Another big crowd for today’s Yankees game, an ESPN telecast. John Kruk is now part of the network’s Sunday Nigh crew. Just think, ex-Phillies on national TV include Tim McCarver, Mitch Williams, Larry Bowa, Dan Plesac and Jim Kaat.
MLB Network’s 30 camps in 30 days show will be in Clearwater on Friday, including Mitch.
Tomorrow is a day off. With a 7:05 p.m. game in Ft. Myers (Red Sox) on Thursday, the day off stretches somewhat into Thursday. Bus leaves at 1 p.m. on Thursday. Back to Clearwater for the Braves on Friday afternoon.
Once BP ended this morning, Billmeyer took Kratz to the half field to work on throwing to second base. Some hitters went to the cages for extra work.
WIP’s 1-6 p.m. show featuring Anthony Gargano and Glenn Macnow will be live from Bright House Thursday and Friday . . . WXTU will be live from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Friday . . . ESPN TV is doing a special on pitchers who have tossed perfect games. Jim Bunning is being interviewed tomorrow at Bright House Field . . . Steve Wulf of ESPN.com is in camp today to interview Bunning and Dallas Green about Johnny Callison. Story is about Callison’s dramatic game-winning homer in the 1964 All-Star Game in Shea Stadium, the last time the ASG was in a New York National League park. This year’s game is in Citi Field.
Fans can catcher Phillies minor leaguers in games tomorrow afternoon (Yankees AAA and AA clubs) and again on Thursday afternoon (Yankees A clubs) . . . Game times are 1 p.m. No admission charge for fans . . . Lannan and some of the relievers will throw in the minor league games tomorrow.
March 21, 2004–Veterans Stadium is imploded in 62 seconds. Very emotional moment for fans and Phillies employees to see the place crumble. Dust from the implosion drifted east over Citizens Bank Park creating an eerie scene.
Next blog: Friday.
After today, down to nine more games in Florida before the On-Deck Series with the Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park (March 29-30) and the season opener in Atlanta on April 1. Modell’s Sporting Goods Home Opener is 17 days away.
Another sign that spring training is winding down came from an e-mail from Frank Coppenbarger, Director of Team Travel and Clubhouse Services….”.equipment truck leaves Clearwater on March 27 for Citizens Bank Park. Bring your belongings to BHF on the 26th”
Today’s game is the first of three to be televised by ESPN. Other two: Yankees tomorrow and at Detroit on March 27.
J-Roll is back in camp after the WBC. He was among the group that worked out at Bright House Field this morning, the players who didn’t go to Disney World for the Braves game . . . Cliff is pitching in a minor league game at Carpenter Complex this afternoon and J-Roll is playing in that game . . . Hall of Famer Jim Bunning is in camp for three days . . . Mike Schmidt’s stay in camp ends today . . . ESPN 97.3 out of Atlantic City (Mike Gill) is live form the Tiki Bar this afternoon and tomorrow afternoon, 2 p.m.-6 p.m.
Phillies host Pirates AA and AAA teams today at Carpenter Complex . Remember the 1 p.m. games are open to the public at no charge . . . Tomorrow, the two Class A clubs from the Pirates are at the complex while the Phillies AA and AAA teams go to Bradenton . . . LHP David Newman was released this morning. Over the weekend, the following were released: Chris Duffy, Luis Gonzalez, Guantlett Eldemire, Stefan Jarrin, Moises Rivas and Tim Kennelly.
Wall of Fame Voting
5 p.m. Wednesday is the deadline to vote for the 2013 Wall of Fame inductee.
Alumni weekend includes the annual luncheon for Seniors on August 1, Wall of Fame induction on August 2, Toyota Alumni Night on August 3 and a salute to the 1993 NL champions on August 4.
Spring Training Memories
Jim Kaat (LHP, 1976-79)
“I wore No. 21 with the original Washington Senators training in Orlando, Florida. I was nervous but proud to wear a big league ‘uni’. Coming out of Michigan, I loved the warm weather. There was only one field in those days and I didn’t like the amount of time they made us stand around in the outfield doing nothing.”
Of the next four games, only one is at Bright House Field, Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day.
Today, Rays in Port Charlotte (8:15 a.m. buses), Saturday, Yankees in Tampa (8:45 a.m.) and Monday, Braves in Disney World (8:00). Just think, touring Florida by bus is in order.
MLB Network will tape the Yankees game on Saturday and air it at 3 a.m. Sunday. Seriously.
Following a tradition started by Tug McGraw back in the late 1970s, the Phillies will wear green jerseys on Sunday against the Orioles. Two games ago, a fan was seen wondering through the Bright House Field stands wearing a green #45 McGraw jersey. Tug’s legacy lives on.
Another Spring Training USA fan tour will have brunch on Sunday morning at Bright House Field. Scott Palmer is the host . . . Phillies midwest and international scouts come to Clearwater for a few days on Sunday.
Phillies class A teams are playing the Blue Jays teams at Carpenter Complex on Friday and Sunday. Both teams AAA and AA teams will be playing in Dunedin on those days. Saturday, camp games followed by an evening roster meeting held by the minor league field staff and minor league office staff.
Over the last couple of days the following pitchers were released, Ryan Duke, Garett Claypool, Corey Young, Matt Sisto and Juan Morillo . More player moves will be forthcoming.
March 15, 1943–Phillies begin spring training in Hershey, PA, during World War II. Eleven players went through the first workout.
For a story about that bizarre spring training and a couple of awesome photos, be sure to check out http://www.phillies.com/alumni.
Spring Training Memories
Von Hayes (OF, 1983-1991)
“My first spring training was in Tucson, Arizona, with the Cleveland Indians. I wore No. 62 and my first roommate was Chris Bando.
“It was my first year out of college and I went directly to the major league camp. I was overwhelmed to say the least. The thing I remember most about my first day was how terrifying Cliff Johnson looked. While the rest of the team stretched, Cliff was on his own program smoking cigs and generally letting everyone know how miserable he was to be in Cleveland that year. Regardless of it all, that man could hit!
“The best part of spring training is at the beginning when you get a chance to see your teammates again before the games start. It’s a no-stress, fun time that always produces good memories. The worst part of spring training was always how long it was. I always felt that a week of practice and about 10 games was all I needed to be ready to play. I always thought the pitchers should still report in February and let the rest of the team report somewhere around the middle of March. Let them throw against a wall for a month until we got there. Just kidding, but a week less wouldn’t have hurt!”
Pitching and defense. That combination can produce winning seasons.
Through 18 spring training games, pitching and defense are not jiving. Team ERA of 6.09 is highest among NL clubs. 25 errors is also high. Team .282 average is third. Domonic Brown leads all NL players with 15 hits and is second with 17 hits.
That’s why we have spring training. Defense miscues can be traced to windy conditions and fields that aren’t major league caliber. J-Roll’s glove is missing, too. Pitchers have given up 183 hits in 158 innings. The numbers are more staggering when you consider pitchers have twice combined on one-hitters.
Minor league pitchers Colby Shreve, Kyle Simon and Jordan Whatcott and catcher John Suomi are in uniform for today’s game against the Pirates . . . Busses for Friday’s game in Port Charlotte (Rays) leave at 8:15 a.m. . . . Group of Phillies sponsors are in Clearwater for the weekend.
Wall of Fame
Voting online ends on March 20 so get your votes in.
Received an e-mail inquiry from a fan wanting to know by Bake McBride isn’t among the 15 Alumni on this year’s ballot. Bake was on the first online ballot in 2005 but received minimal votes and was removed from the ballot.
The eligible candidates, and Bake is eligible, are reviewed every January and Bake will be given consideration again in 2014.
Spring Training Memories
Ricky Jordan (1B, 1988-94)
“It was Clearwater, 1984, training with the Spartanburg Phillies. I wore No. 6. Carpenter Field was so impressive. I had no idea that many players would be there. I always enjoyed and appreciated the hands-on instruction from the staff. I didn’t like the long distance running they made us do every day. Or the food for lunch: Soup, soup, soup.”
Spring training and regular season routines are totally different for the players.
During the spring, they arrive at Bright House Field early in the morning as most of the games are day games. Night games dominate the regular season. Players are required to be in the clubhouse three hours prior to a 7:05 p.m. game, for example, during the season.
The spring training routine takes on a different twist as there’s a night game in Tampa today against the Yankees. Busses leave Bright House Field at 3:15 p.m. Those not on the trip are required to be at Bright House Field for stretching and a short workout at 3:30 p.m. The game is being taped by the MLB Network and will be replayed at 8 a.m. tomorrow. Baseball and a late breakfast!
Tomorrow is back to a day game, the Pirates coming to Clearwater.
Cole Hamels Foundation will host an event after Thursday’s game on the half-field at Bright House Field . . . No minor league games at Carpenter Complex on Thursday but they resume on Friday. Fans are welcome to those 1 p.m. games free of charge . . . . WIP’s morning show with Angelo Cataldi will be live from the Tiki Bar on Thursday and Fridays, 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
**March 10, 1955–With RHP Robin Roberts on the mound, Phillies defeat Detroit, 4-2, before 4,209 crowd in the first game at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater.
**March 10, 1962–Because the hotel doesn’t allow black guests, the Phillies leave the Jack Tar Harrison Hotel and move to Rocky Point Hotel, 20 miles outside of Clearwater, FL.
March 12, 1980–OF Chuck Klein elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
March 13, 1987–Phillies sign free agent catcher Lance Parrish.
Check out http://www.phillies.com/alumni for more Alumni information, including a vintage photo of the 1943 Phillies about to board a train in Philadelphia for spring training.
Spring Training Memories
Del Unser (OF, 1979-82; 1979-82; CH 1985-88)
“It was Lake Wales, Florida in 1967, the minor league camp of the Washington Senators. I remember it well because I had an appendectomy after two days and missed the rest of spring. June Raines was my roomie and he helped me get to the hospital.
“My fondest memory was going to the local pub and getting to know some of my new minor league teammates. During my rookie big league camp, I was assigned No. 30. The best part of that camp was making the big club and getting to see my wife in Louisville, Kentucky, before the last spring exhibition game.”
Spring training is half over. Second half starts this afternoon with the Tigers visiting Bright House Field. Tomorrow, it’s the Yankees in Tampa, the first of two night games on the schedule.
Phillies are 7-8-1 with 16 games left. The game against the Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic team was considered an exhibition and not included in the won-loss record. Only St. Louis has a winning record in spring training among NL teams, 8-7. Kansas City is running away with the best record, 13-1. Come April 1, all teams are 0-0. No foolin’.
Last week, including the DR game, Phillies pitchers had games in which they gave up 1, 28, 9, 12, 7, 16 and 1 hits. They started the week with a Monday 1-hitter at the Pirates and ended on Sunday with a 1-hitter at the Astros.
Don’t believe that’s ever happened in a Phillies spring training season.
Pitchers Brendan Lafferty and Ryan O’Sullivan came over from the minor league camp to be in uniform for today’s game . . . In case you missed it over the weekend, the Phillies cut a bunch of players and today Cloyd, Rosenberg, Robles, Gillies and Valle were sent to Carpenter Complex. That leaves 42 players, including 11 non-roster players . . . With the first round of the WBC out of the way, Phillies have two representatives left, J-Roll (USA) and Samuel (DR) . . . WPHT’s Chris Stigall will be broadcasting live from Bright House Field again tomorrow, 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. . . . Minor league games at the complex on Wednesday are Phillies-Pirates AAA and AA rosters. Game time is 1 p.m. No admission charge.
Spring Training Memories
Terry Harmon (INF, 1967; 1969-77)
“It was1967 in Clearwater. I wore No. 54. We stayed at the Fort Harrison Hotel with all the players and staff. One of the neatest things was going to Clearwater and the drive from the airport, all the beautiful palm trees and the water and then going to work and trying to save a position every year. All the preparation for spring training every year always led to aches and pains the first day. No matter how hard you worked at home, it was the same every spring.
“I loved spring training. It was a time to bring your family to Clearwater for six weeks or more, spend time on the beach and spend time with other families. I loved every minute of it. Every year I was on the ledge because I was a utility player and someone was always trying to get my job. I was lucky enough to hang on for a few years and have a great mediocre career.”
Back-to-back with Tampa Bay Rays. 8:45 a.m. buses left for Port Charlotte this morning. Tomorrow, the Rays and Phillies are at Bright House Field. PHL17 will televise the game in the Philadelphia market.
Sunday, buses depart at 8 a.m. for Kississmee and a game with the Astros. That game will taped and played on MLB Network at 10 a.m. Monday.
Monday is a day off for the entire squad, including this blog.
Players not on today’s trip worked out at Bright House Field and were done by 11 a.m. Next door at Carpenter Complex, minor league players continued their workouts. They have five groups of pitches and five groups of position players. Because of the large number of players (164) more than four fields are needed. One group walked up Old Coachman’s Road to the Joe DiMaggio Complex of three baseball fields and worked out there.
Minor league games against other teams will begin on Tuesday at Carpenter Complex. Two games will be played there and two teams will go on the road. Admission is free although the Phillies are home on Tuesday.
Group of Phillies sponsors arrive today for the weekend, an annual ritual . . . A group of fans on the Spring Training USA Tour will have brunch Saturday morning at Bright House Field . . . Phillies Alumni Sixto Lezcano will throw out the first ball tomorrow and Larry Christenson will attempt to catch it.
March 8, 1941–RHP Hugh Mulcahy is the first big league player drafted into the military in World War II.
March 10, 1955–With RHP Robin Roberts on the mound, Phillies defeat Detroit, 4-2, before 4,209 crowd in the first game at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater.
March 10, 1962–Because the hotel doesn’t allow black guests, the Phillies leave the Jack Tar Harrison Hotel and move to Rocky Point Hotel, 20 miles outside of Clearwater, FL.
More Phlashbacks can be found on http://www.phillies.com/alumni.
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.”
Best thing about yesterday’s bashing by the Dominican Republic WBC team againts the Phillies is that it doesn’t count. Then again, any of the stats in spring training really don’t count.
28 hits against the Phillies in a spring training game? Have no idea. We really don’t track that kind of stuff in the Grapefruit League.
Since 1900, the most hits the Phillies have allowed is 28: at the Reds, 1902; vs. the Cardinals at Baker Bowl, 1929 and vs. the Giants, also at Baker Bowl, 1931.
Nationals in town this afternoon. Since they train on the other Florida coast, they don’t visit the west side often . . . Twins split squad is here tomorrow . . . Defensive drills took place prior to batting practice . . . Hall of Famer Jim Bunning will be visiting camp for three dates in a couple of weeks. He was elected to the Hall of Fame on this date in 1996.
Spring Training Memories
Mitch Williams (LHP, 1991-93)
“I was 19 years old and had been taken by the Rangers in the Rule 5 draft. It was my first big league camp. I was walking out early in the morning and I remember the Rangers had just gotten Cliff Johnson. Cliff was standing in right field and Mickey Rivers was sitting on the ground. I walked toward them and Mickey said, ‘Clifford, look at the head on this critter.’ I later learned that Mickey was one of the many real characters during my career.
“It was always great to reunite with your teammates every spring. I also remember all the aches and pains that came every year no matter how much winter ball you had played or how hard you had worked. The best part of spring training, though, was the end.”
Today’s game against the Dominican Republic is a warm-up for World Baseball Classic.
The DR club is considered a strong one.The USA, Japan, Cuba, Venezuela and DR are the power houses, although the DR was eliminated in the first round during the last Classic, 2009. DR’s first game is Thursday vs. Venezuela in Puerto Rico. The USA plays Mexico on Friday in Chase Field, Phoenix. Game time is 7 p.m.
The Phillies don’t have any players on the DR team. USA, only J-Roll. Several players, including Aumont, are on the Canadian team. The Phillies will scout that team to keep tabs on Aumont’s progress.
MLB Network will be televising a lot of the games.
Nationals tomorrow afternoon and Twins on Thursday in home games . . . Dave Cash will be throwing out the first ball tomorrow . . . Mike Missanelli of 97.5 in Philly is broadcasting live from Bright House Field the next two days . . . WVSR, Selinsgrove, PA, is also here those two days.
On this date in 1967, Carpenter Complex opened. The spring training complex was a vision of Paul Owens, then the director of minor leagues and scouting.
Consistent, centralized instruction and evaluation was impossible up until the complex opened. For example, in 1966, the Phillies big club was in Clearwater, AAA and AA clubs trained in Dade City, FL, and Class A players in Leesburg, FL.
The complex is named after the Carpenter family who owned the Phillies form 1943 through 1981. A year ago, a bronze bust of Owens was added to the clubhouse entrance of the complex. That clubhouse was named the Paul Owens Training Facility.
By building the complex, Owens was able to start a Florida Instructional League program that is an annual post-season tradition.
Al Monchak turns 96 today, thus becoming the oldest living Phillies Alumnus. His career was a brief one, 19 games with the Phillies in 1940. He was a shortstop/second baseman.
He then entered the military for World War II and never played in the big leagues again. He did have a lengthy career as a coach in the majors, 1971-1988.