45 Players Already In Camp

Equipment truck has been unloaded, lockers are now filled, an empty equipment room now stores supplies, including bubble gum and sunflower seeds, and players are drifting in.

Well, drifting in isn’t quite accurate. A total of 45 of the 60 players are in camp and worked out at Bright House Field today. Frank Coppenbarger doesn’t ever recall that many players on hand before the start and he’s in his 32nd major league spring training.

Around 9 a.m., Doc was throwing off one of the two mounds next to the half-field at Bright House. Four TV cameras and five still photographers were capturing Doc’s session. Seated behind and observing were pitching coach Rich Dubee and Scott Sheridan, the athletic trainer.

Mike Adams and Cliff Lee followed but the camera lens left the scene. Later on J-Roll was in one of the two indoor batting cages stretching out his throwing arm. “You now a closer,” he was asked. Big smile, “Hardly.”

Pitchers and catchers officially report Tuesday for physical exams. They take to the field for the first time on Wednesday, weather permitting. Daily workouts will be at 10 a.m. and open to the public.

Large meeting today in the second-floor conference room at the Paul Owens training facility includes Ruben and his staff, Charlie, his staff, minor league instructors in camp and the athletic training staff. Every player in camp will be reviewed briefly with Sheridan reporting on physical issues some players face.

The wedding dress? Yep, the equipment truck included a wedding dress this year. It belongs to Melissa Vincent who will marry Greg Casterioto, director, baseball communications, on Saturday evening on Clearwater Beach.

Their honeymoon? Riding the empty equipment truck back to Philadelphia. (just kidding).

Alumni NotesCookie Rojas was inducted into the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame at Casade Campo, DR, on Saturday night. He is the Hall’s representative from Cuba. Cookie is a Spanish broadcaster for Marlins home games.

Rob Ducey will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in June. A year ago, another Phillies alumnus, Rheal Cormier, was inducted.

Correction: In the January 29 blog, I mentioned that former 1B Ed Bouchee died at age 69. Thanks to Rich Walters pointing out Ed’s age was 79. My bad.

Birthday wishes this week…..11th, OF Ollie Brown (69) . . . 12th, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. (48) . . . 13th, SS Kevin Stocker (43), LHP Michael Mimbs (44) . . . 14th, INF Larry Milbourne (62) . . . 15th, RHP Barry Jones (48) . . . 16th, C Barry Foote (61).

Special Birthday wishes to INF Ford (Moon) Mullen, the oldest Phillies alumnus, who turned 96 on Saturday. Wished Ford a belated Happy Birthday today. How was your birthday, “Always have a good birthday. Friends and family.”

Condolences: learned that Bonnie Vukovich, widow of John, died on Saturday. Our deepest sympathy is extended to Vince, Nikki, and their families.

Alumni Features
Stories on Charlie Ferugson who won 99 games in four seasons before dying at age 25 and Mitch Williams are posted in http://www.phillies.com/alumni.

You’ll also find a vintage photo of spring training in 1979 at Carpenter Field.

Spring Training Memories
What do you remember about your very first spring training?

Mickey Morandini (2B, 1990-97; 2000)
“I was with the Spartanburg club in 1990 and we trained at Carpenter Field in Clearwater. I don’t remember much more than that I survived that first day. I loved the Florida weather, but didn’t like the alarm clock going off at 6 a.m.”

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