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Snow Poles?

The grass is still green.  No snow…yet.  The concourses have been power washed.  The lockers in the Phillies clubhouse are empty.  Up on the suite level behind home plate is a large room, named the Board Room.  Every other Tuesday morning, a business staff meeting is held there.  Department heads and many others spend a couple of hours planning for 2015.  As many as 40-45 persons will line the large table and chairs that rim the room.

Baseball operations traditionally start the meeting with updates including highlights of players in the winter league, dates of the winter meetings and Rule 5 draft, medical updates, changes in the development, training and scouting staffs.

Sales updates and plans include season ticket campaign, suites, group, theme nights, community nights. Other departments that participate include Finance, Marketing/Sales, Marketing/Advertising, Events, Communications, Ballpark Enterprises, Human Resource, Facility Management and Administration/Operations.

Copies of the minutes are provided to every employee at Citizens Bank Park.

Points of reference:
Spring training tickets for the public go on sale starting December 8.  Three days later, group sales begins.  Tickets to individual games during next year’s home schedule go on sale starting February 19, coinciding with the start of spring training.

Next year’s Phillies Charities 5K will take place on March 28.  Sales will take place on phillies.com, beginning at 9 a.m. on January 12.  Last year, 5,500 runners registered.
Tentative plans are in the works for a first-ever Phillies Bike Race/Ride for next year.

Plans for the various promotions are in the early stage and will continue for the next two-three months.  Being digested is how the Phillies will celebrate their first pennant-winning team 100 years ago.  After finishing sixth in 1914, the Phillies won the pennant the next season.

The first ever clubhouse sleepover will be held this Saturday night, one of the many items that was part of the Phillies Phantastic Auction inventory last spring.  A secret bidder bid over $4,500 and has given the experience to four children from CHOP, along with friends and siblings.

Over 120 fans will attend the Breakfast with Phillie Phanatic on Saturday in the Diamond Club.  That afternoon a Bar Mitzvah will take place in the Hall of Fame Club.

As was announced during the World Series, Jimmy Rollins was the co-recipient of the 2014 Roberto Clemente Award. The Rollins Family Foundation will receive $30,000 and
a Chevrolet vehicle as part of the Award.  This is in addition to a $7,500 donation the Foundation received for Jimmy’s initial nomination. Previous Phillies winners were Greg Luzinski (1978) and Garry Maddox (1986).

The winterization of the ballpark has started.  Plumbers have shut off the water in Suites 30-70 and the main concourse. Electricians have turned on the heaters in concession stands and carpenters have installed snow poles in Harry the K’s and Bull’s BBQ.

Will the snow poles be recycled into baseball bats or toothpicks?
 

 

 

Potpourri

3B Mike Schmidt carries his 1980 Rawlings Gold Glove and MVP award.

1981 was a big year for Mike Schmidt’s trophy case.  He won the National League Most Valuable Player Award for the second straight year, picked up his sixth Rawlings Gold Glove Award and his second Louisville Slugger Award (not pictured).   Five years later, he won his third MVP, matching the league record held by Stan Musial and Roy Campanella.

Before Schmidt, the previous MVP from the Phillies was Jim Konstanty in 1950.  Check out a new feature on Konstanty at http://www.phillies.com/alumni.

Alumni Birthdays
Today: RHP Tom Gordon (47), LHP Jamie Moyer (52) . . . Wednesday: RHP Clay Condrey (39), RHP Dickie Noles (58), C Bob Boone (67), OF Bobby Tolan (69), 3B Joe Morgan (84) . . . Thursday: RHP Chuck Ricci (46), RHP Steve Schrenk (46), SS Alex Arias (47), OF Joy Johnstone (69), CH Herm Starrette (76) . . . Friday: INF Bill Almon (62) . . . Saturday: OF Ricky Ledee (41), OF Greg Luzinski (64), RHP Cy Acosta (68) . . .
Sunday: OF Casper Wells (30), RHP Adam Eaton (37), LHP Eddie Oropesa (43), INF Dale Sveum (51).

Condolences
Deepest condolences to the family of Alvin Dark who died November 13 in Easley, SC.  He was 92, leaving seven Phillies Alumni in their Nonagenarian Club.

Mr. Dark played 14 years in the majors and then managed 13 seasons.  He played 55 games with the Phillies in 1960, his final season as a player.  An outstanding football player at LSU, Mr. Dark was drafted by the Eagles in 1945 but chose baseball.

AFL Summary
Jim Callis, MLB.com reporter, filed a summary of the best prospect for each of the 30 big league clubs following the conclusion of the Arizona Fall League.  Here’s his report o the Phillies.

Best Performance: Center fielder Roman Quinn was the league’s fastest player and used his speed to finish first in steals (14 in 16 tries) and second in runs (19). He batted .250/.361/.359 and displayed newfound plate discipline with 16 walks, which ranked fourth.

Best Prospect: Quinn, who has also used his quickness to make a nice transition from shortstop. He covers the gaps well and has a stronger arm than most center fielders.

Book Signing
Will be signing my book (These Walls Could Talk) during the Phillies Holiday Sale at the Majestic Clubhouse Store at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, December 6. I’ll be there between 2 and 3 p.m.  A perfect holiday gift for someone you like or don’t like.

Phun Fact
Harry Kalas broadcast the first game in the Astrodome in 1965 while with Houston, a game against the Phillies.  With the Phillies he broadcast the first and last game at Veterans Stadium and the first game at Citizens Bank Park.

 

Revisiting Japan Trip

(Here’s another segment that didn’t make my book, If These Walls Could Talk. With an MLB All-Star team touring in Japan, timing was right to post my experiences in Japan in 1990).

When Bill White played for us, we became friends.  He stayed in Philadelphia one offseason and made appearances for $200.00.  He asked me to be his booking agent, for which I received 10%.  Neither of us became millionaires.

His post-playing career took him to the broadcast booth and eventually president of the National League. Following the 1990 season, he chose me to be the PR person for the MLB All-Star Tour of Japan.  For years, MLB would send a group of players to Japan to play a series of games against their stars.

Julie and I were honored and excited to be part of the 11-day tour.  To me, it was considered a jewel event. While in Japan, she got to do some sightseeing with the wives while I spent time at ballparks.

Only American player I knew was Lenny Dykstra.  But, new friendships developed, Don Zimmer (manager), Mike Scioscia (catcher) and Ken Griffey Sr. (coach).  Barry Bonds was on the squad and we didn’t become friends.  Far from it.

As it turns out, we were the first American team to lose the series, 4-3.  Our third win came in the last game, a combined no-hitter by Chuck Finley and Randy Johnson. Games were played in five different ballparks.  Like our leagues, one league (Pacific) used the designated hitter while the other (Central) didn’t.

I became the last American PR person to provide the stats for both teams.  I never did understand why but for some reason I was expected to type not only our stats but the Japanese stats.  Hey, I wasn’t going to complain.

We had a squad of 26 players, Japan used 28 players and 39 pitchers.  Japan had roster changes every game, a real challenge trying to keep up with all their players.  Most likely, I missed one or two of their players. Just don’t tell anyone.  One of their ace pitchers was 21-year-old Hideo Nomo, winner of the Sawamura Award, equivalent of our Cy Young Award.

An interpreter was assigned to me to help with the language barrier.  Sadly, I don’t recall his name.  He was with me every day and extremely helpful as I couldn’t speak their language.

There are some distinct differences from baseball in the USA.  Here are a few:

**Fans returned all foul balls but they kept home run balls.

**”Music” in three stadiums was provided by trumpet players parked in the outfield bleachers.  Sometimes, drummers accompanied the trumpets, creating an annoying noise that lasted the entire game.  While the bleacher fans cheered, the rest sat in virtual silence.  There was no booing.

**Dugouts were deeper than long.  Field level locations for photographers were longer than the dugouts.  We averaged over 125 photographers per game.

**Once his team made two outs, the Japanese pitcher began warming up in front of his dugout.

**Public Address announcers were females.

**There was no seventh-inning stretch.

**In each of the five ballparks in which we played, a 6’-9’ fence was positioned in front of the first row of seats completely surrounding the playing field.  Thus, there were no problems with fans interfering with a ball in play or running on the field.  Fans were also protected from wicked foul balls.

**Players received money for television interviews, which is a custom in Japan.  For interviews at the ballpark, 20,000 yen ($140.00).  Away from the park, 50,000 yen, including the print media.

**Players also received “lucky money” (20,000 yen) for hitting home runs.  When I gave Bonds a lucky money coin after the game in which he homered, he threw the coin on the floor.  It wound up in my pocket.

Personal highlight came when the interpreter said one of the Japanese newspapers wanted to interview me.  Next day the interpreter showed me the paper but he was laughing.  Right in the middle of the girlie ads, was my picture and a story which I couldn’t read.

It was an interesting experience to witness the Japanese culture.  Everything was so clean and everybody was so friendly.  The subways, trains and air planes were crowded, really crowded. Masses upon masses of people.

 

Giles Is Fourth

Ken Giles finished fourth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting that was announced on Monday.  Not bad for a guy who began the season at Reading, was promoted to Lehigh Valley before making his major league debut.  He was certainly lights out in the bullpen.  Bodes well for the future as the Phillies enter a rebuilding mode.

Giles55195

Three years ago Vance Worley was third in the ROY voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America.  Vance faded and resurfaced this season with the Pirates.

So, who are BWAA ROY in Phillies history?

1957 RHP Jack Sanford
1964 3B Richie Allen
1997 3B Scott Rolen
2005 1B Ryan Howard

First ever ROY winner was Jackie Robinson (Brooklyn Dodgers) in 1947, when only one was selected.  Two years later, the award was issued to the top rookie in each league.  First NL winner was RHP Don Newcombe of the Dodgers.

Alumni Notes
Curt Schilling will be inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday night Sheraton Society Hill Hotel. Honored posthumously will be Herb Pennock, Phillies general manager (1943-48), and Phillies-Philadelphia A’s broadcaster By Saam (1938-75).

Mike Schmidt was inducted into the Rawlings Gold Glove Hall of Fame last week in New York . . . Charlie Manuel will hold a winter instructional camp in St. Petersburg, FL, next month.  Among the guest instructors were Jim Thome, Tom Gordon, Pedro Feliz and Rich Dubee.

Do you know how many pair of brothers have worn a Phillies uniform?  Well, the answer can be found at http://www.phillies.com/alumni.

Twenty-seven years ago yesterday, Steve Bedrosian became the first Phillies closer to win the Award.  40 saves were tops in the majors, a first for a Phillies reliever.  Set an MLB record with 13 consecutive saves, May 25-June 30. Had a hand in 45 of the Phillies’ 80 wins. “Bedrock” won the Award in the closest balloting ever with 57 points to 55 for Rick Sutcliffe (Cubs) and 54 for Orel Hershiser (Dodgers).

1980BEDR8x10

Happy Birthday to….
Today: RHP Roberto Hernandez (50) . . . Thursday: RHP Dave Shipanoff (55), RHP Gene Garber (67), INF Bobby Pfeil (71) . . . Friday: RHP Curt Schilling (48), LHP Willie Hernandez (60) . . . Sunday: OF Don Hahn (66) . . . Monday: OF Billy McMillan (43), LHP Mitch Williams (50).

Today In Phillies History
Two years after leading the Phillies to their first pennant in 1915, RHP Grover Cleveland
Alexander and starting C Bill Killefer were traded to Chicago Cubs for RHP Mike
Prendergast, C Pickles Dillhoefer and $60,000 on this date. Owner William Baker
admitted he traded his battery because of financial difficulties and fear that Alexander
would be drafted in World War I.

Phun Fact
Who is the only person to play at Connie Mack Stadium, Veterans Stadium and Citizens
Bank Park?

The late organist Paul Richardson.

Book Signing
Will be signing my book (These Walls Could Talk) during the Phillies Holiday Sale at the Majestic Clubhouse Store at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, December 6. I’ll be there between 2 and 3 p.m.  A perfect holiday gift for someone you like or don’t like.

 

 

McCarver & The Series

After 24 years of being in a broadcast booth during the World Series, Tim McCarver was in the comfort of his living room watching the fall classic.

Did he miss it?  “No, not really.  I didn’t think I would and it turned out that way.  24 years was enough.”

How much did he watch? “Every minute.  I loved the entire series.  It was a fabulous seven games.  Bumgarner looked as if he didn’t have a pulse.  My goodness what a performance.”

During the season, McCarver did 30 TV games for the Cardinals, enough to keep him close to the game.  No more game of the week, travel, preparation during the entire season and then the World Series.  His WS record of 24 years will last a very long time.

McCarver started his broadcasting career with Harry Kalas, Richie Ashburn and Andy Musser in 1980.

McCarver2

Hall Ballot
Jim Kaat and Dick Allen are among 10 candidates on the Baseball Hall of Fame Golden Era Ballot (1947-72). A 16-member committee, which is reconstituted each time it meets every three years, will review the ballot.  Announcement will come December 8 at the winter meetings in San Diego.

Any candidate named on 75 percent of the ballots will be enshrined in Cooperstown on July 26.

The Baseball Writers Association of America ballot will be released after Thanksgiving. Voters have until December 31 to return their ballots.  Announcement will be held January 6.

BBWAA Awards are scheduled for November 10 (Rookie of the Year), 11 (Manager of the Year), 12 (Cy Young) and 13 (MVP).

Chuck Klein (1932) is the first Phillies player to win the MVP (1932).  Who was next?
Check out the cool A peek as the past image at http://www.phillies.com/alumni for the answer.

GM Meetings
Trade talk will heat up next week when the general managers hold their annual meetings in Phoenix, Monday to Thursday. Doubt there will be much action, mostly groundwork for later. MLB.com will have a bevy of writers covering the meetings, including Paul Hagen.

Baseball’s Winter Meetings will take place December 7-11 with the Rule 5 draft taking place on the last day.  Plenty of media coverage then, including MLB.com and the MLB Baseball Network.  The hot stove is heating up.

Book Signing
Will be signing my book (These Walls Could Talk) during the Phillies Holiday Sale at the Majestic Clubhouse Store at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, December 6. I’ll be there between 2 and 3 p.m.  A perfect holiday gift for someone you like or don’t like.

 

 

Here ‘n There

DennyCyYoung
Right-hander John Denny won the N. L. Cy Young Award 31 years ago.  He led the league with 19 wins (6 losses) and a .760 percentage.  2.37 ERA finished second. Won 13 of 14 decisions after the All-Star break, including seven in a row as Phillies won the NL pennant. Was 1-1 in the NLCS and 0-0 in the World Series.

Second straight Cy Young winner for the Phillies as Steve Carlton earned the 1982 honor.  Denny had 103 points to 61 for Mario Soto (Reds)

Alumni Birthdays
Today: INF Domingo Cedeno (46), OF Tito Francona (81), SS Dick Groat (84) . . .
Wednesday: LHP Glenn Dishman (44), INF Putsy Caballero (87) . . . Friday: LHP Les Walrond (38), RHP Russ Springer (46), RHP Dave Bennett (69), LHP Jim Kaat (76)
. . . Saturday: INF Nick Punto (37), RHP John Denny (62), OF Wally Westlake (94) . . .
Sunday: RHP Chad Ogea (44), LHP Andy Carter (46) . . . Monday: RHP Larry Christenson (61), RHP Gene Conley (84).

Where’s Gary Bennett?
MLB.com’s Paul Hagen has a “Where Are They Now?” feature at http://www.phillies.com/alumni.  Check it out…

Today In Phillies History
2004–Charlie Manuel named new manager, succeeding interim manager, Gary
Varsho.
2009–WS #6 at New York: Andy Pettite shut down the Phillies offense in a 7-3 win
that gave the Yankees the World Championship.

This Week At Citizens Bank Park
As always, there’s plenty going on at the Phillies home.  Folks interested in scheduling an event at the ballpark may call 215-218-5100.

Today: Advanced Driver Training School, Lot W
Tomorrow and Thursday: Driver Dynamics, Lot W
Tomorrow: Alzheimer’s Association Meeting, Hall of Fame Club
Thursday: Bucknell University Alumni, Hall of Fame Club
Friday: Ballgirl tryouts, Media Room/Batting Cages
Friday: Syracuse Grad Management Discussion, Executive Dining Room
Saturday: Heart Association Walk, Main Concourse/Parking lots
Saturday: Burnham Bat Mitzvah, Diamond Club
Sunday: Alzheimer’s Walk, Main Concourse/Parking Lots

Book Signing
Mark down Saturday, December 6, for my next book signing of If These Walls Could Talk.

The Phillies are having a Holiday Sale that day at the Majestic Clubhouse Store at Citizens Bank Park and I’ll be there between 2 and 3 p.m.

Phun Fact
Four months from yesterday, the Phillies will play their first spring training game in Florida.  Check the spring training schedule at http://www.phillies.com/spring.

 

Fictional Performance

Joe Buck, on the FOX TV intro last night, said it best, “In all sports, there’s nothing like game 7 of a World Series.”

Baseball was into the seventh game of a World Series for the first time since 2011 and second time since 2002.  That year, the Giants lost at Anaheim.  A road team hadn’t won game 7 since 1979.

But last night they won it all, riding the left arm of Bumgarner.  His postseason performance was fictional.  Five scoreless innings of relief last night on two days rest gave him a save to go along with two wins.  Rest of SF starters, 0-3.

Baseball today is played in the bullpen. It seems as if the closer is on the mound for every last out of a clinching game.  Well, until last night.  The Giants won the Series and their closer, Casilla, pitched twice, both in losses, and threw four total pitches.  There was only one save in the entire series, KC’s Holland in game 3.

Six years ago yesterday, the Phillies won the World Series on a strikeout by their closer, Brad Lidge. There were two saves in that five-game Series and Lidge had both.

More Fingers
Pat Burrell is on some kind of a roll.

He got a World Series ring in 2008 with the Phillies and again in 2010 as a player with the Giants.  He retired after the 2011 season and became a scout for the Giants.  Now, he has two more rings, 2012 and 2014.  He needs more fingers.

As a player he has two rings on one hit in 27 at-bats, which must be some sort of a record.

Empty
What do the following Hall of Famers have in common?

1B-DH Frank Thomas,  2B Rod Carew, 2B Ryne Sandberg, SS Ernie Banks, 3B George Kell, 3B Ron Santo, OF Ralph Kiner, OF Billy Williams, OF Andre Dawson, RHP Jim Bunning, RHP Ferguson Jenkins, RHP Phil Niekro. RHP Gaylord Perry, LHP Rube Waddell.

They are among 50 legends enshrined in Cooperstown who never played in a World Series.

Surprise Starter
After posting a 16-7 record as a relief pitcher in 74 appearances, 33-year-old Jim Konstanty was named the starting pitcher by manager Eddie Sawyer in Game 1 of the 1950 World Series.

The Yankees won that game, 1-0, at Shibe Park.

konstantyws

Comment Corner
Rick posted a comment after the last blog, asking if the Phillies are going to have another Alumni Day during spring training and the date.  Also received several e-mail inquiries on the same subject.

Yes, we are planning another one for Bright House Field.  Hope to have the date soon.  Will post right here.

Alumni Note
With former Phillies catcher A. J. Hinch taking over the managerial duties with the Astros he becomes the third Alumnus in a similar role in the majors, Terry Francona (Cleveland) and Ron Roenicke (Milwaukee).

Book Signing
Mark down Saturday, December 6, for my next book signing of If These Walls Could Talk.

The Phillies are having a Holiday Sale that day at the Majestic Clubhouse Store at Citizens Bank Park and I’ll be there between 2 and 3 p.m.

 

Here and There

 

Quote of the Day
“We’ve got to walk the tightrope now without a net, but our guys aren’t afraid of walking the tightrope without a net.  We fall off and we’re dead.  But we win today, nobody’s got a net.  It’s going to be winner take all.  So we think it’s going to be fun,”
Kansas City manager Ned Yost.

This Date
October 28, 2009
WS #1 at New York: Chase Utley hits two home runs and Cliff Lee tosses a complete
game, six-hit 6-1 win over the Yankees in the opener.

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets

Clearwater Time
Everyone in the baseball phase and top management positions with the Phillies is spending three days of organization meetings in Clearwater.  It started Monday morning and wraps up in the middle of Wednesday afternoon.  Everything is held at Carpenter Field and Bright House Field.  Monday and Tuesday sessions began at 8 a.m. and ended at 7 p.m.   No tee times; all business.

Departmental sessions the first two days include a thorough review of every player in the system from the Dominican League to the major leagues. General sessions include topics from the human resource department.  For Johnny Almaraz, the new scouting director and Rafael Chaves, new minor league pitching coordinator, is it an opportunity to get acquainted.

Wednesday’s sessions are broken down into pro scouting, free agent scouting, player development, major league staff, medical staff and international group.  The wheels of change for this off-seasons are slowly beginning to turn.

Winter Ball News
CF Roman Quinn and RH reliever Nefi Ogando have been selected to play in the Arizona Fall League All-Star game this Saturday, 5 p.m. MST. MLB Network will televise the game.

In his first 14 games, Quinn has stolen 10 bases in 11 tries to lead the AFL. Hit his first home run last night.  The 21-year-old switch-hitter was a second round selection in 2011. Barring injuries, he could be knocking on the major league doors in 2016 or 2017.  Ogando is a 25-year-old reliever acquired from the Red Sox in 2013 foe John McDonald.

Elsewhere: Venezuela: SS Freddy Galvis, OF Cam Perkins, LHP Cesar Jimenez, OF Aaron Altherr . . . Dominican: 3B Maikel Franco, 1B-OF Darin Ruf, RHR Hector Neris . . . Mexico: C Sebastian Valle.

Condolences
Our deepest sympathy is extended to the families of two Alumni who recently passed away.

Lou Lucier, the second-oldest surviving Phillies Alumnus, died in Millbury, MA, on October 18 at age 96.  He pitched for the Phillies in 1944-45.

Ed Keegan, right-handed pitcher signed in 1957 out of Haddonfield (NJ) School, died on October 19 at age 75.  He broke in the majors as a 20-year-old in 1959.  He also pitched for the Phillies in 1962 and Kansas City A’s in 1961.

Alumni Birthdays
Wednesday: LHP Pat Combs (48), RHP Gary Neibauer (70) . . . Thursday: OF Laynce Nix (34), RHP David Coggin (38), RHP Mark Portugal (52) . . . Friday: OF David Dellucci (41) . . . Saturday: LHP Fernando Valenzuela (54), OF Gary Redus (58) . . . Sunday: RHP Ron Reed (72) . . . Monday: RHP Paul Quantrill (46).

Question
Why are Terry Mulholland and Roy Halladay smiling?  Answers can be found at
http://www.phillies/alumni.com.

Phun Fact
Phillies have turned two unassisted triple plays in franchise history, both by second basemen, Mickey Morandini (1992) and Eric Bruntlett (2009).

MorandinitripleplayA

 

 

World Series Memories

 

(Not every story sent the publisher last fall made my book, If These Walls Could Talk.  From time to time this offseason, I’ll dust off some of my stories that didn’t make the cut.  With  the 2014 World Series underway, here are my World Series experiences while working for Major League Baseball).

In the early 1970s, did volunteer to work All-Star Games and World Series games for Major League Baseball.  MLB was always looking for PR people to assist with the jewel events. Felt it was good exposure for the Phillies and a great learning experience.

One of the early World Series 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 series was to start. 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.  No security guards or humans anywhere. Had to pound on the door numerous times until someone came to let me in.

The A’s mascot was a mule, yes, a BIG mule.  The World Series gala held the evening before the first game took place in the Oakland Convention Center.  Charlie Finley, who ran a tight ship, didn’t spare any expense for the party.  Lobster was everywhere.  I’m dining at a table with Warren Giles, President of the National League. We look up and almost nose-to-nose is this mule.  Mr. Giles said a few choice words.

In 1975, the National League’s PR director 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.

Until we got to a World Series, my most memorable WS 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 the World Series 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 bags.  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. I was dispatched to the Dodgers trainer’s room to find out what happened and Cey’s condition.  He 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 World Series 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 clubhouse for the trophy presentation to the Cardinals. 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.

 

 

AFL To Try Speed-Up

 
The Arizona Fall League is underway.  Six rosters are comprised of young prospects from the 30 big league organizations. Season ends November 15.

Phillies minor leaguers assigned to the Scottsdale Scorpions (East Division) are pitchers Adam Morgan, Colton Murray, Ryan O’Sullivan, Nefi Ogando and Ethan Stewart; catcher Logan Moore and centerfielder Roman Quinn.  Lehigh Valley’s pitching coach, Ray Burris, will be in the same capacity with Scottsdale.

New this year are several experiments that come from the Pace of Game Committee, headed by John Schuerholz of the Braves.
Batter’s box rule: Hitter required to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box throughout at-bat unless there is foul ball, wild pitch or passed ball — or if a pitch forces him out or the umpire grants “time.”

No-pitch intentional walks
20-second rule: 20-second clock will be posted in each dugout, behind home plate and in outfield to prevent pitchers from taking too much time in games at Salt River Fields only.
2:05 inning-break clock: Maximum time allowed between innings, and batters must be in box at 1:45 mark or umpire can call automatic strike. If pitcher throws pitch after 2:05, umpire may call ball.
2:30 pitching-change-break clock: Maximum amount of time allowed for pitching change.
Three “timeout” limit: Teams limited to three trips to the mound by managers, coaches and catchers during game, except pitching changes.  The rule will be in effect even if a game goes extra innings.
The average time of nine-inning games in the major leagues was a record 3 hours, 2 minutes this year, up from 2:33 in 1981.

Missing is time-saving efforts on replay reviews but such technology isn’t available in the AFL.  Personally, it is a waste of time to have a manager meander out to an umpire, look back at the dugout for a signal to request a review and then depart awaiting the review or empty-handed.  It would seem to me there is a correlation between the record time of game set this year and the fact reviews were in play for the first time this season.
Taking a break
Phillies Insider is going on the temporary inactive roster.  Not the disabled list and certainly

not a paternity leave.  Next post: Oct. 23.

 

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