But Trip Thursdy

When the 59 players arrive in the clubhouse each morning, the first thing they do is check “the board”. The board consists of a dry eraser board that lists the time the players need to be dressed and the precise stretching time on the field. An adjacent corkboard lists daily and weekly assignments.

Every Monday, Rich Dubee posts a sheet that has the daily pitching assignments in order of their appearance for each game of the week. Also listed is the roster of backup pitchers for each game as well as the pitchers that must do side work. The corkboard also has a big lineup card, posted daily by bench coach Pete Mackanin, which lists the starting lineup and the available hitters on the bench.

For road games, Mackanin posts a roster of the travelling party the day before. Bus time for the traveling squad and strech time for the players staying back are listed in bold next to the roster.

Frank Coppenbarger, the Director of Team Travel & Clubhouse Services, leaves 30 minutes after the bus leaves to serve as a safety net in case a bat, uniform, mitt or player is left behind. Coppenbarger often leaves each game in the 4th inning to bring back the batting practice laundry.

On Thursday, the Phillies head south to Ft. Myers to face the Red Sox.  Two buses will depart from Bright House Field at 7:45 a.m. Players will dress and shower in Ft. Myers

Over the next couple of days, 162 players will be in the minor league camp, training at the Carpenter Complex.  The camp ends with games on April 2 . . . Thursday’s game from Ft. Myers will be broadcast on MLB.com, Scott Franzke and Chris Wheeler . . . WIP’s Howard Eskin and Ike Reese will be live with their radio broadcast from the Tiki Bar, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Excited Celebrity
On Tuesday, the Oak Ridge Boys sang the anthem at Bright House Field.  Joe Bonsall, a native Philadelphian and huge Phillies fan, e-mailed his reaction:

“You know common logic would say that when you get into your 60’s you might lose a little enthusiasm for things of childhood past. But for ME, THAT is just not the case. I have heard Phillies and Clearwater mentioned in the same breath since I was a kid but until Tuesday I had NEVER been there. Seeing my Phillies and singing the anthem was just as exciting to me as ever before.”

Joe, Richard Sterban and Duane Allen, three of the quartet, will be in Ft. Myers on Thursday to see the Phillies.

(John Brazer, Director of Publicity, contributed to today’s blog).

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