Judgment day is here. Granted, the Phillies don’t have many openings on their 25-man roster for opening day. Chase will be back at second base, trust me.
Bullpen and bench options do exist. Non-roster veterans who will probably wind up at Lehigh Valley and young prospects in camp,are all trying to make impressions for one reason or the other. They’ll be judged starting with tonight’s game against Florida State University.
Grapefruit League season begins tomorrow afternoon. MLB.com columnist, Hal Bodley, reports that 120 days after the World Series ended, the Yankees and Phillies meet on the field again. Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt will toss the ceremonial first ball, along with Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard and PGA golfer, John Daly.
Two “B” games have been added to the Bright House Field schedule, Friday and next Wednesday. Both are against the Blue Jays and both begin at 10 a.m. Gates open at 9:30 a.m. and there is no admission charge.
WIP Radio out of Philadelphia will broadcast live from the Tiki Bar the next two days, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
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.
Tim McCarver (C, 1970-72; 1975-80)
“Let’s see, had to be 1960 in St. Petersburg in the Cardinals minor league camp. Don’t remember my uniform number other than it was under three digits. Some weren’t. My roomie was Geoff Long, a pitcher who later became a first baseman. I remember in 1963 I was in the big league camp and I was awful. I was pressing. Heck, I missed catching some pitches by six inches. There was stress early in my career not knowing where I would be playing that season. Seemed like you were always trying to impress someone. As an older major leaguer, there was less pressure and you kind of developed a confident work ethic. What didn’t I like? Catching. (Laughter.) It was my job but all the catching in spring training got old. Then, there was the small talk the first couple of days every spring. I remember in 1971, I came to Clearwater and passed out five business cards: ‘I drove down’; ‘My weight is fine’; ‘I’m staying on the beach’; ‘The family is fine’; “I had a nice winter.’” (more laughter)
Next Post: tomorrow.