After nine losses in a row last September, veteran Carlos Santana of Philadelphia Phillies felt like sending a message to teammates who didn’t pay enough respect to the club by spending a lot of time playing Fortnite. Santana didn’t hesitate to grab a bat, headed to the clubhouse and straight-out smash the TV in front of everyone.

The Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies is an American professional baseball team. They compete in Major League Baseball of the National League East division.

Santana saw some members play games during a match, he shared with ESPN. The team has lost so many games in the season and they didn’t seem to worry one bit. Santana was pissed about that since he wanted to “make it good”.

The Phillies had then spent the whole offseason to not only overhaul the youngest roster in baseball, but also to reimage the clubhouse dynamic.

Gabe Kapler is the manager of Phillies and he had something to say with ESPN. The clubhouse chemistry was alright after wins and wins, he said. But everyone was disappointed and wanted to find the answers when falling back in the playoff race by losing so much.

The Phillies
Manager Gabe Kapler, left, and Bryce Harper, a signing capped a major makeover of the Phillies.

Gabe sets up the standards

In the last season, or the first season being a manager of Kapler, he allowed players to watch out themselves. But as 2018 continued, Phillies players started to show up in the clubhouse, both before and during the game, and that bothered Santana. In order to avoid the same thing this year, Kapler convened 13 players, both veterans and leaders. He asked them to follow a policy to show up for national anthem and on pitches for the remaining of the season.

Jake Arrieta is one of the veterans who helped setting up the new “rules and boundaries”. He told ESPN that it wasn’t a problem to play games or stare at their phones, but definitely not during the game.

For general manager of Phillies, Matt Klentak, Carlos is among his favorites, as a player and as a person in the league. It was hard to include him in a trade with Seattle, but the Phillies had to trade good players for other good ones.

Not stopping there, the Phillies kept on stocking up players during the winter. They welcomed Andrew McCutchen and David Robertson, an outfielder and reliever respectively. Harper also joined the team, signed up with a 13-year contract of $330 million.

Santana sharing

Santana, as for now is happy to be in his current team, the Cleveland Indians. He received a 3-year deal of $60 million right before the 2018 season. Santana didn’t have any problem with anybody. For him, Matt Klentak was great, everybody was great and everything was fine for him. He only worried about baseball, about trying his best every game and helping his team winning.

Santana showed sympathy for Gabe. Santana liked the guy but it was hard to keep track of everyone, especially when it was Gabe’s first year, when people were doing their own thing. It wasn’t professional, according to Santana, to spend time with video games while the real match is happening. He believed that everyone has to be on the same page and have some respect for the team, all 25 of them.

Words from Arrieta

Arrieta, however, wasn’t aware of the situation of the players. Also, at first, he didn’t know why Santana was upset or what was he upset about. At that moment, all he knew was that the Phillies need improvements to be able to compete in 2019.

Arrieta believed that leadership and accountability should come from the players themselves. The standards, the rules and boundaries should be clear to everyone and everyone should be able to understand it. It was McCutchen, Tommy, D-Rob Neshek, Segura and Realmuto alongside to set up the standards. It wasn’t hard to make the rules, but it was important to show how they themselves carry such rules out.

In summary,

Regarding this season, instead of finding SCARs, sniper rifles and shotguns in Fortnite, Klentak hoped to see champagne bottles and the championship title brought back to the clubhouse. In order to do so, they’ll be facing off with the New York Mets, Washington Nationals as well as reigning NL East champion Braves.

In general, Klentak believed that he improved the club after all those trades and signings. For Phillies to achieve goals this season, new players must contribute and continue to develop themselves in the long haul. According the Klentak, the overall atmosphere and clubhouse’ environment has been outstanding so far and they are looking forward to the new season."