Early Birds

No speeding tickets, no flat tires. Yep, the “Clearwater or bust” equipment truck made it to Bright House Field on Saturday. The empty truck headed for Alabama for a load that needed to go back north.

Clearwater mayor George Cretekos even helped unload the truck.

Scott Palmer’s video feature about the arrival appears on this website, if you haven’t seen it. Scott will be posting video features throughout spring training. Beat writer Todd Zolecki will be filling daily stories, tweeting, facebooking and blogging. Phillies Insider is now Monday through Friday (Hey, senior citizens get weekends off). Still photography by Miles Kennedy.

Phillies.com is your place for Phillies spring training complete and comprehensive coverage.

Early Birds
Something like 36 players worked out today.

10 .m. scene had Larry Bowa, arms folded, standing near third base watching Cody Asche taking ground balls on the half-field. Mickey Morandini and Roly deArmas took turns hitting grounders with Ryne Sandberg observing at home plate.

First basemen were Ryan Howard and Darrin Ruf. Reid Brignac and Andres Blanco were also working out on the same field.

Ruben Jr. will oversee a meeting in the second-floor meeting room at Carpenter Complex starting at 11 a.m. His staff, Ryne and his coaches and all extra instructors, athletic trainers, clubhouse personnel and front office executives will be in the meeting.

“Meat” of the meeting is a discussion of every player in camp. Health issues, if there are any, will be brought to everyone’s attention.

Wednesday is a half-day with Bill Giles’ annual golf outing for the staff taking place in the afternoon

Prayers and Thoughts
Everyone with the Phillies sends their heartfelt thoughts to Curt Schilling, who let it be known he is battling cancer.

Curt is the fourth from the 1993 NL championship club with cancer issues, John Kruk, Todd Pratt and Darren Daulton.

Birthday Boys
Today: LHP Larry McWilliams (60), OF Lenny Dykstra (51), C Lenny Webster (49), INF Kevin Sefcik (43) . . . Tomorrow: OF Ollie Brown (70) . . . Wednesday: Ruben Amaro Jr. (49), RHP Dennis Springer (49) . . . Thursday: SS Kevin Stocker (44), LHP Mike Mimbs (45) . . . Friday: INF Larry Milbourne (58) . . .Sunday: C Barry Foote (62).

Spring Training Fun Fact
Well, 50 years ago, my first spring training. All of us—five from the front office, players, coaches, manager, writers and broadcasters—stayed at the Jack Tar Hotel. Players without their families roomed with another teammate.

10 Years Ago
Citizens Bank Park was undergoing finishing touches at this time of the year while Veterans Stadium was prepping for implosion in March. For a vintage aerial photo of the two facilities check out http://www.phillies.com/alumni

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