It starts tomorrow
It all starts tomorrow when pitchers and catchers take the fields at Carpenter Complex. Simple road trip for the athletes as they walk out the rear door of Spectrum Field (formerly Bright House Field). 200 feet later their feet are on the plush, green grass of the complex.
Workouts are open to the fans free of charge. Plenty of seats and room to roam at the Complex. Workouts begin around 10 a.m. and will run to around 1 p.m. the first few days. Complete squad will work out for the first time on Friday at which time practice will last longer.
Today, a fun day. Complete physicals for pitchers and catchers in the large athletic trainer’s room at Spectrum Field. Blood pressure, EKGs and friendly needles to draw blood are part of the physicals.
Three Alumni are on hand as camp begins.
Charlie Manuel is a daily fixture around the batting cages. He loves to talk hitting. Matter of fact, he loves to talk. He’ll be in camp until the end at which time he’ll resume his position as Senior Advisor to the General Manager. He’ll serve as a roving hitting instructor in the minor leagues spending time in each level. Plus he’ll do some amateur and pro scouting.
Charlie first signed with the Minnesota Twins in 1963 as an outfielder. He’s been around the game ever since as a player, scout, hitting coach, minor league and major league manager. Guess, at age 73, you can call him a baseball lifer.
You can also call him the Phillies’ greatest manager. His 780 wins are a franchise record. His run included five straight division titles, two National League pennants and a World Series title.
Larry Andersen is back as a guest instructor through February 23. He then returns to the broadcast booth for his 20th season. He and Scott Franzke have teamed on radio since 2007. “LA” has been involved with pro baseball since he was drafted in the seventh round by the Cleveland Indians in 1971. This will be his 47th season, the uniform number he wore for the Phillies.
One other note about LA: He’s the only Phillies player to pitch in two World Series (1983 and 1993). He did it as a 30-year old on a team called the “Wheeze Kids” in 1983 and as 40-year old on a team labeled “Misfits” 10 years later.
Brad Lidge is in camp to work with relievers through Sunday. The image of Lidge after his strikeout gave the Phillies the 2008 World Championship is itched in the memory banks forever. He co-hosts an afternoon radio show (Inside Pitch) with Casey Stern on MLB Network Radio on Sirius/XM from his Englewood, CO, home. Brad ceremoniously retired as a Phillie on August 1, 2013.
Brad and hitting coach Matt Stairs are the only ones from the ’08 champs in uniform in camp this spring. A year ago, Carlos Ruiz and Ryan Howard were in spring training.
2016 Photo Album
LHP Randy Wolf ceremoniously retired as a Phillie during the Toyota Alumni Weekend last August. During his career, Randy had one of the most faithful and visible fan clubs, the Wolf Pack. The Pack reunited for Randy’s ceremonial first pitch.
Randy was the starting pitcher in the first National League game played in Citizens Bank Park in 2004 and the first pitcher to hit two home runs in game there, August 11 of that season. He pitched in the majors for 16 years, including nine with the Phillies.