October 2013

Remembering Happy Moments

Congratulations to the World Champion Red Sox. The Beards beat the Birds in Game 6 last night, clinching at Fenway Park for the first time since 1918. A city that was rocked by the horrific marathon tragedy earlier this year now has a euphoric memory that will last a lifetime. Boston Strong.

We all know the Phillies have won two World Series (1980 and 2008) and both have been at home…..the greatest moment in the 33-year history of Veterans Stadium and the greatest moment in four-year-old Citizens Bank Park.

For me, it was an experience of two extremes. 1980 was my 16th season as the head of the public relations department. That meant I was heavily involved in details involving the World Series and media circus. 2008 was my first year in a semi-retired position heading Alumni Relations and my first year of not being in the press box.

Leading, 3-2, over the Royals in 1980, we returned home with Lefty on the mound. A good feeling but it is never over until it’s over.

Leading Game 6 after eight innings, Chris Wheeler, then in the PR department, and I headed for our clubhouse, which was to open to the media immediately if we won. A large wooden platform was set up in the middle of the clubhouse for the trophy presentation. A second platform was nearby for the NBC TV camera. If we lost the game, all of that had to be removed, quickly. Wheels and I are watching on a tiny black and white TV monitor on the large platform.

When Rose caught the ball that popped out of Bob Boone’s glove for the second out, I looked at Wheels, “There’s no way we’re going to lose now.” We could hear the roar of the crowd when Tug got the final out.

After celebrating on the field, the players began coming in the clubhouse followed by media. It was so crammed, one could hardly move. MLB said Schmidt is the MVP. Get him to the interview room right now was MLB’s order. Wheels obliged. By the time Schmidt got back to the clubhouse, TV off was off the air. He was the only WS MVP that didn’t get interviewed on national TV up until then. Schmitty still reminds us about that.

Fast forward to 2008.

With Bonnie Clark on board as the Vice President of Communications, I was around as an advisor while developing Alumni plans. As a rookie, I didn’t make it to the World Series. She did. Geez, maybe I was the problem all these years.

My wife (Julie) was diagnosed with COPD that spring training and was placed on oxygen 24/7. With the aid of a portable concentrator, we were able to be at all of the postseason games. At home, she and I sat with our family in Hall of Fame Club seats. It was strange not being in the press box anymore. A really tough adjustment, believe me. But, I was now allowed to cheer and did. There’s no cheering in the press box.

Traveling with the team for road games, Julie and I were fortunate to be included in a private suite provided for some of our owners plus Pat and Doris Gillick, Sylvia and Dallas Green. Another adjustment as I had never watched a game from a suite.

As mentioned, the 1980 trophy presentation was in the clubhouse. MLB later changed that and moved the presentation to the field for the benefit of the fans. While making plans for a possible post-game presentation, Bonnie asked if I would get Pat Gillick to the field. He and I took the stairway from the Press Box level to the field after Lidge struck out the last hitter. As we’re going down the steps, I remember Pat saying, “I was thinking, one more save, Brad, one more.”

I will always remember where I was for the two clinching moments. I’m sure you remember where you were. Share your memories by posting them here.

Hodgepodge….or mismash

Something like 140 members of the Phillies baseball operations department—Ruben and his staff, Ryno and his staff, scouts, player development personnel, athletic trainers, conditioning coaches and assorted upper level executives—are wrapping up a four-day organization meeting today in Clearwater. Event took place at the Carpenter Complex and Bright House Field. It was an opportunity for everyone to meet, review the various aspects of the baseball operations phase and enhance the Phillies Way of doing things. It has been nearly 10 years since the Phillies have had an organization meeting.

Ruben and Ryno continue interviewing candidates for the pitching coach and bullpen coach. On the minor league level, Joe Jordan is formulating his staff in player development.

Five minor leaguers from the states are polishing their skills at the Phillies Academy in the Dominican Republic: 2B Andrew Pullin, OF Cord Sandberg (no relation to Ryno), 3B Mitch Waldng, 3B Yan Hernandez and OF Larry Greene.

The annual CHOP Halloween Party was held last night at the Embassy Suites near the airport. Event is held for CHOP patients. Attending were broadcasters Tom McCarthy, Scott Franzke and Gregg Murphy, Alumnus Tommy Greene, Phillie Phanatic and ballgirls.

Upcoming events at Citizens Bank Park:
**November 1, wedding in the Hall of Fame Club and reception in the Diamond Club.
**November 2, fund-raiser for Autism with over 12,000 walkers expected. And, another wedding and reception that night.
**November 3, fund-raiser for ALS with over 4,000 walkers.
**November 5, Kofax (software business solutions) has an all-day meeting in the Media Room and Hall of Fame Club.

Organizations interesting in holding an event at the ballpark should call 215-218-5100.

Alumni Notes
Alumnus Rheal Cormier is part of a group called MC Sports out of New York. The group owns the Reno Aces, a triple-A club for the Diamondbacks. The group has just purchased the Bowling Green (KY) club, a class A minor league team in the Rays’ organization.

Larry Bowa’s broadcasting career with the MLB Network will end at the end of December.

Charlie Manuel was inducted into the Parry McCluer High School Hall of Fame in his native Buena Vista, VA, recently. He starred in football, basketball and baseball in high school.

Tim McCarver is broadcasting his 24th and final World Series, a record. Tim replaced Howard Cosell on the ABC TV crew in 1985. As a player, he hit .311 in 21 World Series games. In 1974, he started the season with the Cardinals before being sent to the Red Sox. Fittingly, his last World Series has the Red Sox facing the Cardinals.

World Series Memories

Before we got into the 1980 World Series, my experience with the Fall Classic involved volunteering to work that event for Major League Baseball. Thought I might share some of my memories.

Going to World Series in different cities, I could only imagine how Philadelphia would react to such an event. Couldn’t wait to see the outpouring of emotion I experienced in other cities. But, when your team is in the World Series, there isn’t much time to enjoy what the fans are experiencing. Trust me, I’m not complaining.

One of the early experiences was in Oakland in 1972. I was assigned to go to the Coliseum from the hotel to get all the credentials for the MLB office the day before the game one. The A’s, run by Charlie Finley, had a small staff and the best security I’ve witnessed. The doors to the A’s offices were locked. Had to pound on the door numerous times until someone came to let me in.

The A’s mascot back then was a mule. Yes, a big mule. The gala held the evening before the first game was in the Oakland Convention Center. Charlie didn’t spare any expense for the party. Lobster was everywhere. I’m sitting at a table with Warren Giles President of the National League and enjoying the lobster. I look up and almost nose-to-nose is this mule starring at my plate of food. Ever feel defenseless?

In 1975, the National League’s PR person resigned late in the season. Bill Giles was approached about “loaning me” to the NL for the Cincinnati-Boston World Series. I was willing. The series is best known for three days of rain in Boston between Games 5 and 6. The Reds won a terrific Series in seven. I was with a World Champion team, but, I really wasn’t.

Cincinnati manager Sparky Anderson was awesome, so accommodating. We didn’t know each other before meeting in Boston. “Lawrence, let me know what you need from me or my players.” The only other person to call me Lawrence was Mom and she only did that when I misbehaved. Did Sparky know that?

Game 1, time for player introductions. It was cold and some of the Reds were wearing jackets. I thought it looked better if everybody looked the same, no jackets. “Sparky, no jackets, please,” I pleaded. He yelled, “Jackets off everybody.” Golly, that was easy.

Until we got to a WS, my most memorable moment came in 1977, Game 6. I was in the middle of history, as it turned out. Female reporters were not permitted in MLB clubhouses at the time. I was assigned to Melissa Ludtke of Sports Illustrated. If she wanted to interview a player, I was to accommodate her but outside the clubhouse.

Reggie Jackson hit three home runs that night in Yankee Stadium and Melissa understandingly wanted to interview him. Reggie’s clubhouse locker was mobbed, so mobbed he was unable to make an appearance in the interview room. So, my job: get Reggie to Melissa, who patiently, yet impatiently, waited outside the clubhouse. A concourse jammed with fans was where I was supposed to bring Reggie.

One hour went by and I still couldn’t get to Reggie. I don’t remember how much more time elapsed before I was able to deliver him to Melissa. She was denied equal access and it simply wasn’t fair. A year later, she filed a civil action suit against MLB and won, clearing the way for other female reporters.

In 1979, was again working for MLB. To get to Pittsburgh from Baltimore, we were allowed to travel on the Pirates charter flight. Once in the Pittsburgh airport, we were waiting for our luggage to appear on the carousel. All of a sudden a red Phillies bag appeared among all the black and gold Pirates luggage. Bill Robinson, a friend who had played with us and was now with the Pirates, took the chance to embarrass me in front of his teammates. “Hey, everybody. Look at this. A bag from the fourth-place Phillies. Who owns this bag?” I was trying to hide but couldn’t.

Two years later the New York Yankees were playing the Los Angeles Dodgers. Goose Gossage of the Yankees hit Dodgers third baseman Ron Cey in the head with a pitch in Game 5 at Dodger Stadium. ABC TV was curious what happed to Cey. I was dispatched to the Dodgers trainer’s room. Cey was lying on a table. He didn’t know me and I didn’t know him. “Excuse me Ron, I’m with Major League Baseball and wondered what happened on the pitch from Gossage.” He removed the ice pack from his head, “That’s what happened. Dumb bleeping question.”

The 1984 World Series is another one I’ll always remember, Detroit Tigers and the San Diego Padres. Series started in San Diego. I’m assigned to pre-game press box duty, something I enjoyed…answering phones, assisting media with information, seat assignments, etc. It was a beautiful afternoon, so typical of San Diego. All of a sudden, my seat rumbled for a few seconds, like I just went over a couple of bumps riding a bicycle. My first earthquake.

Game 5, the decisive game, was in old Tiger Stadium. Detroit won and the city began to riot. From high in the press box we could see fires and smoke. Sirens dominated the night noise. More than an hour after the last out, we could still hear sirens. The buses that were scheduled to take the media back to the hotel were parked on the street. For safety purposes, the police brought the buses inside the park. As we exited the park, a fan somehow got on the roof of the bus. Using great judgment, the bus driver stopped the bus, got out and said, “You hang on tight and I’ll drive very slowly.” There were unruly fans all around us and it was scary. Several blocks later, our roof rider exited.

Another somewhat harrowing duty occurred in 1985. The St. Louis Cardinals were leading the series, 3-2, and had a 1-0 lead over the Royals going into the bottom of the ninth in Kansas City. ABC TV had set up a platform and a camera in the middle of the St. Louis clubhouse for the clinching moment. My job was to cart the bulky World Series trophy. With one out, the Royals rallied for two runs extending the Series to Game 7. We had seconds to get out of the clubhouse before the dejected Cardinals arrived from the field. Compared to the ABC crew, I had an easy job.

Beards Over Birds

It’s time for the World Serious, the Red Sox against the Cardinals. Or, the Beards vs. the Birds.

Since 2004, St. Louis has been in three WS; Boston, two. Each has won it all twice. It marks the fourth time they’ve meet in the WS, Cardinals winning in 1946 (4-2) and 1967 (4-3) and the Red Sox sweeping in 2004.

Each reached the Fall Classic by taking a six-game League Championship Series. Each was the top offensive club in their respective leagues. But there are differences.

St. Louis (average age of 27.4) features home-grown players, something like 17 or 18 of their own. Their farm system produced each of the eight starters, except in RF and LF. Their starting rotation and bullpen are filled with rookies. How deep is their minor league system? They lost Pujols to free agency and filled first base with Craig, who got injured on September 4. Rookie Adams stepped in and hit .326 the rest of the season. Adams, from Philipsburg, PA, and Slippery Rock University, was the 699th player drafter in 2009.

Boston (average age of 30.1) is fresh from a 93-loss season a year ago and retooled via free agency. Very few have come up through the Red Sox system. They are the seventh club to go from last to the World Series. It is similar in roster make-up to the 1993 Phillies who went from last to first and then saw a story-book season end in Game 6 of the World Series.

In today’s game, closers are premium commodities. Teams pay big bucks for such a commodity. Usually championship clubs have one guy in that role. That didn’t happen with these two teams as Rosenthall (St. Louis) and Uehara (Boston) weren’t the closers at start of the season.

Motte saved 41 games for the Cardinals in 2012, underwent Tommy John surgery this past May 13, was replaced by the set-up guy, Mujica, who had four saves in his career until adding 37 as the replacement this year. He was then replaced in the last week of the season by 23-year-old Rosenthal, who posted three saves that final week. During the postseason, Mujica has pitched only twice so far.

Uehara was signed as a free agent to be a set-up reliever. (The Phillies had pursued him last winter for a similar role). He became the closer on June 21 after two closers went down with injuries. Uehara, one of the few beardless ones on the Red Sox, has been unreal. Prior to this year he had 14 saves in 157 appearances.

Uehara, 38, was the ALCS MVP and makes $4,250,000. Wacha, the Cardinals 22-year-old rookie starter who was pitching for Texas A&M a year ago, won the NLCS MVP. He is one of four on the roster making $490,000.

Who will win?

St. Louis’ rightfielder, Beltran, is Mr. October. He’s put up unbelievable postseason numbers. Boston’s rightfielder, Shane, is a friend who excels in postseason bases-loaded situations, two grand slams and 16 RBI. He’s the only Phillies Alumnus in this series, so the Red Sox will win in six. Boston Strong.

More About Ryno

Ryne Sandberg is the Phillies 52nd manager. And, he wears #23. You know that.

His nickname is “Ryno” and you know that, too.

Signed by the Phillies, he was dealt to the Cubs where he developed into a Hall of Fame second baseman. You know that.

What don’t you know about Ryno?

He was a three-sport star at North Central High School in Spokane, WA–football, basketball and baseball.

Named one of the two best high school football players in the state of Washington, he had signed a letter of intent to attend Washington State as a quarterback but chose to play for the Phillies who drafted him in the 20th round in 1978.

The day that Phillies scout Bill Harper told Ryne they would draft him, he made four errors in one game. He was a shortstop.

Following graduation, the high school baseball field was named “Ryne Sandberg Field.”

The city of Spokane produced, in addition to Ryno, NFL quarterback Mark Rypien and NBA point guard John Stockton. Three different high schools, three different eras. Came across that fact in 1992 a Sports Illustrated story, “City of Stars”, written by Scott Rushin.

According to that same story, Sandberg was named after Ryne Duren, the flame-throwing right-hander pitcher. A brother, Del, was named after Phillies slugger Del Ennis.

When Ryno made his major league debut with the Phillies in September of 1981, he wore #37.

He joined the Phillies on September 2 that season and was a pinch-runner in his first four appearances, scoring two runs.

His first hit came against the Cubs’ Mike Krukow in Wrigley Field on the 27th, an eighth-inning single in a 14-0 loss. He borrowed a bat from Larry Bowa that at-bat.

In his first full major league season (1982) with the Cubs, he played third base. When the Cubs acquired Ron Cey that off-season, he moved to second base.

He wore #23 with the Cubs, who retired that number in 2005.

He’s the first Phillies manager to wear #23.

“I had no ambition to go to college and study,” Ryno said that same SI article. “When the Phillies made a offer, it made my decision easier. I wanted to get into the minor leagues young, work at the game, learn how it worked and maybe, someday, make an appearance in the majors.”

I guess you could say, Ryno learned how the game worked….toil in the minors and then reach the majors. He’s done that twice, as a player and as a manager.

Postseason Oddities

We were spoiled. For five straight seasons, the Phillies played postseason baseball in October. Had the second wild card team been in play in 2005 and 2006, the Phillies would have been in the postseason then, too.

Sitting home for the second year in a row and watching other teams battle it out takes some luster away from October baseball. But, that’s the way it goes. So far there have been some interesting story lines, especially on Saturday:

That day produced two 1-0 wins, a first in League Championship Series history.

St. Louis won, 1-0, in 2 hours, 40 minutes, getting only two hits. Five Cardinal pitchers recorded 13 strikeouts. Four of the five pitchers were rookies.

Boston lost, 1-0, in 3 hours, 56 minutes, getting only one hit. Five Detroit pitchers recorded 17 strikeouts. Last time the two teams met in the regular season, the Red Sox won, 20-4.

Sanchez struck out four Red Sox in the first inning. That’s a first for a Detroit pitcher ever, regular season or postseason.

It was only Boston’s second shutout in 78 postseason home games, according to STATS. The other was in the 1918 World Series, when the Cubs beat them 3-0 in Game 5.

Of the two runs scored that day, only one was earned (Detroit’s).

Collectively, the four teams’ hitters were 1-27 RISP.

More Oddities
St. Louis reliever, Randy Choate, pitched in the first two games of the NLCS and recorded two outs throwing a total of four pitches. Last night, two outs on six pitches.

The Cardinals as a team are hitting .134 but lead in the series, 2-1. Last night they were scoreless on four singles.

TV Note
J-Roll is part of the FOX post-season team, working the ALCS (post-game) and World Series (pre- and post-game). He can be seen on Fox Sports Live.

Minor League Notes
3B Cody Asche is ranked as the ninth-best prospect in the International League by Baseball America. 1B-OF Darin Ruf is 17th among the top 20.

3B Maikel Franco (4th) and LHP Jesse Biddle (11th) are among the top 20 in the Eastern League.

OF Cameron Perkins has replaced OF Kelly Dugan (turf toe injury) in the Arizona Fall League (Peoria Javelinos). RH reliever Ken Giles has fanned five in two innings, including a 3-strikeout save.

Alumni Webpage
There’s a terrific image of a young Luzinski and Bowa in the clubhouse at the Vet as the Peek in the Past photo.

In the continuing series of Phillies seasons that ended in a “3”, you’ll find a historic feature on the 1933 season, which was not a very good one.

Then, Paul Hagen’s “Where Are They Now?” on Tommy Greene.

Check them out at http://www.phillies.com/alumni.

This Date
Four years ago today the Phillies defeated the Dodgers, 8-6, in LA in the opening game of the NLCS. It took 4 hours, 2 minutes, the longest 9-inning NLCS game.

Correction
On September 23, I wrote that Sandberg became the fourth to play, coach and manage the Phillies (excluding interim managers Vukovich and Varsho).

Thanks to Skip (Memory Lane) Clayton, Kaiser Wilhelm is the fifth. At age 47 and out of pro ball since 1915, he joined the Phillies in 1921 as a pitcher-coach, appearing in four games on the mound. Later that season, he became player-manager. He also managed the 1922 season and was fired.

10′s Back

Only fitting that on 10/10, its time to write about the return of #10.

Yep, Larry Bowa is back in a Phillies uniform again. This time, bench coach for Ryne. Yep, he’ll be #10 again.

It is his fourth stint in Phillies pinstripes. Three others share the honor, Hans Lobert, Tony Taylor and Bowa’s buddy, John Vukovich.

The first ever summer draft took place in 1965 and Bowa, a skinny shortstop from Sacramento, CA, wasn’t selected. 824 amateur players were.

Scout Eddie Bockman, whose territory was northern California, convinced GM
Paul Owens to sign Larry as an amateur free agent. When Owens asked Bockman how much it would take to sign Larry, Eddie replied, “I believe I can get him for $1,000. Would like to kick in a couple hundred more, you know for shoes and a new glove.” That fall, Larry signed for $1,200.00, October 12, 1965.

His first year in the Phillies spring training camp in Clearwater, FL, was 1967. He wore #53. I remember manager Gene Mauch saying, “I can see him run, can see him catch the ball, can see him throw. When he hits, I don’t hear anything.”

After four seasons in the minors, Bowa reached the majors. Bowa did make some noise as a hitter, getting 2,191 career hits.

He spent 12 years as a Phillies shortstop, nine years as a coach and four years as manager.

A kid who was cut from his high school team, wound up wearing a Phillies uniform for 25 years, longest in Phillies history, a number that now is increasing.

Alumni Feature
Paul Hagen’s “Where Are They Now?” features Tommy Greene, the former Phillies right-hander. You can check out the story on http://www.phillies.com/alumni.

Tweet of the Day
Jon Heyman, CBS Sports.com: “A possible solution to the Redskins problem. Keep the name. Change the logo from an Indian to a potato.”

Arizona Fall League
You can follow the Phillies prospects playing for Peoria at http://www.MLBFallBall.com.

Notes, Non Musical Type

Time for some notes, none of which are of musical variety……………

Alumni Notes
Eric Bruntlett, who scored the winning run when the Phillies won the World Series in 2008, will be signing autographs at Granite Run Mall, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on November 2 . . . Greg Luzinski is being inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame on November 7 . . . Bill Dancy is being inducted into the Florida State League Hall of Fame in Daytona Beach on November 12 . . . Chris Coste will take over as the baseball coach at Concordia College in Fargo, ND/Moorhead, MN, in 2015.

Dallas Green and Ruly Carpenter will appear at the Delaware Sports Museum at Wilmington’s Frawley Stadium, 3-6 p.m. on October 17.

A bronze statue of Hall of Fame outfielder Elmer Flick was unveiled in his hometown of Bedford, OH, on September 25. Flick began his career with the Phillies in 1898 and jumped to the Philadelphia Athletics in the new American League after the 1901 season. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1963 and died eight years later, just two days short of his 95th birthday. Flick hit .338 in his four seasons with the Phillies and led the league with 110 RBI in 1900. He hit .313 in his 13-year big league career. According to baseball-reference.com, his 1901 Phillies salary was $3,000.

Came across the following in the October 3 Florida Today newspaper:

Darren Daulton participated in a fund raiser in Melbourne, FL, for Bikers In Need, a non-denominational group that provides food and living expenses to compatriots who are injured or otherwise down on their luck. “I’m very part of it now,” said Daulton of the charity group. “It’s just something that you really don’t hear that much about it. Being part of something like this is family.”

The article included news that Darren and Amanda Dick became engaged a couple of days earlier.

Amanda provided an up-date on Darren’s battle with brain cancer. “He recently completed chemotherapy and radiation treatments. An MRI last week looked good. He’s physically fine, but his speech as been affected. He sometimes has trouble finding words.”

A reminder vintage photos and features of Phillies alumni can be found at http://www.phillies.com/alumni.

Minor League Notes
Baseball America’s latest edition includes All-Star teams of the various minor league levels. From the Phillies, Cody Ashe is on the AAA team, Maikel Franco, AA and Zach Green, Short-Season. All three are third basemen.

Green (#4) and OF Dylan Cozens (#9) are among the New York-Penn League’s top-10 prospects . . . 18-year-old OF Carlos Tocci was #18 in the South Atlantic League.

Minor league All-Stars: Asche, 2B Cesar Hernandez (International League) . . . OF Aaron Altherr (Florida State League) . . . SS J.P. Crawford, 1B Wilmer Oberto (Gulf Coast League). Oberto was also named the league’s MVP.

Odds ‘n Ends

Ruben and Ryno continue to discuss a coaching staff this week. Both head to Clearwater early next week to catch a glimpse of the Florida Instructional League which ends October 11. Ruben will oversee an organization meeting in Clearwater at the end of this month (27-30)—scouting, player development, athletic trainers/flexibility trainers, Ryno and his coaches and baseball administration staff will participate.

After being shut down for the month of September, Marti Wolever and his scouting staff are currently watching instructional league games in Florida and Arizona, college scout days, fall showcases and amateur leagues that play in the fall.

First moves in re-shaping the roster came when pitchers Tyler Cloyd (Cleveland) and Raul Valdez (Houston) were claimed on waivers yesterday. It is common for teams to ask waivers on players at this time of the season. Next month, teams will have to finalize their 40-man winter roster.

Hitting Down
Everyone knows the Phillies struggled offensively this season. They weren’t alone.

In figures just out……the combined batting average in the majors this season was .253, lowest since .244 in 1972.

AFL
Phillies will have six players in the Arizona Fall League–OF Aaron Altherr, OF Kelly Dugan, RHP Ken Giles, RHP Mike Nesseth, RHP Kyle Simon and LHP Austin Wright reported to the Peoria Javelinas yesterday. Schedule runs from October 8 through November 14. You can follow the league on http://www.MLBFallBall.com.

Phillies will also have players in winter leagues in Venezuela (season starts October 10) and the Dominican Republic (October 18). Names will come later.

Around the Park
Maintenance and winterization work has begun throughout the park, including power washing the entire seating bowl. Batting practice for season ticket holders continues the next two days. Once that is out of the way, work will begin on prepping the field for the winter.

Tours of the ballpark, including the clubhouse, will continue during the off season (215 218 5360).

Meetings, wedding receptions, birthday parties, holiday parties can be held at the park. For details, call 215 218-5100.

Go Bucs
Never thought I’d root for the Pirates but got to pull for a Pennsylvania team.

Phillies flavor on the Pirates include Marlon Byrd (outfielder), Nick Leyva (third base coach), Bob Walk (broadcaster) and Kent Tekulve (pre- and post-game radio).

Trivia question: Who was the starting centerfielder for the Phillies when Citizens Bank Park opened in 2004?

Answer: Byrd.

This Date
Day-by-day great moments in Phillies history can be found on http://www.phillies.com/alumni.
Check it out.

Foggy Crystal Ball

Let’s see. Back when spring training had ended, dusted off the old, doggy crystal ball. Wanted to see what was lying ahead for the Phillies. Here’s what I didn’t see…

Cole would finish with a career-low eight wins and have 11 no decisions.

For 62 innings, from April 7 through May 31, he wouldn’t pitch with a lead while in the game.

Bullpen would turn out to be the strongest part of the pitching staff.

Cliff and Cole would be the only healthy starters.

Cliff would be the first pitcher in modern times to strike out 50 or more batters (54) and walk one in one calendar month (September).

Enemy base runners would steal almost at will. Phillies would struggle on the bases.

So many base hits, including home runs, would come on 0-2 pitches.

J-Roll would be the only regular not to miss a game because of injuries.

15 rookies would appear in at least one game during the season.

OF Casper Wells and INF John McDonald would pitch in the same game for the Phillies.

Domonic would be an All-Star and lead the club in homers, RBI.

Chase would be the club-leader in runs scored.

Ben would break his right foot, not play after July 13 and still lead the outfielders in putouts.

Only three teams—Cubs, White Sox, Marlins–would score fewer runs than the Phillies (610).

The Astros would score as many runs as the Phillies.

Only three teams would drawer fewer walks than the Phillies (417).

Fransden would play 40 games at first base, second to Howard’s 76.

Cody Asche would replace Mike Young at third base.

Cesar Hernandez would play 190 innings in centerfield in September.

There would be so many bad calls by umpires, including two of the worst in one inning.

After being a strong second half team for so many years, Phillies would go 25-41.

Phillies would finish below the Mets for the first time since 2000.

Zach Miner would be the starting pitcher in the season’s final game.

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