of that decade. Veteran Dan Plesac joined him to close out the Veteran’s Stadium years in 2002-03.

Wall of Famer Tug McGraw pitched for the Phillies from 1975-84 and closed out the 1980 World Series.
For the 2004 season and the opening of Citizens Bank Park the Phillies acquired lefty closer Billy Wagner. For the next two seasons, fans became electrified at each 100 mph fastball that blazed from the diminutive fireballer’s left arm.
As the Phillies team of that mid-2000’s era tried to step up from near-miss contender to actual playoff team, a June 2007 trade brought in left-hander J.C. Romero via trade. He would spend much of the next five years helping the Phillies become a champion, earning a pair of wins in the 2008 World Series.
Scott Eyre was acquired in a 2008 August waiver trade and became a key situational left-hander out of Charlie Manuel‘s bullpen for two straight Phillies pennant-winning teams.
When the 2011 Phillies set a franchise record with a 102-win regular season the bullpen contributions of young left-hander Antonio Bastardo were crucial.
During this recently completed off-season the Phillies management and ownership checked off a number of boxes in helping push the club back to contending status. But those checks came mostly in the positional lineup as the team added outfielders Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen, shortstop Jean Segura and catcher J.T. Realmuto.
Those were fantastic additions to be sure. But many felt that the team could really use both a veteran starting left-handed pitcher and a strong bullpen left-hander to really fill out a true championship contender.

The proven bullpen lefty was out there in free agency if they wanted him. But on January 11, Zack Britton surprised many by choosing to return to the New York Yankees. He’ll have a chance to win championships with the Bronx Bombers and is being paid $13 million per season. Many felt that he would leave for a chance to close, which he will not get in New York, at least not in the short-term.
Now more than halfway through the 2019 Grapefruit League season the Phillies have a group of southpaws battling for a chance to come out of Gabe Kapler‘s bullpen when the regular season begins.
There are currently five lefty relievers still with the club. Adam Morgan is the lone holdover from last season. Trade acquisitions James Pazos and Jose Alvarez and non-roster invitees Edward Paredes and Jeremy Bleich also remain. Here is a look at a few of their key numbers entering Saint Patrick’s Day:
Morgan and Paredes were clearly the most effective of the group heading into the Sunday game in Clearwater against the Yankees. The 29-year-old Morgan has been with the organization since his selection in the third round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft. He remains under club control through arbitration over the next two years.
Paredes signed as a free agent with the Phillies back on January 11. The 32-year-old has pitched in 15 games across the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He pitched in 10 minor league seasons with the Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and Cleveland Indians. Paredes has also pitched for 10 years during the off-season in his native Dominican Republic.

Edward Paredes is a 10-year minor league veteran who appeared in 15 games with the Dodgers in 2017-18. (Th3TruthPhotos/WikiCommons)
Paredes has an 11:2 K/BB over 6.1 innings, allowing four hits and no earned runs. Morgan brought an 8:1 K/BB ratio over 5.2 innings during which he allowed just one earned run and four hits into Sunday. That production had to give the club hope.
Unfortunately, Morgan looked bad on Sunday. He surrendered four runs, three of those earned, on three hits and a walk while also committing an error over 1.1 innings. Morgan hurt himself, throwing away a dribbler back to the mound with one out in the top of the 7th inning. Troy Tulowitzki followed with a long two-run homer onto the roof of the Tiki Bar in left at Spectrum Field on a hanging curve ball.
You can pretty much count on the Phillies bullpen having a half-dozen right-handers on Opening Day: Seranthony DominguezDavid RobertsonHector NerisPat NeshekJuan NicasioEdubray Ramos. Depending on whether the club wants to carry a seven or eight-man pen to open the season, that leaves room for one or two more relievers.
Things can certainly change based on injuries and late performances, as Morgan’s implosion today demonstrated perfectly. As things stand right now you have to like the chances of Paredes, a long-shot when camp opened in February, lining up for introductions at Citizens Bank Park on March 28.

Remembering the 1993 NL champion Phillies in their silver anniversary season

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Daulton was the acknowledged clubhouse leader of the 1993 NL champions

The Philadelphia Phillies are officially feting the 2008 World Series championship team this weekend.

On the 10th anniversary of the historic season which concluded with that team winning the second title in franchise history, it is wholly understandable and appropriate.
However, there is another beloved Phillies team celebrating a big anniversary this year.
In fact, as someone who has been following the team closely since Veteran’s Stadium opened in 1971, I’ve always maintained that the other anniversary team provided the most fun single Phillies season that I ever experienced.
Sure, the 1980 and 2008 Phillies teams both won the World Series. I attended Game Two of the 1980 Fall Classic as an 18-year-old. I was at the parade celebrations for both championship teams.
I was inside JFK Stadium in October of 1980 when Tug McGraw told New York to “take this world championship and stick it!” I was videotaping at 15th & JFK and captured a fan making a memorable climb up a light pole on Halloween in 2008.
But for all the drama, excitement, and ultimate thrill that those two clubs provided, there was never a more fun Phillies season from start to (almost) finish for me than the one provided by the 1993 team.
It almost seems lost in all the excitement over the 10th anniversary of the 2008 club, but this is now the silver anniversary for the 1993 National League champion Philadelphia Phillies team.
Yes, it has been 25 years now since that mullet-wearing, scruffy-bearded, ‘Macho Row’-led crew stormed through baseball. In a March 2012 piece, Mike Bertha at Philadelphia Magazine summed up that unforgettable season perfectly:

“It began with a bench-clearing brawl at spring training. Then, over the course of 103 total wins, 49 extra innings, 12 playoff games and some late nights (or, more accurately, early mornings), the 1993 Phillies seduced the city. Fans spent the summer flocking to the Vet to watch their appropriately nicknamed “Animal House,” both captivated and agog as the Phillies stampeded through the National League and then marched through Atlanta to earn a date with the defending-champion Toronto Blue Jays in the World Series.”

The Darren Daulton Foundation operates today in the name of, and as a memorial to, the namesake captain of that Phillies team. The foundation provides financial assistance to those who suffer from brain cancer and brain tumors. On June 8, they held a reunion celebration for the 1993 team.
Our own Kevin McCormick here at Phillies Nation reported on the event and those in attendance back in June:

“…the pennant-winning team showed up for the event, including: Tommy Greene, Jim Eisenreich, Larry Bowa, Milt Thompson, Ben Rivera, Mickey Morandini, David West, Tony Longmire, Curt Schilling, and even Danny Jackson who arrived after throwing out the first pitch at the Phillies-Brewers game across the street. Fans in attendance got to meet the players, take pictures, get autographs, and chat with the guys throughout the night.”

Morandini, who shared second base duties with Mariano Duncan, eventually became a minor league manager and then a big league coach with the Phillies. He remains on the payroll as a popular club ambassador.
Five of the men who were in uniform and playing important roles that summer are no longer with us, including Daulton. The catcher and leader of that ball club died a year ago this coming Monday following a four-year battle with brain cancer.

Also now gone off to play on that “Field of Dreams” in the sky is their raspy-voiced manager Jim Fregosi, along with three members of his coaching staff: John VukovichJohnny Podres, and Mel Roberts.
Phillies fans still get plenty of first baseman John Kruk (TV) and reliever Larry Andersen (radio) as members of the current Phillies regular broadcasting crew. Andersen and Daulton hold the distinction of being the only players to appear with the Phillies during both the 1983 and 1993 pennant-winning seasons.
Greene was a member of the 1993 starting rotation, joining Schilling, Jackson, Rivera, and Terry Mulholland. He and shortstop Kevin Stocker can be found chipping in work as a broadcaster and analyst respectively at times.
Some of the more popular members of that hard-charging ball club have become embroiled in controversy over the years. Beginning with nine seasons in Phillies pinstripes, Schilling built a strong Hall of Fame résumé as he continued his career helping the Diamondbacks and Red Sox to World Series victories.
The MVP of the 1993 NLCS victory over Atlanta, Schilling’s shutout in Game Five of the World Series that year is one of the greatest post-season pitching performances in Phillies history. Some now find him controversial as an outspoken conservative political and social commentator.
Mitch Williams was a respected analyst with MLB Network before he was fired in 2014 after an altercation at a youth tournament. Williams filed a lawsuit and was ultimately awarded a $1.5 million judgement in June of last year.
Lenny Dykstra finished as runner-up to Barry Bonds in voting for the 1993 National League Most Valuable Player. ‘The Dude’ or ‘Nails’ as he was alternately known blasted dramatic home runs in both the NLCS and World Series that year.
Over the ensuing decades, the now 55-year-old Dykstra has fallen the farthest and hardest. In May of this year came his latest incident, arrested in New Jersey after allegedly pointing a weapon at an Uber driver and threatening to blow the driver’s head off. Cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy were found on him by responding police.
Some members of that 1993 team are already immortalized by the organization. Bowa, previously honored in 1991 for his role as a player, would be joined by Vukovich (2007), Daulton (2010), Kruk (2011), and Schilling (2013) on the Phillies Wall of Fame.
It was a completely unexpected, fun summer filled with wild, walk-off wins, some in the wee hours of the morning. Numerous seemingly unlikely heroes stepping up to deliver pivotal hits or make clutch plays at crucial moments. A wild band of misfit characters playing the parts and winning the hearts of Phillies fans for decades to come.
They fell just two games short of the ultimate prize. But even that was nothing to hang their heads about. The Toronto Blue Jays finally ended their magic with Joe Carter‘s walk-off home run in Game Six.
That Toronto club, already defending World Series champions, put a trio of Hall of Famers on the field in Rickey HendersonPaul Molitor, and Roberto Alomar, as well as a handful more all-stars. The 1993 Phillies were within a big blown lead in Game Four and Carter’s heroics of pulling off their most stunning victory of all.
As you justly honor and remember the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies this weekend on the occasion of their 10th anniversary, take some time out to also recall that 1993 Phillies team. A silver anniversary is just as worthy of celebration, especially this one.

Originally published at Phillies Nation as “World Series winners not the only beloved Phillies team celebrating an anniversary

Phillies Fall Classics VII: 1993 World Series Game Two

The 1993 Philadelphia Phillies were not supposed to be contenders, let alone win the NL East Division crown, let alone a National League pennant. 
At least not as far as experts, and anyone who knew anything at all about baseball was concerned as that season began.
Well, at least not as far as anyone except the team themselves, that is.
In my lifetime, I have followed the Phillies through 45 seasons now, since I was a 9-year old kid in 1971. I have enjoyed some great seasons. Ten NL East crowns. Five National League pennants. A pair of World Series championships.
Never in all of those 45 seasons did I follow a single season, from start to finish, that was more enjoyable, more downright fun, than that group of 1993 Phillies. 
Perhaps it was because it was all so unexpected. In 1992, the Phils had finished in last place in the NL East with a 70-92 record. 
That 1992 cellar finish was their sixth straight losing campaign, and made it eight of nine seasons in which the club had not fashioned a winning record.
The Phillies swept the Houston Astros on the road in a three game series to open the season, on their way to winning eight of their first nine games. Their only loss in that stretch left them a half-game out in the NL East race. They would never trail again that season.

By the end of April, the Phillies were 17-5, and had built up a 4.5 game lead in the division. 
By the end of May, they were 34-15, and the lead was up to seven games. At the MLB All-Star break, their record still stood at 57-32, and they led by five games.
Four Phillies were named to the NL All-Star team, including catcher and team captain Darren Daulton and 1st baseman John Kruk, each voted by MLB fans as starters. 
Pitcher Terry Mulholland was selected and became the game’s starting pitcher. Also named to the squad was tough 3rd baseman Dave Hollins.
It was around the break that the team went through its one real rough patch. A win on June 25th had pushed them a season-high 30 games over the .500 mark. 
But from then through July 17th, the club went into a tailspin, losing 14 of 20 games to watch their lead shrink to just three games.
Then, just when many thought the bubble had burst and the clock had struck midnight on their Cinderella first half, the Phillies simply refused to lose for the rest of the regular season. 
That is almost a literal statement. Just twice more would they lose as many as three in a row.
On Tuesday night, September 28th, the Phillies bats exploded for a 10-7 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium, clinching the franchise’ first NL East crown in a decade, and completing their “worst-to-first” turnaround.
Skipper Jim Fregosi would be named the National League Manager of the Year for leading that amazing group that became known as “Macho Row”, as a nod to their tremendous offensive outputs and in a takeoff of the old “Murderer’s Row” of the New York Yankees.
That offensive lineup included All-Stars Daulton, Kruk, and Hollins. It also included outstanding righty-lefty platoons in both left field, with RH Pete Incaviglia and LH Milt Thompson, and in right field with RH Wes Chamberlain and LH Jim Eisenreich.
It also included an exciting center fielder nicknamed “The Dude” or “Nails”, Lenny Dykstra
While he wasn’t an All-Star, he would become the team’s offensive catalyst, and finished 2nd in the National League MVP voting to the great Barry Bonds that season. 
Others of note with the ’93 Phillies included reliever Larry Anderson, who had played with the ’83 Phillies, and closer Mitch ‘Wild Thing’ Williams.
The Phillies met the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS that season. This was in the years when Atlanta was still playing in the NL West, where they were assigned in the wake of the 1969 expansion and would remain until a 1994 realignment which followed another round of expansion in that 1993 season.
The Braves had won their 3rd straight division title that season in what would become a streak of 14 consecutive division crowns. They had won an MLB-high 104 games. 
They were led by a trio of starting pitchers who would all become Baseball Hall of Famers: Greg MadduxTom Glavine, and John Smoltz.
But that 1993 Phillies team was the worst possible opponent for those great Braves pitchers. 
The ‘Macho Row’ group feared no one, and they could work a pitcher like no other team in Phillies’ franchise history. 
They again shocked the baseball world by dispatching Atlanta in six games to win the NL pennant and advance into the World Series.
Waiting in the Fall Classic was yet another dynamic ball club, the defending world champion Toronto Blue Jays. 
The Jays were featured a trio of future Hall of Famers in Paul MolitorRickey Henderson, and Roberto Alomar
They also had one of the game’s best all-around hitters in John Olerud, and one of the game’s top sluggers in Joe Carter.
On the mound, Toronto had a half-dozen solid starting pitching options, including near Hall of Famer Jack Morris, swing man lefty Al Leiter, ex-Phillie Dave Stewart, and shutdown closer Duane Ward.
The Blue Jays broke open a tight Game One by scoring three times in the bottom of the 7th to win by an 8-5 score at SkyDome in Toronto, taking a lead of 1-0 in the series. 
All this sets us up for the next installment in our Phillies Fall Classics feature: Game Two of the 1993 World Series.
Fregosi would send the 30-year old unflappable lefty NL All-Star starter Mulholland to the mound for the big Game Two start. 
Opposing him for manager Cito Gaston‘s Blue Jays was 15-year, 36-year old veteran righty Stewart, who had signed with the world champs after seven strong seasons with the Oakland Athletics, including a 1989 AL Cy Young Award.
The man known as ‘Smoke’ had broken into the big leagues all the way back in 1978 with a Los Angeles Dodgers team that would beat the Phillies in that year’s NLCS
Stewart had also briefly pitched in a dozen games for the Phillies during the 1985 and 1986 seasons.
But one thing that played into the Phillies hands with a pitcher like Stewart was that he was right handed. The Phillies lefty-heavy lineup could feast on righty fastballers, and Stewart fit the mold perfectly.
In the top of the 3rd inning with the game still scoreless, Stewart walked both Dykstra and 2nd baseman Mariano Duncan to start things off. It would prove a bad portent of things to come. 
Kruk singled to score Dykstra, and then Hollins singled to score Duncan, and the Phillies were up 2-0.
One batter later, another lefty would land an even bigger blow. Eisenreich, who famously battled the condition known as Tourette’s syndrome, was a tremendous contact hitter, and not known as a slugger. But on an 0-2 pitch, Eisenreich blasted a 3-run homer deep into the stands in right center.
Mulholland would hold on to that 5-0 lead for just one inning. In a foreshadowing of things to come at the series’ end, Carter ripped a line drive 2-run homer down the left field line to put the Jays on the scoreboard.
In the bottom of the 6th, Mulholland retired the first two batters. But then Alomar singled and came all the way around on a Tony Fernandez double, cutting the Phillies lead to 5-3 and finally knocking the Phils’ starter out of the game.
With two of the Phillies first three hitters due up in the top of the 7th as left-handed hitters, Gaston went to his bullpen and brought in 30-year old veteran lefty Tony Castillo
Dykstra made sure that move backfired, blasting a leadoff home run to deep right, making it a 6-3 Phillies lead.
Fregosi had turned to righty reliever Roger Mason to get out of the 6th inning jam, and Mason continued strong by setting the Jays down in order in the 7th. 
In the bottom of the 8th, Molitor led off with a double, and then Mason froze Carter on a 2-2 pitch for a huge out. Fregosi then decided it was time to bring in his closer, Mitch Williams.
Molitor immediately took advantage of the ‘Wild Thing’, swiping third base. He then scored when Olerud lofted a sacrifice fly to right, making it a 6-4 game. Now with two outs, Williams lived down to his nickname, walking Alomar, who then promptly stole 2nd base. But then with Tony Fernandez up as the tying run, the Jays pushed the thievery too far. Alomar took off for 3rd, but was picked off by Williams for the inning’s final out.
Still holding that same 6-4 lead into the bottom of the 9th, Williams walked Fernandez as the leadoff man. He was erased on a fielder’s choice grounder by Ed Sprague
But the Jays still were bringing them tying run to the plate, this time in the form of catcher Pat Borders.
With the always dangerous Henderson on-deck, Williams induced Borders to roll a 1-1 pitch on the ground to Phils’ rookie shortstop Kevin Stocker. Stocker flipped to Duncan, who turned and fired to Kruk, completing the game-ending doubleplay.
With that 6-4 victory, the Phillies had accomplished their goal of winning a game in Toronto. They would now return to Veteran’s Stadium where they would host the next three games. 
For now, the magic of this season was continuing. But it would take until Game Five before we would reach what will be the next in this featured series, our Phillies Fall Classic VIII.

Mitch Williams Interview

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Williams (center) during his stint as an analyst with the MLB Network

Mitch Williams is one of the most colorful, controversial, and popular athletes in Philadelphia sports history. “The Wild Thing” who heroically shut down the Braves to clinch the 1993 National League Pennant, then became a publicly vilified goat on yielding Joe Carter‘s World Series-winning homerun just 10 days later.

Williams rose from the ashes of that emotional ’93 devastation to eventually be forgiven and embraced again by Phillies fans, and ultimately beloved by them. He did it by never shirking responsibility, and by always displaying openness and candor in handling the situation.
I was fortunate enough to be able to interview the former Phillies closer this week. In our conversation, Mitch showed that he is as feisty, frank, and competitive as ever.
We covered a wide range of topics, from his current internet talk show “Unleashed with Mitch Williams“, to last year’s incident that resulted in his being fired by the MLB Network, to his opinion on the current Phillies bullpen of Jonathan PapelbonKen GilesJake Diekman, and Justin De Fratus.
Along the way there were detours to Curt Schilling‘s Hall of Fame worthiness, his relationship with Lenny Dykstra, and even a more recent run-in with former Phils pitching coach Rich Dubee involving both Diekman and Phillies pitching great Roy Halladay.

THE MITCH WILLIAMS INTERVIEW

MV: How did the Wildfire radio gig come about?
W: Twitter. They tweeted me about it and we started it.
MV: Nice, power of social media. What are your biggest payoffs with it? What do you enjoy most, get out of it?
W: Right now it’s the only way to keep my voice being heard until my lawsuits are settled. No one in network TV will hire me after MLB Network fired me over lies told about me on a rumor blog! I can’t talk about the cases because they are in the hands of the court. But go to Law360.com article on Mitch Williams. Just Google that. It will tell you the facts.
NOTE
: link in that quote from Mitch will take you to the article he referenced
MV: Any idea of a time frame on that resolution – at least in your hopes?
W: It could last 2 years. Don’t know.
MV: Sure. Legal situations can sure drag out.
MV: Are you still at all, or plan on, coaching kids ball again? Where are your kids, as far as their interest/participation in baseball?
 W: My youngest is a monster at 10 years old. He is heavy into baseball, and I am looking at doing some clinics. Will have more info on those soon.
NOTE: Mitch’s daughter, Nikola Williams, is a HS basketball player in South Jersey. She is currently one of 10 girls, including former Philadelphia Eagles star Jon Runyan’s daughter Alyssa, nominated in a poll being run by NJ.com under the question: “Who do you want taking the final shot in Burlington County?
MV: Started tossing Nikola a bunch of votes – good luck!
W: Thanks Matt!
MV: Glad to hear you’re staying involved teaching the game.
MV: Can you answer a couple on the old days? Curt Schilling, a Hall of Famer? Dykstra, still feuding?
W: First, Schilling is not a Hall of Fame pitcher. The HOF is for a body of work over a career. 216 wins in 22 years. Jack Morris had 254 in 18 years, all 18 in AL facing 9 hitters a night. Schilling spent 12 of his years facing 8 hitters a night in NL. Morris had 175 complete games. CS had 81.
NOTE: Schilling actually had 83 complete games 
W: If Morris ain’t a HOFer, Schilling definitely isn’t. Everyone thinks Schilling is an HOFer because of his postseason stats. That isn’t what the Hall is for. If they build a wing on the HOF for postseason performance, CS is a first ballot HOFer. I actually think they should build a wing on the HOF for that.

I bet as the guards were knocking every tooth out of his head in prison, the World Series loss didn’t seem all that big a deal.” ~ Mitch on Lenny

 W: As for feud with Lenny, I never cared enough about him to feud with him. He spent 20 years ripping me for the World Series. I know I lost it for our team. Never claimed I didn’t lose it. I didn’t need a convicted criminal to remind me every time someone stuck a camera in his face. I bet as the guards were knocking every tooth out of his head in prison, the World Series loss didn’t seem all that big a deal. So I’ve had no feud with him.
W: Ain’t gonna shake his hand and give him a hug, which he tried to do when I saw him. I am not a guy that hugs someone that has said really nasty stuff about me that my kids had to hear. I ain’t phony. I don’t have to like someone to acknowledge their ability. If I had a big game to win, I would want Schilling to start it. And Lenny was the smartest baseball player I ever played with. He knew the game inside out. But he was literally the dumbest human I’ve ever met off the field. I told both of them the same thing when they were ripping me.

I am not perfect. But I have never been sent to prison, and I don’t owe the state of Rhode Island $75 million dollars” ~ Mitch on Lenny and Curt

W: When our baseball careers are over, we will just have to be men. And neither of them would make a pimple on a man’s ass! I am not perfect. But I have never been sent to prison, and I don’t owe the state of Rhode Island $75 million dollars. I am involved in 2 law suits that I can’t talk about, that I was forced to file. But when those are over, people will all hear the actual truth about all that BS! And the people that have always stood by me will find out they were right to do so.
W: I wouldn’t let the people of Philly down by doing what I was accused of, the people of Philly are great. That is why I can’t wait for this to all be over so they know that I didn’t betray them and let them down! I care too much about representing the Phillies fans in a positive way. Because they always stood by me. I never took that lightly. 
MV: Any comments on the current Phils pen? Paps, Giles, Diekman, De Fratus?
W: The Phils got a very good and young bullpen. If the team can stay close for 6 innings, they could do better than expected in ’15 because of the bullpen!
MV: The Papelbon stuff, crotch-grab and all – overblown? Bad move? Any insights on him at all? Diekman a hard throwing lefty like you – similar?

Dubee wouldn’t listen to someone that saw something he couldn’t begin to understand. So he got fired, and Roy’s career ended 5 years before it should have” ~ Mitch on Dubee and Doc

W: Pap was out of line! As for Diekman, I asked Charlie Manuel 3 years ago if he minded me calling Jake to work with him. That I could spend 30 minutes with him and he would be able to repeat his mechanics, and he would be throwing as hard as Aroldis Chapman. Charlie wanted me to work with him. So I called Jake and offered to pay for his flight to come here to New Jersey, and I could show him a couple of things that would simplify his mechanics and he would throw even harder.
NOTE: Rich Dubee was the Phillies pitching coach at the time Mitch offered to help with Diekman
W: But Rich Dubee got offended and wouldn’t let Jake come. I saw Dubee that spring and he yelled at me in the clubhouse in front of the team, that he knew what he was doing, and I should never talk to his pitchers again. So I looked at him and just said “Okay Rich.” Then I went into Charlie’s office and told Charlie to tell Dubee if he ever yelled at me in front of anyone again, I would knock him out in front of those same people.
W: Then I did a breakdown on Roy Halladay on MLB Network, on why he was struggling. It was so simple to see on film, and he would be throwin’ 100. But Dubee and his sub .500 record in AA ball chose his ego over Halladay’s health. He went from winning the Cy Young in ’10 and 2nd in ’11 to his career being over in ’13 because Dubee wouldn’t listen to someone that saw something he couldn’t begin to understand. So he got fired, and Roy’s career ended 5 years before it should have.

MV: Appreciate everything, Mitch. Thank you for the interview.