March 2010

Green Uniforms Today

As everyone knows by now, Domonic Brown had a huge day yesterday and then was called into Charlie Manuel’s office,  “Son, we’re assigning you to the minor league camp.”  Well, that wasn’t exactly what was said but it was the message.  Some day this young prospect will not hear those words again.

Also sent to the minor league camp next door were B. J. Rosenberg, Chris Duffy and Ryan Vogelsong.  They will be assigned to a minor league club later this month.  Andrew Carpenter was optioned to Lehigh Valley.  This reduces the number in the big league camp to 38.  Have to be at 25 for opening day.

Those five packed their bags and headed north about 200 yards. They will wear their same jerseys in the minor league camp.  All players, majors or minors, have a red jersey with their name and number on the back.  One change….in the minor league camp all stirrups must be knee high.

Green hats and green jerseys are in order for today’s game against the Yankees at sold out Bright House Field (10,640, a new ballpark record). Wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day was a tradition started by the late Tug McGraw back in the late 1970s. 

Minor league RHPs Justin DeFratus and Michael Schwimmer are in uniform for the game this afternoon.

Tomorrow: Day off for the major league camp . . . Those requiring medical attention or who will want to work out in the weight room need to do so between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.  . . . AAA and AA minor league clubs will play their Blue Jays counterparts at the complex at 1 p.m.  Admission is free . . . Happ, Hamels and Lidge will pitch at the coomplex.

Friday: 7 p.m. game against the Orioles . . . Major League Baseball Players Association will have a 3 p.m. meeting which means there might not be any Phillies batting practice. MLBPA visits every camp every spring.

Alumni Memories
A daily feature–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.

Mike Rogodzinski (OF, 1973-75)
“March 1970 was my first spring training. My uniform was made of heavy wool with chips of wood sewn in for durability. I don’t remember the number but it was three digits. I came out of college thinking I might play at the A level. But Andy Seminick gave me a chance to work out with his double-A team that first day. Boy, was I lucky.
Roomed with a left-handed pitcher from the state of Washington named Tom Horne. What I don’t miss is lunch. The coaches would walk around with sandwiches while we grunts got a Dixie cup of the day’s soup with two packs of crackers. We also were given a cup of Gatorade to wash it all down. Talk about living large.”

Next post: Friday

 

 

Sellout Streak

Another sellout is in store for the Tigers game today.  Yankees here tomorrow on St. Patrick’s Day and you guessed it, another sellout.  Games are on the MLB Network, MLB.com and in the Philly market, The Comcast Network.

Three minor league pitchers will be in the bullpen today, Tyler Cloyd, Korey Noles and Michael Stutes.  This time of the spring, daily e-mails come from Joe Cynar, the minor league equipment manager, letting us know which minor leaguers will be in uniform for the big league club.

Notes: Alumni first ball tomorrow?  Dallas Green; a green person for St. Paddy’s Day . . . Sports Illustrated photographer Al Tielemans is set up in the multi-media room.  Subject? Roy Halladay . . . Halladay will also be the cover story of the Phillies Magazine, April issue . . . Going into today’s game, Phillies have played in front of four consecutive sell outs.

Stat notes: Halladay’s 14 strikeouts are tops in the Grapefruit League . . . Phillies team ERA (3.67) is the lowest . . . Chase’s on-base percentage (.609) is the best.

Alumni Memories
A daily feature–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.

Tom Underwood (LHP, 1974-77)
“First spring with the Phillies was 1973 in Clearwater, #54. My roommate was the infamous Bill Nahorodny. What I remember most from the day was Jim Lonborg walking up to me and introducing himself. The best part was putting on the uniform and being a professional baseball player. The least favorite part was all the running. I had no ideas that pitchers ran that much. Being in the big league camp, the meal money was quite a bonus. I was expecting the $5 a day you get in the minors.”

Next post: tomorrow

Plenty of Baseball

While the Big Phillies were in Bradenton this afternoon to battle the Pirates, it was “opening day” at the Carpenter Complex with two minor league games on the schedule.

The AAA and AA Blue Jays played the AAA and AA Phillies minor leaguers (Mike Schmidt and Richie Ashburn Fields).  Plus, Three Rivers Community College played other Phillies minor leaguers on the Steve Carlton Field.  Other minor leaguers worked out on the Robin Roberts Field.  Two Phillies Class A teams were in Dunedin to play the Blue Jays.

Every day, except March 28, there are two minor league games next door at the Carpenter Complex.  There is no admission charge.

In the morning, the Phillies and Blue Jays played their third “B” game this month.  This one was in Dunedin Stadium.  Todd Zolecki will have details of that game.

Notes: Next three “A” games are at Bright House Field, Tigers (tomorrow), Yankees (Yankees) and Orioles (Friday night).  Thursdays is a day off. The Comcast Network will televise tomorrow’s and Wednesday’s 1:05 p.m. games; same for MLB.com . . . Greg Luzinski will throw out the first ball tomorrow . . . MLB Security Department will meet with the team at 8 tomorrow morning.  The Department visits every major league camp every spring . . . WIP’s Glenn Macnow and Anthony Gargano are doing their show live from the Tiki Bar again tomorrow and Wednesday (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.). First show was today.

Alumni Memories
A daily feature–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.

Robin Roberts (RHP, 1948-61)
“1948 in Clearwater, roomed with Richie Ashburn at a hotel across the street from the post office. Can’t remember the name. I was finishing up at Michigan State and if I could complete the final exams, I would get my degree. I wrote a letter and asked if I could report late. The Phillies said OK, so I was late by two weeks. I don’t remember my uniform number but I do remember walking to the ballpark which then was the old Athletic Field the first day I was in Clearwater. I sat unknown in the bleachers and watched a big lefty warm up. Can’t remember his name either but he threw nice and easy and I was impressed. He was followed by another lefty and he really could pop the ball. Live fastball. I thought this guy must have gotten some money. Turned out he did. Learned that Curt Simmons was his name. I always enjoyed spring training.”

Next post: tomorrow.

 

Washed Out

Buses arrived early this morning, two each scheduled for Lakeland (Tigers) and Port Charlotte (Rays).  They left Bright House Networks field around 9:15 and they were empty.  Both games have been washed out.

What do you do with 58 players in the major league camp and 157 minor leaguers next door?  In both cases, some hitters got in some swings in the indoor batting cages; a few pitchers threw in the same areas. 

By 10:30, the major league clubhouse was empty.  Day off to shop, go to the movies, spend time with the family, watch basketball games, etc.

Rich Dubee took his long-range pitching plans and ripped it into shreds.  Eight pitchers were listed for the two games today.  So, he got out a new yellow pad and began writing.  Todd Zolecki will provide the details.

Tomorrow: Sunshine returns and so do the Phillies at Bright House Field, 1:05 in the afternoon against the Twins . . . Both WPHL TV and WPHT 1210 AM will carry the game . . . Alumni first ball: Larry Andersen . . . Spring Training USA will hold an 8:45 a.m. brunch in the Media Room; 120 fans are on this segment . . . Phillies scouting supervisors will arrive in camp and spend a few days here.  They have a draft prospect meeting at Carpenter Complex on Sunday morning.

Sunday: Phillies head south to Sarasota to face the Orioles . . . WPHT radio . . . Publicist John Brazer and Scott Eyre will host a post-game show on WBCB (Levittown, PA) from Sarasota.  Juan Samuel will be a guest . . . Back at Bright House Field, the “Baseball for Kids” Legends Game will take place at 6:30 p.m. (gates open at 3:30).  Darren Daulton is among the Major League Alumni who will participate.

Alumni Memories
With Larry Andersen throwing out the first ball tomorrow, here are his spring training memories, a regular feature of Phillies Insider this month. 

Phillies Alumni 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.

Larry Andersen (RHP, 1983-86; 1993-94)
“Let’s see, that was 1972 which means it was 38 years ago and you want me to remember what?  Heck, I can’t remember where I left my shoes when I get up every morning.  Well, it was in Tucson, AZ, and I was one of many minor leaguers with the Indians.  We stayed at the Flamingo Hotel, at least I think so.  Don’t remember my roommate.  But I do remember my number, 112, I think.  I was nervous, scared and after one day, fighting blisters from the Kangaroo spikes.  What did I like?  Absolutely nothing.  I grew up in Washington so the warm weather was nice.  But, I couldn’t handle the Arizona heat.  I really struggled, especially all that running.  I hated mornings.  Getting up early and riding a bus for a few hours, that wasn’t fun.  I slept through most of the bus rides; matter of fact, I slept through most of my spring trainings which was rather apparent if you saw me pitch.  I do remember being in the Mariners’ big league camp in 1981.  Maury Wills was the manager.  There was another pitcher in camp who looked like me, so they say, Brian Allard.  He was five years younger so I don’t know how we looked alike.  I guess it was because we both had hair.  Anyway, Maury got us mixed up.  He’d call me Brian, and him, Larry.  I was having a great spring, which was unusual.  Brian was having a terrible spring.  I was stressed out that Maury would pick him because he called him Larry.  Happy ending, though.  I made the club.”

Next post: Monday

 

Mother Nature Moves In

Day began for the big club with a pair of meetings.  First was a media training session at 8 a.m. in the clubhouse.  45 minutes later, B.A.T. (Baseball Assistance Team) made its annual spring training visit. 

Tigers are in Clearwater for a 1 o’clock game this afternoon, pending mother nature.  Showers are predicted today, rain tonight and tomorrow.  Field has been covered since yesterday afternoon. But, every effort will be made to play today’s game.

Back on the road tomorrow, going east and south.  Yep, the old split-squad routine.
Rollins, Utley, Howard, Werth are headed east for Lakeland (Tigers) on 8:45 a.m. buses.  Victorino, Polanco, Ibanez, Dobbs, Happ are on the 8:15 bus heading south for Port Charlotte (Rays).

Five minor league pitchers are being brought over tomorrow  from Carpenter Complex for the trips.

Alumni Memories
A daily feature–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.

Billy DeMars (CH, 1969-81)
“1947 with the Dodgers minor leaguers and we trained at the Pensacola, FL, air base. They had a large complex of baseball fields. We lived in barracks and there were a ton of players. Back then the Dodgers had something like 26 minor league clubs, which amounted to 350-400 players. Every day they would blow a bugle at 6 a.m. We’d pile out of bed and get in lines. We lined up for everything, breakfast, lunch, dinner, meetings and heading to the workouts. I remember the first day, Wade Mathews would ride in a Jeep and blow a whistle every 15 minutes. That meant we had to jog around the fields. I don’t remember my number but we all had a paper number attached to the back of our jeseys and with 350-400 players there were high numbers. My first spring with the Phillies was 1969 at Jack Russell Stadium. As a hitting coach, I loved working with the players in the cages. It never seemed like work. There was nothing I disliked about spring training. I just loved the game and was glad to be part of it.”

Next post: tomorrow

 

 

Another Roadie

Another road trip, but a three-mile journey to nearby Dunedin doesn’t quite qualify as a “trip”.  For a turtle, three miles would be a trip.

Jamie Moyer looked sharp in another morning “B” game today.  While that was going on at Bright House Field, the “A” game players took BP at Carpenter Complex and then climbed aboard the 11:30 a.m. buses for Dunedin.

Back home tomorrow, the Tigers in town.  Alumni battery for the ceremonial first ball will be Billy DeMars (pitcher) and Mickey Morandini (catcher).

Notes:  Two live radio shows from Bright House tomorrow: Danny Bonaduce, 94 WYSP, 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and Ron & Ian Show, 620 WDAE, 9 a.m. to 12 noon . . . Minor league camp is now in full swing.  Two games a day at Carpenter Field will begin on Monday.  Games are free.

Another View: Phillies and Rays played in front of a Bright House Field record crowd on last Sunday.  Here’s an interesting blog:  http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com/

Alumni Memories: A daily feature–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.

Bob Miller (RHP, 1949-58)
“My first spring training was 1950 in Clearwater, Athletic Field. #19 was hanging there for me. What a thrill to put on the Phillies uniform for the first time in spring training. My roommate was Curt Simmons, I believe. I remember coming out of the clubhouse for the first time and there must have been a thousand people cheering us. Loved spring training. A chance to get out of the cold weather in Michigan and go to a beautiful place like Clearwater. It was always great to see the guys again. I just loved being a big league player and being a Phillie. There was nothing to dislike about spring training.”

Next post: tomorrow.

Early Smiles

Smile.

Starting at 7 a.m. today, 157 Phillies minor league players were asked just that as their photos were taken in the weight room at Carpenter Complex.  One-by-one they paraded through, donning a Phillies camp and a pinstriped jersey.  It look over two hours to complete.

Tomorrow, introductions of the front office staff will take place on the Steve Carlton Field at 9. Daily workouts at Carpenter Complex are open to the fans.  Minor league exhibition games will begin there soon.  Also, free to the public.

Meanwhile next door at Bright House Field, it was quiet when 1:30 p.m. came around.  Two busses took the traveling roster east for a night game with the Braves near Disney World.  The rest of the players worked out at 9:30 this morning and had the afternoon free.

Camp Notes: “B” game with the Blue Jays at 10 tomorrow morning at Bright House Field.  Gates open at 9:30 and there is no admission charge.  Jamie Moyer will make his second spring appearance . . . The Don Bonaduce Show on 94 WYSP in Philly is on the air from the Tiki Bar, 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. tomorrow and Thursday.

Where Are They?:  Former Phillies are sprinkled around spring training camps as non-roster players: Miguel Cairo (Reds), Bruce Chen (Royals), Geoff Geary (Rangers), Rodrigo Lopez (Diamondbacks), Matt Stairs (Padres) and Jack Taschner (Pirates).  One of the players in the Phillies minor league camp is right-hander Brandon Duckworth.

Alumni Memories
A daily feature–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.

Mickey Morandini (2B, 1990-97; 2000)
“I was with the Spartanburg club in 1990 and we trained at Carpenter Field in Clearwater. Don’t remember much more than I survived that first day. Loved the Florida weather but didn’t like the alarm clock going off at 6 a.m.”

Next post: tomorrow.

Tourists

Seeing Florida.  That’s the Phillies this week.  Today in Tampa, tomorrow Orlando, Wednesday Dunedin and Friday, a split squad visiting Lakeland and Port Charlotte.

That leaves two home games, Thursday and Saturday.

Tomorrow is a 7:05 night gam against the Braves in Champion Stadium on the premises of Disney World (Halladay is starting).  Two busses will leave at 1:30 p.m.  Utley, Ibanez and Ruiz are regulars not on the trip.  They and the rest of the players will work out at Bright House Field at 9:30 in the morning.

Notes: Next three games will be broadcast on phillies.com by a rotating group of Phillies announcers, two per game . . . Sunday’s game against the Rays drew 10,474, a record for Bright House Field . . . Jamie Moyer starts another “B” game, 10 a.m. Wednesday, Blue Jays, Bright House Field.  Gates open at 9:30 a.m.  Free for all fans . . . Victorino (sore throwing shoulder) is close to playing for the first time.  He’s on the traveling roster for tomorrow.

Next Door: Minor league camp begins on Wednesday at Carpenter Complex; 157 players . . . Minor league pitchers and catchers have been working out for four days.  Today, all pitchers took part in a 2-mile run at 8:40 in the morning.  That was followed by breakfast, certainly not my daily routine!

Alumni Memories
A daily feature–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.

Lee Elia (CH, 1980-81; 1985-87; MGR, 1987-88)
“It was with the Phillies minor league camp in 1959 in Kissimmee, FL.  Don’t remember my uniform number but it was up there in the 60s or 70s. I couldn’t believe there were that many players in the camp, which really was for the Class A players only. We lived in a hotel, six to a room. If a roommate got released, someone else moved in. Growing up in Philadelphia and going to Florida every year was special. During the early years, we went south on the train. No more snow or cold weather, just sunshine, warm weather, palm trees, the smell of grass being cut, the sight of a baseball field. It meant the start of another season was at hand. I loved the game so there was nothing I didn’t like.”

Next post: tomorrow

 

Jaimie's Amazing.

First road game.  But, it is the most convenient “roadie”, a 3-mile, 15-minute ride north to Dunedin for a 1:05 .m. game with the Blue Jays. Heck, the trip is so short you can’t sleep on the bus. No Phillies radio or TV today but you can hear it on MLB.com.

Since it is so close, the players dress here and take BP here.  They’ll take infield at Dunedin Stadium. Bus leaves at 11:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, the Phillies and Blue Jays played a 10 a.m. “B” game at Bright House Field today.  Somewhere around 400 fans showed up to see Jamie Moyer pitch.

He’s amazing.  Three surgeries since last season, a 1-hour daily commute from Bradenton and at 9:34 a.m., he’s warming up in the bullpen.  Congress should pass a law that 46-year-old pitchers shouldn’t have to work in morning games.

Greg Casterioto, Director of the Baseball Communications Department, kidded Jamie yesterday, “They’ve got your pitching in the “B” game tomorrow morning?”  Jamie chuckled, “Only if I can get stretched in time.”

He threw 3 scoreless innings.  When he left the dugout to walk to the clubhouse at 10:42 a.m., fans applauded and he nodded.  His day wasn’t finished, however, as he had more work to be done.

Tomorrow
Road game #2…journey to Bradenton to take on the Pirates.  Busses, 9:30 a.m. for the 1:05 p.m. game.  Players will dress in a small clubhouse in the left field corner of McKechnie Field. WPHT 1210 AM will broadcast the game.

Sunday
Back at Bright House Field for the Tampa Bay Rays.  WPHT Radio again.  Phillies Alumnus Lee Elia will throw out the first ball.  Gates open at 10:35 a.m. for the 1:05 afternoon game.

Broadcaster Chris Wheeler will autograph his book, “View From The Booth”, prior to the game.

Alumni Memories
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.

Rich Schu (3B, 1984-87; 91)
“1981 in the Phillies minor league camp in Clearwater. Dean Baugh was my roommate. I remember putting on the Phillies uniform for the first time and what a thrill that was. Also remember seeing 160 guys searching for the same dream of making it to the majors. Three years later, my first camp with the big club. #53. Two roommates, Kenny Dowell and Tony Ghelfi. It was a thrill to be in the same clubhouse as my idols, such as Mike Schmidt. Always enjoyed seeing my teammates every spring training. I remember playing in those “B” games right out of bed early in the morning and then having to wait all day to play a couple of innings late in the main spring training games. There was a lot of stress trying to make the big club out of spring training.”

Next post: Monday

 

Impressive Debut

At 12:28 p.m., he walked out of the Phillies clubhouse in the left field corner of Bright House Field to the grass in the left field corner.  He was wearing a red jacket so his number and name weren’t visible.  But, the fans in that area knew and gave him a cheerful welcome.

Yes, Roy Halladay, #34, was making his Phillies debut.  Began his pre-game routine by stretching and chatting with Carlos Ruiz, his new catcher.

12:39 p.m.–took off his jacket and did more stretching.
12:41 p.m.–began long tossing with Carlos.
12:48 p.m.–headed for the bullpen to warm up.
12:57 p.m.–completed that session and began walking toward the third base dugout amid more scattered cheers.
1:02 p.m.–drew the loudest cheer as Scott Palmer announced the Phillies starting lineup.
1:08 p.m.–first pitch was a called strike.

Roy faced 7 batters over 2 innings, 3 strikeouts and the rest zeroes.  Pitch counts aren’t kept in spring training.

Hall of Famer Robin Roberts drove over from Tampa.  “Got to see him pitch,” he explained.  After Halladay left the game, Robbie visited him in the Phillies clubhouse.

Game time temperature was 50 degrees, 3 degrees warmer than Game 6 of the World Series last November in New York.

Alumni Memories
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.

Ron Reed (RHP), 1976-83)
“1966 with the Braves minor league camp in Waycross, GA. We were all housed in those ugly, old Army barracks. The whole spring training roster were roommates. Fondest memory was that I had just finished the year playing with the Detroit Pistons in the NBA and I thought the running the pitchers had to do was a joke. Everybody was gasping for air and I didn’t even break a sweat. Really enjoyed my years in Clearwater – golf, picking the dogs with Harry Kalas and a lot of beach time with my girls. Waiting for the season to start was the least fond memory. Couldn’t wait to head north to start playing for real.”

Next post: tomorrow.

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