Wagner: 'We're not getting it done'
PHILADELPHIA -- Billy Wagner has little faith he'll be closing games in the postseason for Philadelphia. The outspoken closer just doesn't believe the Phillies are a playoff team.
Before Friday's game against Atlanta, Wagner refused to back off his comments published in Friday's edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer, telling the paper that the Phillies had "no chance" to make the postseason.
"We ain't got a chance to get there right now," he told the paper.
Not surprisingly, those quotes made Wagner the center of a media storm before the game, but he only reiterated his contention that the Phillies just don't know how to win.
"I think it's the truth," Wagner said. "The way we're playing now, if anybody's fool enough to think we're a playoff team the way we're playing right now, they're crazy. We haven't played well. It doesn't have anything to do with us not working hard or playing hard. We're not getting it done. No, we're not a playoff team right now."
Wagner criticized his teammates for not having enough intensity, saying that when the Phillies get behind "we've quit."
"They've got to stand up and we've got to play better," he said.
Since a 12-1 homestand put the Phillies just 1-½ games out of the NL East lead on June 12, they've lost 11 of 15 going into Friday night's game with the Braves.
"When you're used to losing, it's easy to do that," Wagner said. "When we were 12-1 on that homestand, we didn't have a problem with going out there and being down. We found a way to come back and win games."
General manager Ed Wade had no problem with Wagner's comments and liked the fact a veteran player challenged his teammates.
"I want guys to care, absolutely," Wade said. "I think it's important that everybody associated take responsibility and care about what's happening every single game."
Wagner, who has 19 saves and a 2.21 ERA in his second season in Philadelphia, said he was just speaking the truth.
But Wagner also said he wanted to stay in Philadelphia, even though he could be on the trading block should the Phillies fall out of contention.
"I'm here until either they release me or trade me," he said. "I love this team and I like playing for Philadelphia."
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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