Citizens Bank Park is ready for another season,
This time, the holidays are the reason
Not a creature is stirring in the place
Including the Phanatic in his locker space
Pinstriped uniforms once hung with care
But now the Phillies clubhouse is bare
Up in the stands where fans cheer
All is totally quiet to anyone’s ear
A giant Christmas tree stands so tall
Dwarfing Mike Schmidt’s statue and all
While nestling in for a long winter’s nap
One can visualize what will soon be on tap
Stockings won’t be filled with coal
For Santa is Hamels, as in Cole
J-Roll, Chase, Ryan will once again roam
In the place the Phillies call home
Plus Doc, Cliff, Kyle and so on
And the closer named Papelbon
Plus new faces to cheer
In Young and Revere
Leaving jolly old Charlie to call
“Happy Holidays to one and all!”
(Phillies Insider will take a holiday break until January 3)
In honor of yesterday, here are 12 interesting facts about #12 and the Phillies:
**1950 NL Champions: OF Bill (Swish) Nicholson
**1980 World Champions: CH Ruben Amaro Sr.
**1983 NL Champions: 1B Len Matuszek **1993 NL Champions: 2B Mickey Morandini
**2008 World Champions: OF Matt Stairs
**2009 NL Champions: OF Matt Stairs
**Currently: CH Juan Samuel
**Most years: Tony Taylor and Mickey Morandini, 8 years each
**MLB debut: 9/10/47: 3B Wilie (Puddiin’ Head) Jones
**MLB debut: 9/1/04: 1B Ryan Howard
**Spring training 2005: Ryan Howard (switched to #6 when season started)
**First Phillies player: 1932, 2B/3B Les Mallon (1932 was the first season the Phillies started wearing numbers)
Can you name the first Phillies player to win the MVP Award?
Answer can be found at www.phillies.com/alummni.
Did You Ever Wonder?
If a batted ball hits the foul pole, why is it a fair ball?
Welcome to Ben Revere and Michael Young.
Ben is an exciting, young, fast centerfielder while Young is a proven, veteran hitter with terrific clubhouse presence. Michael’s looking forward to a new challenge and is glad to be playing third base, Todd Zolecki reports.
In the history of the Phillies dating back to 1883, 1,912 players have worn their uniform. We’ve never had a Revere but there have been four players named Young:
**Bobby Young, a second baseman who ended an eight-year big league career playing 32 games with the Phillies in 1958.
**Del Young, second baseman-shortstop whose entire big league career was with the Phillies, 1937-40.
**Dick Young, second baseman with two limited stints with the Phillies, 1951-52, his only major league experience.
**Mike Young, an outfielder who spent eight years in the majors including one with the Phillies, 1988.
Combined, those four have 278 career hits with the Phillies. The newest Michael Young has 2,230, third best among active players and tops in Texas Rangers history.
What do the Phillies amateur scouts do at this time of the year?
This past weekend, there were workouts for potential draft prospects in California. This month, scouts are doing in-home visits with high school prospects and their families.
Come next month, the scouts’ season of going to baseball games begins. That’ll last until the June 6 draft.
With their big Sunday night trade, the Royals have completely reshaped their starting rotation, two new additions from the Rays (Shields and Davis) to go with two other post-season additions (Santana and Guthrie).
We’ll get to see some of those guys when the 10th Citizens Bank Park season opens, the weekend of April 5-6-7. Yep, first time we ever started a home season with the Royals.
10th Citizens Bank Park season? “Hard to believe, Harry.”
This week……. 10—C-CH Doc Edwards (76), 1B Jon Zuber (43) . . . 11—1B Andy Tracy (39) . . . 13—RHP Ferguson Jenkins (69) . . . 14—CH Joe Rigoli (56) . . . 15—RHP Ray Herbert (83), RHP Stan Bahnsen (68), RHP Dan Boitano (59) . . . 16—OF Adolpho Phillips (71).
Sunday night from Jon Morosi of FOX.com: “Including Ryu Hyun-Jin’s posting fee, Dodgers have spent $208.7 million on pitching this weekend. Feel better about your credit card bill?”
December 10, 1919: The NL votes to ban the spitball’s use by all new pitchers. The ban will be formally worked out by the Rules Committee in February.
Check out the photo on www.phillies.com/alumni, the story about the five Phillies who have won an MVP award.
Tomorrow is 12/12/12. Just think there will never be a 13/13/13.
Next week is a week of giving for the Phillies organization, an annual series events at this time of the year.
**Monday evening, Community Heroes Honored at Phillies Charities Holiday Party, Diamond Club. Over 150 community heroes and their families will be there as the Phillies salute those who represent organizations that provide valuable services to people in need. Approximately $2 million in grants from Phillies Charities, Inc., will be presented to the community heroes. David Montgomery, Charlie Manuel, Tom McCarthy and Scott Palmer will take part in the salute along with Phanta Claus.
**Tuesday late afternoon, Toys Galore & Pizza Party, Ford PAL Center. Donations from the Christmas in July Toy Drive at Citizens Bank Park last summer will be distributed to over 100 children by the Phanatic, Ballgirls and Scott Palmer. In addition, the Phillies will present a $10,000 check to once again adopt the Ford PAL Center.
**Wednesday, Phillies Holiday Food Drive, Majestic Clubhouse Store. The Phillies and ARAMARK are hosting a food drive to benefit Philabundance and We Feed the Homeless Philly. Collection starts on Wednesday and runs through December 23. Among the items needed are juice/water, boxes of pasta, large cans of tomato sauce/soup, creamy peanut butter, jelly, canned food, macaroni and cheese and breakfast cereal.
**Thursday, Phillies Holiday Luncheon at Bethesda Project, noon, Our Brother’s Place Homeless Facility, 907 Hamilton Street. Members of the Phillies family will serve a holiday dinner to over 200 homeless community members. ShopRite is donating 25 turkeys. Phillies front office personnel donate, prepare and serve the food. David Montgomery, Ruben Amaro Jr., Charlie Manuel, Larry Andersen, Scott Franzke and Phillie Phanatic will participate as servers.
**Monday, December 17, Adopt-a-Phamily Special Holiday Delivery, 9:30 a.m., PathWay’s, 310 Amosland Road, Holmes, Pa. The Phanatic and Ballgirls will deliver holiday cheer along with toys and other special gifts to families receiving help from Pathways, which provides residential and community-based services for women, children and families. Members of the Phillies front office acted as Secret Santa to families, purchasing gifts.
Shane Wearing Red Again
Pending a physical exam, Shane Victorino will be playing for the Red Sox. So, in one year he went from the east coast (Phillies) to the west coast (Dodgers) and now back east. It you are keeping track of baseball socks, that’s red to blue to red.
Shane is hosting his annual celebrity golf event today in Hawaii, which is a long way from a Boston doctor.
Knowing Shane, he’s already checked out the Red Sox schedule. They have a unique back-to-back series with the Phillies in May: 27-28 in Fenway and 29-30 in Citizens Bank Park.
**Paul Hagen, former baseball writer with the Daily News and now on the MLB.com staff, has been chosen as the J. G. Taylor Spink Award winner for “meritorious contributions to baseball writing.” Paul will be honored during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend in July.
He’s the fifth writer that has covered the Phillies to win the prestigious award, joining Allen Lewis, 1981 (Inquirer), Ray Kelly, 1988 (Evening Bulletin), Bus Saidt, 1992, (Trenton Times) and Bill Conlin, 2011 (Daily News).
**Darold Knowles, former Phillies pitcher and coach, was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame yesterday.
This blog climbed from #19 in the MLB.com Pro Blogs category in October to #14 in November. You are the reason for this climb, so thanks. Or, as good friend Juan Samuel would say, “gracias.”
New Alumni Feature
Check out the Phillies pitchers (four) who have won the Cy Young Award at www.phillies.com/alumni. Cool photo of one of the four.
New Thursday Feature
During every Thursday blog, will toss out a mind-scratching question. Feel free to chuckle or wrinkle your nose in disgust. Or, if you have something to contribute, send it to me.
Drum roll, please………………….
Did you Ever Wonder
What chairs would look like if our knees bent the other way?
Brad (Lights Out) Lidge has decided to end his 11-year big league career. According to a tweet from ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark Sunday night, Brad has informed his agents (Rex Gary and Jim Turner) he is retiring. Rex, Jim and Brad have one thing in common, classy gentlemen.
Brad, obviously, will be remembered in Philly as reverently as Tug McGraw. Each clinched a Phillies World Series title with a game-ending strikeout. Tug jumped, Brady fell to his knees. Pictures in our mind that will live forever.
Received an e-mail suggesting we should have a ceremony to let Brad retire as a Phillie as we have done with Pat Burrell, Mike Lieberthal and Doug Glanville. Don’t believe that will happen as Brad was drafted and signed by the Astros. Granted Glanville wasn’t originally drafted by the Phillies but he grew up a Phillies fan.
However, inviting Brad to throw out the ceremonial first ball next season is a distinct possibility. He will also be considered for Phantasy Camp. Not sure he will be included in Alumni Weekend in 2013 but certainly in the very near future. In 2013, Alumni Weekend will focus on the 1993 NL championship club.
Looking back at the 2008 championship season, 12 are no longer in the game: Lidge, Burrell, Eric Bruntlett, Clay Condrey, Chris Coste, Pedro Feliz, Greg Jenkins, Jamie Moyer, Matt Stairs, Tom Gordon, So Taguchi and J. C. Romero.
Currently underway in Nashville. Baseball has held winter meetings for years.
A lot of trades happen this month, partly because of the meetings. Check out Phillies Phlashback at www.phillies.com/alumni for day-by-day deals in Phillies history. You’ll see that on December 5, 1978, the Phillies signed Pete Rose to the highest contract in baseball at the time, four years, $3.2 million. Today, a utility player gets that much for one season.
Rule 5 Draft
Here are some of the Phillies selections you’ve heard of: Clay Dalrymple (1959), Jack Baldschun (1960), Dave Hollins (1989), Michael Mimbs (1994), Shane Victorino (2004), David Herndon (2009) and Michael Martinez (2010). Between 1960 and 1989, there must have been other Phillies selections but I’ve been unable to locate them. If you know, let me know so I can let everyone know.
Then, there are those selected by the Phillies who didn’t get past spring training. Among that group are Ed Crosby, Ed Olwine, Burke Suter, Jeff Tabaka, Jay Tibbs, Robert Mosebach, Travis Buckley, Lincoln Holdzkom, Adam Donachie, Jim Ed Warden, Ryan Buddie, Jay Chapman and David Miller. Probably many more, too.
Two Rule 5 draft notes of interest:
**2007: Mariners select R. A. Dickey from the Twins.
**2006: Cubs select Josh Hamilton from the Rays.
This week, Dickey, the current NL Cy Young Award winner, could be traded or signed to an extension by the Mets and Hamilton is a prize free agent who will get a lot of attention.
Rule 5 Draft will take place on Thursday morning. Phillies do have a roster spot open as of today. Stay tuned.
John Kruk is moving from the ESPN TV studio to join the ESPN’s Sunday Night broadcasting team. He’s replacing Terry Francona. Good move by ESPN.
The following Alumni are celebrating birthdays this week……… 3—Clay Dalrymple (76), Paul Byrd (42), Chad Durbin (35) . . . 6–Larry Bowa (67), Steve Bedrosian (55) . . . 7—Alex Johnson (70), Ozzie Virgil (56) . . . 8—Jeff Grotewold (47) . . . 9—Darold Knowles (71), Del Unser (68), Juan Samuel (52).
Who’s “Beauty” Bancroft?
Check out www.phillies.com/alumni for a past profile of this Phillies shortstop. Vintage photo shows a unique grip of his bat.