March 2012

Split Suad Day

Two games today, one in Port Charlotte against the Rays and the other at Bright House Field against the Braves.  Busses left for Port Charlotte at 8:15 a.m.; others did the usual 10 a.m. pre-game workout in Clearwater.

Tomorrow, the Pirates in Bradenton.  Busses leave at 9:30 a.m.

Around Camp
**Pitchers Ryan Feierabend (#31) and Justin Friend (48), infielders Troy Hanzawa (12) and Tim Kennelly (7) and outfielders Derrick Mitchell (22), Rich Thompson (21) and Brandon Tripp (30) walked from the minor league camp to Bright House Field for the game with the Braves.  Eight other minor leaguers were on the 8:15 bus.

**Susan Ingersoll-Papaneri, Director, Baseball Administration, had morning meetings with minor league players to review the minor league player insurance policies.

**97.3 ESPN Radio out of Atlantic City, the Mike Gill Show, is broadcasting live from the Tiki Bar today from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

**Cole Hamels leads the Grapefruit League in innings pitched (10.2).

**Phillies lead all NL teams in Florida in attendance (64,224); Yankees are the only team with more (65,087).  Giants are tops in Arizona (83,369).

Spring Training Memories
Gary Matthews (OF, 1981-83)
“It was Casa Grande, Arizona, with the Giants minor leaguers in 1968. I wore No. 36 and had three roommates: Garry Maddox, Horace Speed and Randy Moffitt. My fondest memory of the first day is when Willie Mays gave the outfielders a Kangaroo hide glove. This may sound strange, but I loved intrasquad games. It gave the winner bragging rights for the rest of the season. But I didn’t like shagging fly balls in batting practice at all.”
More Alumni memories can be found at www.phillies.com/alumni.

 

 

First Camp Cuts

As early as 7 a.m. today, nine players were told “Charlie wants to see you.”  Dubee was the messenger to the pitchers, Mackanin had the duty to notify the position players.

The message:  you’re being sent to Carpenter Complex and the minor league spring training camp.  That leaves 48 players in camp.  Opening day limit is 25.

Todd Zolecki has all the news on the cuts.

BP this morning was divided, the players listed for the game worked out at Bright House Field.  Others hit at Ashburn Field at Carpenter Complex.

While the Twins took BP at Bright House Field, Rollins spent time on the half field butting for base hits with Pierre and Sandberg.

Minor league RHPs Michael Cisco (#41) and Tyler Cloyd (26) are on the travel roster for the game at Port Charlotte tomorrow.  Joe Cynar e-mails the list whenever minor leaguers are added.  Joe has the world’s longest title: Manager, Minor League Equipment and Florida Training Complex Operations.

Weekly Call
Ruben and his staff, who are based at Bright House Field, held their weekly conference call with the team’s pro scouts. 

Those covering camps in Florida include Sonny Bowers, Jon Mercurio, Howie Freiling, Dave Hollins and Roy Tanner.  Arizona clubs are being followed by Jesse Levis, Danny Wright, Gordon Lakey, Del Unser and Dean Jongewaard.

Ed Wade, Dallas Green and Pat Gillick will also check out Florida teams from time to time.

As March approaches the mid mark, teams are beginning to zero in on their needs and surpluses. 

Around Camp
**Mike Schmidt, Cole Hamels and Chris Wheeler played in the pro-am at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club on Monday.  Innisbrook is hosting the Transitions Championship PGA tour event this week.

**Two games on Thursday, Braves at Clearwater and Phillies split squad in Port Charlotte to face the Rays.

**Group of Phillies sponsors will be here this weekend.

Spring Training Memories
Greg Luzinski (OF, 1970-80)

 “My first day was 1969, an invitee to spring training. I wore No. 19 from Day One. I remember being in the back room at Jack Russell Stadium with all the other rookies. I was a first baseman that first year and Deron Johnson, the team’s first baseman, took me under his wing a little even though I was technically fighting for his job. He helped me out a lot right from the beginning.

“Once January came every year, you got anxious for spring training. We used to get there and spend time getting in shape. That’s different today as the players are in better shape. Clearwater was a great place to bring the kids. We’d stay on the beach near other families. The kids had a better time than we did. I didn’t care for road trips, especially the three-day trips. You could get more work done when you played home games compared to road games. Plus, back then, to go south from Clearwater you had to take Route 41. With all the traffic lights, trips took longer than today.”

For more Alumni memories, check out www.phillies.com/alumni.

Around Camp

Two early busses (8 a.m.) for the traveling squad to Kissimmee (Astros).  Rest worked out at Bright House Field at 9:30 a.m. and then were free for the rest of the day.

Back home Wednesday (Twins) and Thursday (Braves, who are 1-9), although Thursday is another split squad day (at Rays).

Scouting World
Marti Wolever and his six top lieutenants are in camp at Carpenter Complex.  This gives them a chance to see the minor league players.  Next week, the Latin America scouting group will spend time here.

Joining Marti, recently promoted to Assistant General Manager, Amateur Scouting, are Mike Ledna and Billy Moore (coordinators) and supervisors Sal Agostinelli (international), Gene Schall (east), Brian Kohlscheen (central) and Darrell Conner (west).

After Clearwater, it is on to non-stop scouting in preparation for the draft that starts June 4. 

With the free agent signing of Papelbon, the Phillies lost their first round selection, the 31st overall.  Losing Madson and Ibanez, the Phillies picked up some extra picks.  So, the Phillies enter the draft with the 40th, 60th, 77th and 95 selections over the first two rounds.

Around Camp
**94WIP afternoon crew is broadcasting live from Bright House Field every day from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. through Friday.

**Station’s 9 a.m.-12 noon Saturday crew will do likewise on St. Patrick’s Day, when the Phillies will wear green hats.  That’s a home game with the Blue Jays.

**BAT (Baseball Assistance Team) will meet with the minor league players at 7:45 on Wednesday morning and the big leaguers at 9 a.m.

**If different voices were heard Monday on the Phillies radio broadcast, the same are back again today, Matt Provence and Jon Shaffer, the broadcasters for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.  Reading’s broadcaster, Brian Seltzer, will do a couple of radio games next week.

Wall of Fame
Voting on phillies.com ends at 5 p.m. Wednesday, which is also tomorrow.  Top five consensus selections will then be presented to a Special Wall of Fame Selection Committee consisting of members of the media, broadcasters and club executives.

The winner will be inducted on Friday night, August 12.  John Kruk, the 2011 inductee, will induct the 2012 winner.

Spring Training Memories
Shane Victorino
“2000 as a 19-year-old kid from Hawaii in the fabled Dodgertown over in Vero Beach. It was my first time away from home.  I had always heard about Dodgertown.   All of players were there, minor leaguers and big leaguers and several Alumni.  We stayed in a dorm, four per room.  We all ate in a big dining room along with such stars as Koufax, Wills.  I thought this was the best thing ever.  Had so much fun.  Couldn’t believe I was in same place and playing on the same fields as Jackie Robinson and all the greats.”

For Alumni memories check out www.phillies.com/alumni.

Thome at 1B

While two buses headed 1 hour, 5 minutes south on I-75 for Bradenton where the Phillies play the Pirates this afternoon, the focus will be at Carpenter Complex.

Thome is going to play first base in an intra-squad game in the minor league camp.  And, Contreras will pitch an inning.  Todd Zolecki will have details later on phillies.com.

Last week, the Phillies played the Pirates and Astros in Clearwater.  This week, they play the same teams but on the road.  Tuesday is Kissimmee.  Buses leave at 8 a.m. In both instances, the Phillies will dress in those ballparks.

Back home on Wednesday for the Twins and then another split squad on Thursday.

Tuesday also starts the spring training schedules for the Phillies minor league teams.  Every afternoon at 1 o’clock, two games will be played at Carpenter Complex.  That means, two Phillies minor league teams will be on the road daily.

There is no admission charge for games at the Complex.

AAA and AA clubs play the Blue Jays at Carpenter on Tuesday, while two Class A teams travel to Dunedin.  Other teams that will play the Phillies include the Pirates, Yankees and Tigers.

Camp Notes
**Phillies have 57 players in the major league camp.  That number will be reduced with the first cuts this week.

**Minors have 167 players at the Complex and that number will obviously grow when the cuts are made.

**Phillies, Lehigh Valley, Reading, Clearwater and Lakewood all begin their regular
seasons on April 5.

**Darren Daulton Foundation is having a charity event (Darren’s Home Runs for Homelessness) on Thursday at the Brown Boxer on Clearwater Beach, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.  Tickets are available at the door.

Spring Training Memories
Stan Lopata (C, 1948-58)
“It was 1948 in Clearwater, at the old field. I was married. Betty and I rented an apartment on the beach. I remember hitting a game-winning grand slam against the Red Sox and being told after the game I was going to the Utica farm team that was training in Kingstree, Georgia.

“Spring training was a fun time. Who wouldn’t want to get out of Michigan and go to Florida? We did a lot of running but I loved to run. That never bothered me. I don’t remember the year but one time Eddie Sawyer, our manager, sent us a letter saying cars and wives would not be allowed in spring training. That didn’t go over too good.”

More Alumni memories can be found on www.philliews.com/alumni.

Weekend, Alumni Notes

Several of the regulars didn’t board the bus this morning for Lakeland.  MLB rules state that the visiting team needs to have four “regulars” in the starting lineup.  That includes the pitcher. 

Weekend
**Phillies home Saturday afternoon against the Orioles.

**Split squad on Sunday; one team at Bright House Field against the Tigers; another squad in Tampa to play the Yankees.  Split squad results count in the standings.

**Also on Sunday afternoon, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs squad of mostly young Phillies minor leaguers, will face Team Canada in an international baseball game that will be played in St. Petersburg’s Al Lang Field.  1:05 is game time.

Alumni Notes
**Kent Tekulve (Pirates), Pat Burrell (Giants), Gene Garber (Braves) and Dale Murphy (Braves) are guest instructors in those spring training camps.

**Rheal Cormier is being inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame this summer.

**Jeff Cooper, long time Phillies athletic trainer, is being inducted into the National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame in June.

**Tim McCarver will receive the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence during the Baseball Hall of Fame weekend in Cooperstown in July.  McCarver’s broadcasting career started with the Phillies in 1980.  Phillies will salute Timmy during the August 11 Toyota Alumni Night at Citizens Bank Park.

**”If you were the manager, what pitcher, past or present, would you select to pitch the seventh game of the World Series” is among the questions being posed to Alumni.  Jim Fregosi laughed and said, “Not Mitch Williams.”

Spring Training Memories
John Kruk (1B, 1989-94)
“My first big league spring training was with the San Diego Padres in beautiful Yuma, Arizona in 1986. I was given No. 44. What I liked about spring training was getting together with the boys and having a great time on and off the field! What I disliked was everything else. Meaningless games, it was way too long and boredom!!! My most memorable moment in my first spring was sitting in the clubhouse, but manager Dick Williams didn’t show up. He decided to retire and forgot to tell the Padres.”

Kruk’s memories are among a new list of Alumni responses that can be found at www.phillies.com/alumni.

 

 

Alumni Day

Another home game on another sunny day. 

Starting at 8:30 this morning, Pierre, Rollins, Gillies, Martinez, Podsednik, Victorino, Galvis, Fransden and Orr spent time on the half-field practicing bunting for base hits.  Team took the field around 9:30 for usual pre-game schedule.  Some players were sent to Carpenter Complex for BP while the players listed for today’s game took BP at Bright House Field.

Two buses leave for Lakeland at 8:45 a.m. Friday.  Team will dress there.

Alumni Day

Before the game, two outstanding Alumni members threw out the ceremonial first ball, Dick Allen and Dave Cash.  Dick is celebrating his 70th birthday today.  “Don’t tell anyone, but it really is 50, not 70,” laughed Dick.

Joining them on the field were their sons, Dick Jr. and Dave Jr.  Dick Jr. caught dad’s soft toss, while Mike Schmidt was the catcher for Dave.

Fans got a charge out of seeing Allen and Cash again.

Other Alumni in the park included Jim Fregosi (Braves scout) and Nick Leyva (Pirates third base coach).

During the game, a little girl got two foul balls which promoted Allen to say, “I never caught two in one game in my life.”

Where Are They?
Jamie Moyer threw two scoreless innings for the Rockies on Wednesday, his first time on the mound in a game since July 20, 2010.  He’s a non-roster player in the Rockies camp.

Others who have worn the pinstripe uniform now in other camps as non-roster players include Brandon Duckworth (Red Sox), Chad Durbin (Nationals), Nelson Figueroa (Blue Jays), Jason Michaels (Nationals), Kevin Millwood (Mariners), Vicente Padilla (Red Sox), Juan Perez (Brewers), Aaron Rowand (Marlins) and Carlos Silva (Red Sox).

Spring Training Memories
Cole Hamels
“2003 at Carpenter Field and we stayed at the Econ-O-Lodge.  Roommate was Vinny DeCristofaro.  Believe my number was 79 or 80.  I was excited about being in camp.  The clubhouse was packed. It seemed like half of the players spoke Spanish. I was freshly saved for the first day.  Showed up in shorts and sandals, my usual attire in San Diego.  Learned quickly sandals weren’t allowed.”

For Alumni memories, check out www.phillies.com/alumni.

Back-to-Back Home Games

Clearwater Chamber of Commerce day for baseball, lots of sunshine, warm and breezy.  Same forecast for the rest of the week.  Florida had its warmest winter since 1949-50.

Back-to-back home games start today.  Trip to Lakeland on Friday, home on Saturday and a split squad on Sunday.  First camp cuts could come early next week.

Camp Notes
**94 WIP’s morning show (Angelo, Al, Rhea, & Joe) are broadcasting live from the Tiki Bar from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. today, tomorrow and Friday.  Entire crew gets to see the sun rise which is pretty cool at Bright House Field.

**Suite clients from Citizens Bank Park arrive today and will be here through Sunday.

Spring Training Memories
Dallas Green (RHP, 1960-64; 1967; MGR, 1979-81)
“It was 1956. Bob Conley, Don Cardwell, Chris Short and I were invited to a mini-camp before the big league camp opened in Clearwater. Short and I rode the train from Wilmington, Delaware. We stayed at the West Coast Hotel, three to a room. We weren’t allowed to have cars so we walked everywhere.

“We were kept around to throw BP TO Hamner, Jones, Ennis, Ashburn and those guys. We were young, wild, could throw hard and we were trying to impress everyone. The vets hated us, didn’t want to face us.

“Later, I was sent to Bennettsville, South Carolina where the Phillies low minor league players trained. I wore No. 177 or 176.

“The next year, I was drafted by the Army at the start of spring training. I thought my career was over before it started. I took a bus back to Philly for a physical exam. The following day, we were lined up to get on a bus for boot camp in South Carolina. Four of us were called out of line and taken into a little room. They told me I had failed my physical because of a hernia. So, back on the bus for spring training.

“During the early days, you were always trying to impress someone. I was nervous, scared but excited to be rubbing elbows with Roberts and Simmons. In ’56, the younger players used the old clubhouse at Athletic Field, the field we called Iwo Jima. We weren’t allowed at Jack Russell Stadium. That old clubhouse was awful. You almost had to dress and shower in shifts. The hardest part was being sent down and having to pack and move. You might go from Clearwater to Plant City and then to Bennettsville or Leesburg.”

More Alumni memories can be found at www.phillies.com/alumni.

 

Afternoon in Dunedin

Normal workout was held at Bright House Field at 10 this morning and then the 3-mile trip to Dunedin for the afternoon game.  Those not on the trip were finished for the day.

Prior to the morning workout, Dubee had Amount on the half-field mound for a side throwing session.   At the same time, Posednik and Gillies were practicing drug bunts on the half field.  Smaller instructional sessions are common every day, sometimes in the morning and sometimes after BP.  The indoor batting cages at Bright House Field are always in use.  Hitters love to hit.  Pitchers love to bunt….well, maybe love is not the right word.

Phillies are home (Clearwater) the next two days, Astros and Pirates.  Gates open at 10:30 each morning.

Following the minor league workouts at Carpenter Field on Wednesday and Thursday, there will be evening education seminars with those players.  Susan Ingersoll Papaneri, Director, Baseball Administration, has lineed up Elaine Pasqua to speak to the players about life choices they will face, from alcohol to drugs to sex to increased violence.  Ms. Pasqua spoke with the selected minor league players who were at Citizens Bank Park in January and was so well received, Susan felt it was worthy of presenting the same program to all the minor league players. 

MLB has a similar program every spring for players in the big league camps.

Camp Notes
**Latest radio station from the north to broadcast live from the Tiki Bar is 1320 Lehigh Valley, Michael Mreczko, 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

**94WIP’s morning crew will be in camp starting on Thursday, 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

**All-Star 2B Dave Cash will throw out the first ball on Thursday.

Spring Training Memories
Coach Juan Samuel
“1981 in the Phillies minor league camp at the Complex.  Stayed at the Days Inn in Pinellas Park.  My first roommate was Juan Nataniel, but he got released.  Then, Julio Espinosa, Nino’s brother.  That was my first flight and first time out of the Dominican.  I remember wearing a three-piece, light-blue, pin-striped suit.  The shuttle ride from the Tampa airport was an adventure. I told the driver we were staying at the Days Inn on Clearwater Beach but we couldn’t find it.  Finally, he asked to see my information sheet from the Phillies.  The hotel was in Pinellas Park and not on the beach.”

More Alumni memories from spring training can be found at www.phillies.com/alumni.

Phanatic Around Town

 Best road trip of the spring is on tap for Tuesday, a game in Dunedin against the Blue Jays.  Trip is 3 miles.  Phillies will take BP at Bright House Field and then board the busses at 11:30 a.m. for the short journey.

1210 WPHT’s Dom Giordano will be broadcasting live from the Tiki Bar, 9 a.m. to 12 noon on Tuesday.  Radio stations from the Philly market will be here almost the entire month.  John Brazer, Director, Publicity, has the chore of lining up guests for the stations.

Around Town
Phillie Phanatic received a key to the City of Clearwater from Mayor George N. Creketos this morning at Pier 60 on the Beach.  An appearance at the Marine Museum preceded the key presentation.

On Sunday, the Phanatic stopped at Lenny’s Restaurant and rode the Jolly Trolley on the beach.

Special Birthday
SS Al Monchak, who played 19 games with the Phillies in 1940, turns 95 today.  He joins RHP Fred Schmidt, 96 and 2B Moon Mullen, also 95, as the oldest Phillies Alumni.  In terms of the oldest living baseball players, Schmidt ranks #4, Mullen and Monchak, tied at 9th.

Other Alumni birthdays this week include Cookie Rojas, 73, on March 6; Dick Allen, 70, on March 8, and Terry Mulholland, 56 on March 9.

Baseball Heaven
When traded to St. Louis Scott Rolen was quoted as saying he was in baseball heaven.  In all deference to Scott, baseball heaven is spring training at Bright House Field, especially when you can down a fresh strawberry shortcake while watching a ball game.

Mural Work
Players and staff were able to pitch-in painting the massive new mural celebrating the history of Phillies baseball on Friday and fans got a chance during Saturday’s game. 

The 3,750-square foot mural will be displayed on the side of a building near the Walnut Street Bridge.  Unveiling will be during the Toyota Alumni Weekend in August.

Spring Training Memories
Billy DeMars (CH, 1969-81)
“It was 1947 with the Dodgers minor leaguers and we trained at the Pensacola (Florida) 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 or 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 the uniform and with 350 or 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.”

More Alumni spring training memories can be found at www.phillies.com/alumni.

Play Ball!

Time to play ball.

Grapefruit League opener is Saturday, the Yankees at Bright House Field.  1:05 p.m.  First three games are against the Yankees, Sunday in Tampa and Monday in Clearwater again.

Gates open at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.  Phillies are in the midst of BP at that time.  The enemy gets BP at 11:15 a.m. Infield: Phillies, 12:15 p.m.; Yankees, 12:30 p.m.

Just like opening day at Citizens Bank Park, Saturday’s opener will be special. Three jumpers from US SOCOM will parachute into the park with the first ball.  The US Coast Guard will provide a fly over following the Anthem sung by Lisa Casalino.  MacDill AFB will provide the color guard.  Newly elected Clearwater George Cretekos will throw out the first ball along with 7-year-old Jacob Breault.

Oh, Phillies baseball wouldn’t be the same without Phillie Phanatic and he/she/it will be there.  Phanatic needs spring training, too, you know.

Phillies Mural
From the time the gates open until the sixth inning on Saturday, fans can contribute to a large mural of Phillies history.  It will be set up by Section 120.  Paint brushes will be supplied. 

The Mural is co-sponsored by the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and the Phillies.  The mural will tower nearly eight stories high, located on the side of a building at 200 South 24th Street at the base of the Walnut Street Bridge along the banks of the Schuylkill River.

Unveiling is being planned for Friday, August 10, during Toyota Alumni Weekend.  Time is tentatively set for 12 noon.  Many of the Phillies Alumni featured on the mural will be there.

Camp Notes
**Full camp of 167 minor leaguers will work out for the first time on Sunday.  The 10 a.m. workout is open to the public.

**Souvenir store at Bright House Field will be open on Sunday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

**John Brazer, Director, Publicity, and broadcaster Tom McCarthy, will have post-game radio show Sunday from Tampa on WBCB out of Levittown, PA (www.wbcb1490.com).

**WPHT 1210’s Dom Giordano will broadcast live from Bright House Field on Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. until noon.

**A year ago, Phillies were 21-14 in spring training, drawing a record 157,201 at Bright House Field.

Spring Training Memories
Darren Daulton (C, 1983; 1985-97)
“I fell in love with Clearwater the first spring, 1981. I don’t remember my uniform number. Heck, it might have been 125! I think Ken Dowell was my roommate. I was scared to death that first day but fit right in because everyone else in the clubhouse was scared. I enjoyed being able to work my rear end off while looking at palm trees. I thought I was in paradise. Conversely, I disliked looking at palm trees while working my rear end off.”

More Alumni memories of spring training can be found at www.phillies.com/alumni.

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