March 18, 2019
The Philadelphia Phillies appear primed for an exciting pennant race in 2019, having picked up the tools to prevent sputtering out of contention as they did last year.
In the midst of their late-season collapse, the 2018 Phillies seemingly checked out during the final few games of the season.
A disconcerting ESPN report that surfaced Monday includes an anecdote from former first baseman Carlos Santana about video games in the clubhouse. Santana, who was shipped to Seattle in the Jean Segura deal, is now a member of the Cleveland Indians.
In a Sept. 28 game against the Atlanta Braves, after the Phillies had been eliminated from playoff contention, Santana said he took a bat into the team's clubhouse and smashed a TV that players had been using to play "Fortnite," sometimes during games.
From the article:
"I see a couple players – I don't want to say names – they play video games during the game," Santana told ESPN. "We come and lose too many games, and I feel like they weren't worried about it. Weren't respecting their teammates or coaches or the staff or the (front) office. It's not my personality. But I'm angry because I want to make it good."
Santana made sure to note that he has great respect for the Phillies organization, Manager Gabe Kapler and GM Matt Klentak, who signed him to a $60 million contract before the 2018 season.
Pitcher Jake Arrieta confirmed the "Fortnite" story and said it may have happened once or twice, to his knowledge.
"If I'd have known people were playing video games during the game, I'd have broken some s--- too," Arrieta said.
The Phillies have bolstered their roster with superstar Bryce Harper along with Segura and J.T. Realmuto, adding a more veteran contingent to what was the youngest roster in baseball last season.
When the Phillies get rolling opening day against the Braves ten days from now, it's safe to say there won't be any "Fortnite" sessions in the middle of the game.