Notes: Thome not dwelling on ejection
Slugger tossed out Wednesday for just second time in career
PHILADELPHIA -- When something happens twice over a 15-year Major League career, it's worth noting. Which brings us to Wednesday's ejection of Jim Thome for arguing balls and strikes.It's just something you don't see too often. "I wasn't ready for that one," said pitcher Cory Lidle. "It was a shock." Thome was called out on a pitch that he thought was outside. He glared at home plate umpire Paul Schreiber and spoke his mind. He continued making his point as the teams switched sides. Third base coach Bill Dancy arrived, and a still bothered Thome headed for the dugout. He got in one more word and Schreiber gave him the rest of the night off. Ejections happen, just not to Thome. Maybe he's just frustrated by his .213 batting average and two homers? "No," Thome said. "That's over with. Today is a new day. Last night is over. The main thing for me right now is I feel like I'm healthy, and that's a big thing. I have to continue to stay on top of things and see what happens." And stay in games. Incidentally, Thome's other ejection came April 23, 1999. He charged the mound after getting hit by a pitch from Boston's Rheal Cormier and started a bench-clearing brawl. Thome was ejected, and Cormier, now a teammate of Thome's, received a fine and suspension. "That was a good fight," said manager Charlie Manuel. Draft stuff: The Phillies' draft brain trust has been huddled in meetings since Tuesday preparing for next week's First-Year Player Draft. Scouting director Marti Wolever reiterated that the team is looking for pitching and infield help. "Coming into the year, everyone thought it was going to be a very deep draft," Wolever said. "I don't think it's shaping up to be that way. I think the first 15 players are at a certain level, then it's everybody else. You may end up getting the same player in the second round that you'll get in the fourth." The Phillies don't pick until No. 65, so they'll be looking at the best available player. They don't have a first-round pick because they signed Jon Lieber in the offseason. As a draft guy, Wolever hates to lose picks, but understands the big picture. "Jon Lieber is from my hometown, so I'm very happy to have him here," Wolever said. "It is bittersweet. The ultimate goal is to win a championship in Philly, but at same time, you go to parks in spring and see players you have no chance of getting. It can be a little disheartening." Spelling bee: On one television was a video loop of starter Brad Hennessey, the pitcher the Phillies were scheduled to face on Thursday night. On the other, players watched a more riveting competition: the drama of the 78th Scripps National Spelling Bee. "I tried some of those words today, and did OK," said Cormier. "I'd have a shot with some of those words with French or English origins. Greek is out of my league." While the locker room consensus had Randy Wolf or Lidle winning in a runaway, Cormier predicted Aaron Fultz would have a shot. The reliever is constantly reading novels in the clubhouse. "I may read a lot, but that doesn't mean I'm smart," Fultz said. "I read because I'm bored. I've never heard of half of those words." Quotable: "I was pushing them yesterday, saying we had to get the team batting average up. We got 19 hits, and 13 or 14 singles. Today, I'll start talking about power." -- Manuel on the Phillies' lack of power Did you know? Lenny Dykstra is the last Phillies outfielder to be elected as a starter in the All-Star Game, in 1995. Coming up: Vicente Padilla will pitch Friday's series opener against Arizona in his first outing since May 21. He missed his last start because of a stiff back.
The righty is slowly returning to form, though he's giving up a lot of hits and doesn't trust all of his pitches. Manuel is hoping to get at least six innings out of him.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.