Every morning, one can see four bicycles parked against the batting cage fence beyond the left field wall at Bright House Field.
The bikes belong to Dane Sardinha, Tagg Bozied, Joel Naughton and Matt Rizzotti, four minor leaguers in the Phillies big league camp. When Dane reported to camp this year, he walked a mile from La Quinta Hotel on Route 19 to Bright House Field. Knowing that Target was only a few miles away, he made the trek to the store and bought a bike for $100.
On his ride into work the next day, he saw three young players walking from their apartment to the ballpark. Sardinha told the guys the merits of riding. The next day, the Bike Club officially took root.
Sardinha looks at it this way, “It’s cheap on gas and there’s no insurance. After spring training, I’ll either leave the bike with one of the kids playing at Clearwater or throw it in a container and ship to Lehigh Valley”.
Charlie managed the Phillies split squad Sunday in Lakeland, spent the night in his Winter Haven home and met the Phillies in Tampa for their Monday afternoon game against the Yankees . . . Player bus left Bright House Field at 9:45 this morning. Players were dressed for the game and will return to Bright House Field to change and shower after the game . . . Orioles come to Clearwater on Tuesday afternoon; game will be broadcast on MLB.com by Scott Franzke and Chris Wheeler . . . When the Pirates were in Clearwater on Saturday, there were three former Phillies managers in the park, Dallas Green, Jim Fregosi (Atlanta scout) and Nick Leyva (Pirates third base coach) . . . Hard to believe but three weeks from today, the Phillies will head north . . . Mike Missanelli will be broadcasting live on 97.5 The Fanatic from the Tiki Bar both today and Tuesday, 2 p.m.-7 p.m. . . . Tuesday morning, the Baseball Assistance Team (BAT) will speak to the players in the clubhouse. BAT is an organization that provides financial assistance to those in baseball who are in need. Many players donate to the worthwhile cause.
(John Brazer, Director, Publicity, contributed to today’s blog).