In the spirit of maximum effort, here's my take on an issue I'd otherwise pass on addressing.
As manager, Charlie Manuel needs to stay consistent in addressing a lack of hustle, which is why he benched repeat offender Jimmy Rollins during Thursday's matinee. But in eight seasons as skipper, controversy like this rarely finds his Phillies. Players - in general, and to our knowledge - play the games hard and arrive on time. If they don't, it's dealt with privately and doesn't become part of public discourse, which is the unfortunate downside to benching a player, particularly one of Rollins' stature.
What Jimmy did was a shame more than anything. He hung his head in frustration and jogged to first when an outright dash would have gotten him to second … maybe. Not that it matters or affected the outcome. But a manager must be a manager. As much as Manuel is perceived as being "Good Times Charlie," he's entitled to be firm. Maximum effort is tough to achieve. By now, we recognize that Rollins - who is still among the best at his position - does not give maximum effort all of the time. He just doesn't. But if he's the worst offender on a ballclub - as seems to be the case - than Manuel has done something right. His record speaks for itself. Players enjoy playing here and sign long-term deals to stay. And they play hard for him.
Pierre clears waivers: There's a report on Twitter from Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports that Juan Pierre has cleared waivers. If that's the case, look for the outfielder to be dealt within the next few hours. Clearing is something of a surprise since there are teams that might have only been interested in blocking a move. Pierre's contract is far from a burden on the Phillies. Ruben Amaro Jr. may have forced interested teams to pass on a claim in order to open the door for the best offer.