Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy baseball!
A bright sunny Clearwater day without a cloud in the baby blue sky greeted the first Phillies workout day for pitchers and catchers. Somewhere around 200 spectators, studying numerical rosters, meandered around Carpenter Field.
At 10:45 a.m., the first sound of baseball could be heard from the seven mounds located between the Robin Roberts and Mike Schmidt fields when Joe Bisenius, Joe Savery, Chad Durbin, Adam Eaton, Fabio Castro, Carlos Carrasco and Brad Lidge threw the first pitches.
Peering from behind the mounds were Charlie Manuel, Rich Dubee, Rod Nichols, Charley Kerfeld, Dallas Green, Chuck Lamar and Scott Sheridan. Manuel was so anxious for the first day, he arrived at 6 a.m. the same time a batch of athletic trainers are dressed and ready for work.
Patrolling the sidelines were a dozen writers, five TV camera crews and three still photographers. Phillies baseball is back in the news on a daily basis from now through the last pitch of the World Series.
The first crack of the bat came from Bright House Networks Field where a handful of position players took batting practice, Ryan Howard, Pedro Feliz, Greg Dobbs, Greg Golson and Chris Snelling. Later several of that group did some defensive drills on the half-field.
The first video report out of Clearwater will appear on this website later today. Daily reports by Scott Palmer will be posted throughout the spring. A regular feature will be a "Rookie’s Diary" video blog by Joe Savery, the Phillies # 1 pick from a year ago who is in his first major league camp.
The first autograph was signed by me, believe it or not. Must have signed a dozen…..and, I still have all of them if anyone is interested.
To end this first day…..six weeks from today we will be flying out of Lakeland and spring training 2008 will be history.