Focus on Halladay
Blue sky, plenty of sunshine, green grass and a chilly northwest breeze was the setting for the first day of workouts for pitchers and catchers at Carpenter Complex. Fan turnout was impressive but people were bundled up in jackets.
National media turnout was also impressive: Jon Heyman (SI/MLB Network), Tom Verducci (SI/MLB Network); Scott Miller (CBSSports.com), Ed Price (aolfanhouse), Steve Henson (yahoosports.com) and Buster Olney (ESPN.com).
Which pitcher drew the most attention?
Easy guess, a right-hander named Halladay. Pitchers are broken down into four groups of seven each; he’s in group 1 with Baez, Bastardo, Contreras, Madson, Mathieson and Moyer. Following the normal opening stretching exercises in right field of the Schmidt field, group 1 pitchers began long tossing.
At 10:45 a.m., that group headed north for the seven mounds located between the Schmidt and Roberts fields. The media mass of TV crews, photographers, writers, reporters, all migrated from the Schmidt right field to the mounds when Halladay headed that way.
Halladay was the first of the seven to grab a baseball, step on the mound and throw. He was the focus of not only every media member but the pitching coaches, Charlie and front office staff. The throwing session lasted 15 minutes.
Group 2 followed with groups 3 and 4 on tomorrow’s schedule.
Position players who worked out at Bright House Field included Brown, Mayberry, Gillies, Bocock, Tracy, Utley and Polanco.
A daily feature will be spring training memories by Phillies Alumni, who were asked three questions: (1) Memories of their very first spring training; (2) What they liked the most about spring training, and (3) What did they like the least.
Ozzie Virgil (C, 1980-85)
“With the Phillies minor league camp in 1977 in Clearwater. I remember I wore #44 but I didn’t have a roommate. Lucky me. What impressed me was how good every player was in camp. I enjoyed being in Florida and working to become a better player. Hardest part was seeing your friends get released and sent home.”