Mesa angry after failing to convert save

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia closer Jose Mesa shoved a
reporter in the team's locker room after the reliever failed to
convert a save in the Phillies' 6-4 win over the St. Louis
Cardinals on Sunday night.

Minutes after the game, Mesa sat in front of his locker with one
hand on his knee and the other rubbing his chin. A reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer
approached Mesa, who began cursing. A heated argument ensued before
Mesa raised both arms and pushed the reporter away. Reliever Carlos
Silva came in between the two men before Mesa walked into the
trainer's room.

Mesa rarely talks to reporters after games. He usually remains
in areas off limits to members of the media until after they have
left the locker room.

Mesa entered the game with one out in the ninth inning with the
Phillies holding a 6-3 lead and Edgar Renteria on first base.
Miguel Cairo followed with a RBI single. Mesa struck out Eduardo
Perez for the second walk but then walked Mike Matheny.

Phillies manager Larry Bowa called in Mike Williams, who struck
out pinch-hitter Kerry Robinson to end the game.

Mesa had converted 21 of 24 saves before losing the closer's
role on August 3 after two shaky outings which resulted in seven
earned runs in just one inning.

Bowa said Mesa had to work on his mechanics. Improvement in that
area allowed Bowa to reinsert Mesa into the closer's role on
Saturday and he converted his 22nd save.

Bowa stated after Sunday's game that Mesa is still the Phillies
closer, despite the shaky outing.

"He'll be in there Tuesday," Bowa said. "But if he doesn't do
his job, he'll be taken out. He knows that."

Mesa needs to finish 14 more games this season for a $5.5
million contract for next season to take effect.