What did you say about my shortstop?

It’s always something whenever the Phillies and Marlins get together. In what is heating up as one of the biggest rivalries in baseball amongst teams not fighting for the division leadership and not battling for the wild-card berth, the Phillies and Fish simply do not like each other.

So they say, anyway.

At least that was the sentiment of Marlins’ left-handed starter Scott Olsen, who told the press during the stretch run of the 2006 season that he really didn’t like the Phillies. Of course it should also be noted that there were also reports that Olsen’s teammates didn’t much care for him, either, and that came before his recent arrest for driving under the influence, resisting an officer with violence and fleeing and eluding a police officer. He’s the same guy who was given a black eye last season from former teammate Randy Messenger during a confrontation. Olsen also got into dugout dust-ups with teammate Miguel Cabrera and former manager Joe Girardi.

In other words, consider the source.

But the word around the sweaty and sultry ballpark on a Tuesday afternoon where the air was so hot and thick that it felt as if it were closing in like the walls of a trash compactor, was that the shortstops had a bit of a beef going.

Not that media types pay attention to that sort of thing.

Nevertheless, the apparent flap began when Marlins’ pitcher Dontrelle Willis cut out a story in Tuesday’s edition of the Philadelphia Daily News containing a quote from Jimmy Rollins said Marlins’ shortstop Hanley Ramirez cannot be ranked amongst the best shortstops in the league because, well, he plays for Florida.

“Hanley (Ramirez), in Florida, is just Hanley in Florida,” Rollins told the Daily News. “I can throw him out of the books. Jose (Reyes) in New York – he’s the man. He’s in New York.”

Everyone seemed to laugh it off as nothing more than good-natured ribbing, except, of course, Ramirez. So when Ramirez pasted the first pitch of the game from Jamie Moyer over the left-field fence, a few of the folks sitting in the press box claimed that Ramirez gave Rollins an old-fashioned stare down on his way around the bases.

Because nothing says, “if I played in this band box I’d have many more homers than you,” like a good evil eye.

Needless to say, we probably haven’t heard the last of this one. Judging from the way the marlins react to everything, something is sure to get them bent out of shape for one reason or another.

Everything, that is, except the results on the scoreboard.

Not that guy again

When his career is over and he has his lone Cy Young Award and six Cole Hamels Awards in his trophy room (or a cardboard box in the garage), Phillies’ left-hander Cole Hamels could remember the 2007 season as the year he found his footing as a Major Leaguer. But until then Hamels is likely pretty peeved that he blew a two-run lead in the sixth inning of last night’s game against the Florida Marlins.

Worse, Hamels was touched up for a four-run, game-breaking sixth inning against Marlins goofy lefty Scott Olsen, who seems to be despised by opposing ballplayers and sportswriters equally. The players seem to dislike Olsen because he appears to talk an inordinate amount of trash for a rather ordinary player. Writers seem to dislike him because he ruined a few stories with poor pitching during last season’s wild-card chase.

If there is one thing that irks writers more than anything it’s having to rewrite a perfectly good story when deadline is quickly approaching. In that vein, Travis Lee was a killer during the 2001 season. Worse, he was miserable when approached in the clubhouse.

Nevertheless, Hamels could have been adding victory No. 7 to the ledger based on his first five innings of work and the fact that he was facing the combustible Olsen. Certainly seeing that dude on the other side is enough to give the opposition some confidence.

Said Hamels to reporters last night: “I definitely saw that light at the end of the tunnel. I knew I was pitching well enough to pitch another couple innings and get the ball in the hands of Brett. And when Brett has the ball, the game is over. I saw that. I felt it. I know the team definitely saw that, too. Especially when you’re playing against a pitcher that’s not on everybody’s good side. You want to go out there and win as bad as anything, but especially against him.”

If there is a bright side to the loss it’s that Ryan Madson pitched two perfect innings in his return from the disabled list. Madson whiffed two hitters and threw 16 of his 24 pitches for strikes. Certainly adding a healthy Madson back to the bullpen could be a huge lift for the Phillies.

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It’s worth noting that last year’s first-round draft pick, Kyle Drabek, is pitching well for Single-A Lakewood. In two of his last three starts, the hard-throwing righty has tossed two-hitters through 7 2/3 innings and 7 innings. And in eight starts, Drabek is 4-1 with a 4.04 ERA and has 43 strikeouts in 49 innings. Opponents are hitting just .227 off him.

Meanwhile, struggling first-round pick Greg Golson has shown marked improvement this season. With five hits in his last 10 at-bats for Single-A Clearwater, Golson is up to .295 and is second in the league with 14 stolen bases.

Ovandy Suero, for the Lakewood Tigers, leads the league with 33 stolen bases in 35 games. Yeah, 33 stolen bases in 35 games… what are other teams thinking when he gets on base?

“Uh, guys. I think he might try to steal. Call it a hunch.”