Grapefruit League under way
The Grapefruit League is officially under way, a game this afternoon against the Reds at breezy and very chilly afternoon Bright House Field. Chilly, not as in Alaska but chilly as in not typical for Clearwater. As usual, Ken Mandel is the source on this site for all news stories about the Phillies.
Tomorrow, the Pirates are here and the 1:05 p.m. game will be broadcast on phillies.com, the first 10 such broadcasts.
The Phillies and their opponents will use the designated hitter in each of the first 10 home games this spring. On March 17, the Phillies will play traditional NL baseball against all opponents.
Billy DeMars, Phillies coach from 1969 through 1981, stopped by Bright House today. Billly and his wife, Katie, have retired to Clearwater.
49 years ago, Billy managed the Stockton minor league club in the California League.
A young left-handed pitcher made his pro debut that season on Billy’s staff, Pat Gillick.
Billy’s scouting report on Gillick: “Good curve ball, very good control, good move to first base.” Sounds like the fast ball was short.
The minor league instructional staff met this afternoon. A week from today, the full camp of 152 minor players will begin daily workouts.
All minor league clubs break camp on March 31, except AAA Lehigh Valley. The IronPigs will leave Florida on March 29 and play the first game at Coca-Cola Field the next afternoon, hosting the Phillies in an exhibition game.
Favre Fan Club
New outfielder Geoff Jenkins is a dead ringer for Brett Favre, the future Hall of Fame quarterback with the Green Bay Packers.
Joe Savery, who had his start rained out last night, idolized Favre as a high school youngster. Savery was a quarterback at Lamar High School in Houston but baseball was his No. 1 love.
Joe’s Rookie Diary, a video feature, is on the home page of this site.
Season Ticket Sales
Back in Philly, season tickets at Citizens Bank Park have climbed to the 19,600 level. The team record is 23,700 in 2004 when the park opened. Season ticket plans will remain on sale throughout the early portion of the season.