"It's something I said I was going to do, and if they still wanted me to do it, I was definitely going to do it," Kratz said. "I wanted to fulfill my obligation. And, I mean, who doesn't want to go to Cancun in January? But if you sign up for something, you do it. There were no hard feelings."
Kratz, 33, a Telford native who went to Christopher Dock High School, became a fan favorite because of his perseverance, long home runs, and sponsorship of turkey bacon during TV commercials on Phillies broadcasts. He viewed the vacation as a chance to show his appreciation.
"Phillies fans were great," Kratz said. "No one asked, 'Why did you come?' They were like, 'We're so glad you came.' It made me feel good about coming because I appreciated my time in Philly. If that's one way I could show it, then I did."
Kratz will compete this spring for the Blue Jays' backup catching job. His primary task is to learn the intricacies of R.A. Dickey's knuckleball. Toronto selected Kratz in the 29th round of the 2002 draft.
"I've come full circle," he said.
The Phillies dropped to 1-6 in Grapefruit League play with a 5-3 loss to Toronto on Tuesday night. They are hitting .194 through seven games.
"You like to win games," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "It seems like some of these games it has been a one-inning type of thing, a crooked number in one inning. Our offense hasn't come alive to overcome a crooked number by the other team."
Jimmy Rollins (flu symptoms) was scratched shortly before Tuesday's first pitch. He participated in infield drills and batting practice. Freddy Galvis, who twisted his right ankle Monday, replaced Rollins at shortstop. . . . Seth Rosin, a 25-year-old righthander lost to Los Angeles in the Rule 5 draft, has pitched five scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and zero walks this spring for the Dodgers. If he does not make Los Angeles' 25-man roster, he can return to the Phillies. . . . The Phillies and Braves will honor the late Jim Fregosi before Wednesday's game at Bright House Field. Members of his family, former teammates, and players he managed will be in attendance.