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World Series: Phils' LaMar's days with Rays in bright spotlight

Second baseman Chase Utley tees off for a two-run homer in the first inning. He gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead.

BRIAN CASSELLA | Times

Second baseman Chase Utley tees off for a two-run homer in the first inning. He gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead.

ST. PETERSBURG — Phillies director of professional scouting Chuck LaMar held court in the dugout before the game, explaining to national media how the Rays' current ownership had expanded on the template he had when he was Tampa Bay's original general manager to turn the team from a doormat to American League champion.

LaMar acquired 16 players on the current 40-man roster and acquired 11 in trades using his then-players.

"They made awfully good moves," LaMar said of the new ownership, "but you look at (SP Matt) Garza and (SS Jason) Bartlett, that trade put them over the top, but they traded a guy, a pretty good player, a No. 1 (draft pick) in the country (Delmon Young, whom LaMar drafted).

"Or when you look at (J.P.) Howell in the bullpen, outstanding left-hander, but they traded away a kid that we had.

"When you look at (Grant) Balfour, a pretty good reliever, they traded (Seth) McClung to get him. They made the baseball decisions that they needed to."

HOT STICK: P Brett Myers is batting .800 in two postseason games, but he cedes to a designated hitter when he starts Game 2 tonight at Tropicana Field.

"It's depressing," he said, laughing. "That's what those other guys get paid for. I get paid to pitch. I'm going to just try to step back and enjoy this as much as possible."

No risk: Charlie Manuel made what seemed like a risky decision to use his backup catcher, Chris Coste, as his designated hitter Wednesday, but the manager didn't consider it much of a gamble. Coste hit .296 this year against left-handers, like Rays SP Scott Kazmir.

"I did think a lot about it, but I wanted to make sure that I could cover everything," Manuel said. "But most of the time when Coste is in the game, I'll pinch run for him, or later in the game I might hit a left-handed hitter for him. But I've been doing it most of this year."

PHILLERS: Chase Utley hit a two-run home run in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series and the World Series. … The fourth-inning home run Phillies SP Cole Hamels allowed to Carl Crawford was just his second in 252/3 postseason innings this season.

World Series: Phils' LaMar's days with Rays in bright spotlight 10/22/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 23, 2008 1:36am]
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