Grind Starts Saturday
A shorter workout this morning was followed by the annual team golf tournament. Time for a little change and fun. Then, after today, the grind starts. Where and when that ends nobody knows. Everyone in Phillies nation is figuring the end won’t happen until the World Series is over.
With a roster pretty well set, there’s not much drama. Oh, right field and the bullpen is yet to be determined. And, a bench player. Versatility there might be the most important tool when it comes to that bench position. Wilson Valdez, who filled in so well a year ago in the infield, will get some exposure in the outfield, Charlie has said. Michael Martinez, a Rule 5 draftee as an infielder, will also see some time in the outfield. Non-roster Delwyn Young has played both the infield and outfielder.
Phillies have two games on tap for Saturday, a 10 a.m. “B” game against the Blue Jays at Bright House Field (free admission/gates open at 9:30) and a 1 p.m. game in Tampa against the Yankees, the start of the Grapefruit League schedule. Those two teams meet on Sunday in Clearwater. Both games will be broadcast on 1210 AM (The Big Talker), the Phillies radio network and MLB.com.
Sunday, the Phillies scouting coverage of spring training camps will begin. Mike Ondo, Director of Professional Scouting, will have every camp covered. That means major league scouts Howie Freiling, Dave Hollins, Jim Fregosi Jr. and Gordon Lakey will leave the Phillies camp for their assignments. Pat Gillick, Dallas Green and Charley Kerfeld will remain in Clearwater.
Back at Citizens Bank Park, work continues in preparation for the March 29-30 On-Deck Series (Pirates) and the April 1 season opener (Astros).
Installation of the new video board, which includes a closed-captioning display, is moving along as is the floor coating in the seating bowl. TVs are being replaced throughout the ballpark. Exhaust ducts of the various food areas are being cleaned, elevators are being checked and electricians are powering up the concessions stands. Bram Reynolds, who oversees the maintenance of the ballpark, simply put is best, “The ballpark is starting to wake up.”
Comcast SportsNet taped a special show with the Phillies five starters during the early days of the camp. It will be aired for the first time at 10:30 p.m. on Sunday . . . Every spring training game will be on the air in some fashion, including 15 games that will be broadcast on MLB.com. Fans can subscribe for audio and TV on this website . . . ESPN will televise the March 21 (Red Sox) and March 25 (Braves) from Bright House Field . . . Pat Gillick is being honored on Saturday night at the annual Clearwater For Youth banquet. Gillick is being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Coopeerstown, NY, this summer.