Stocker Recalls ST Brawl
Twins come to town with a split squad today, meaning they have another squad playing elsewhere in Florida (home in Ft. Myers vs. Boston). With an uneven number of teams in both Florida and Arizona, split squads are a must during spring training.
Major League Baseball rules say teams must have four starters, including the starting pitcher, in their lineups. With the World Baseball Classic underway, it makes it more difficult to follow that mandate. The Twins have 13 players in the WBC, the Phillies 11.
Tomorrow, the Phillies journey 97 miles south to Port Charlotte to play the Rays. It is the only game this spring that isn’t on TV. Same two teams meet at Bright House on Saturday.
Sunday, an 87-mile trip east to play the Astros in Kissimmee. Monday is a day off.
The Phillies television schedule was announced yesterday. All 162 games during the season will be televised: Comcast SportsNet (101), PHL17 (45), The Comcast Network (9), FOX (6) and so far ESPN Sunday Night (1). ESPN has the right to add additional Sunday night national telecasts.
As a kid growing up &# years ago, only Sunday games were televised. There was nothing more depressing than turning on the TV on Sunday afternoon only to see Rainout Theater. Don’t like movies. Guess where that all started.
Utley was hit by a Strasburg pitch yesterday and Doc threw behind a Washington batter. The incident got a lot of media exposure and will add fuel the Phillies-Nationals rivalry during the season.
Brushbacks are part of baseball. Generally not in spring training. Do remember an incident in 1993, a Phillies game against the Cardinals in St. Petersburg that erupted into a fight. The Cardinals had hit a Phillies batter or two earlier in the spring and when Dave Hoillins got drilled in St. Pete, he charged the mound.
Spring Training Memories
Kevin Stocker (SS, 1993-97)
“I remember being so excited and nervous in spring training. Strangers became good teammates and friends. Once I was cut but brought back to the big club for a game in St. Petersburg. Hollins got hit by a pitch, charged the mound and before I knew what was going on, I was the only person on the bench. It was the first of four brawls that year. Needless to say, that was a tough team.
“I’m from the Northwest where we were stuck inside all winter working out. Getting to Clearwater with the warm weather and grass and finally getting to work out outside was the best part. For me, it was a treat. I know it is big business but the length of spring training was ridiculous. It would be nice if it could be shortened a little. That’s my opinion. At the same time, I can see both sides.”