February 25, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Ryan Howard was the can't-miss at-bat. When the Phillies first baseman stepped to the plate, you had to watch because his power potential was so intoxicating. You never knew when a baseball might crash into the bricks in center field at Citizens Bank Park. Now, he is the guy that nobody wants. You would not have known that Monday at Bright House Field. The television news cameras all focused on the Big Piece's every movement as he reported for work the day before the Phillies' first full-squad workout of spring training.
February 22, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - After playing catch and running through pitcher's fielding practice on the second day of camp yesterday, Jonathan Papelbon changed into his street clothes and asked a media relations representative a question. "Can I wear this?" the veteran closer said, pulling a T-shirt out from his locker. When Papelbon arrived in the cafeteria-slash-news conference room at Bright House Field a few minutes later, when he talked to reporters for the first time in 2015, the closer wore his trademark smirk.
February 20, 2015
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Comcast SportsNet is replacing one Philadelphia-area native former major leaguer with another in its broadcast booth for Phillies games this season. The network announced yesterday that Ben Davis will join the broadcast team for the 2015 season, joining fellow analysts Matt Stairs and Mike Schmidt, play-by-play man Tom McCarthy, and in-game reporter Gregg Murphy. Davis, a Malvern Prep graduate selected by San Diego with the No. 2 pick in the 1995 draft, replaces Souderton native Jamie Moyer.
February 20, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Give Cliff Lee credit for being savvy enough to bring a prop to his postworkout press conference yesterday afternoon. Less than 24 hours after Cole Hamels' words to USA Today went viral, implying that he wanted to be traded since his No.1 priority is winning and that's "not going to happen here" with the Phillies, Lee knew he'd have to answer similar queries. And so when one of those questions came his way - would you also welcome the opportunity to play somewhere else via trade?
February 6, 2015 |
ALTHOUGH THE TALKS concerning Phillies lefthander Cole Hamels and first baseman Ryan Howard have quieted as the hot-stove league winds down, Jonathan Papelbon's name continues to populate the trade-rumor mill. Are trade talks dead or alive? Will he stay or will he go? Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has said throughout the last month that he expects both Hamels and Howard to be with the team when the season opens at Citizens Bank Park on April 6. But does he expect Papelbon to be in Clearwater, Fla., when pitchers and catchers hold their first workout of the spring on Feb. 19?
January 30, 2015 |
Longtime Phillies president and CEO David Montgomery has new duties as he returns from a five-month medical leave of absence. Montgomery now will serve in the position of team chairman while Pat Gillick continues as president, the team said Wednesday. The front-office shake-up could pave the way for another new team president in the next year or two. Gillick, the architect of the 2008 world championship team, said Wednesday night in a telephone interview that he doesn't see himself in the position two or three years from now but "definitely" at least through this baseball season.
January 26, 2015 |
The Phillies' rebuilding is still in its infancy. Some of the old parts that need to be replaced are still around, and in all probability some of the new parts will be defective. Pat Gillick, the acting team president, believes progress has been made this winter. "I think we have," he said during one of the team's winter banquet stops last week. "We got four arms in those deals [Zach Eflin, Tom Windle, Ben Lively, and Joely Rodriguez], and we drafted [Andy] Oliver [a Rule 5 selection]
January 16, 2015 |
Before the Phillies' shortstops of past and future were no longer part of the same organization, J.P. Crawford had a couple of opportunities to chat with Jimmy Rollins. Crawford twice visited Citizens Bank Park, first after he was drafted in 2013 and again in September, when he was feted as the team's top minor-league player. "He just told me that it's going to be long seasons ahead of you and you're going to have bumps; you're going to have a roller coaster of a ride," Crawford said.
January 8, 2015 |
THE EMAIL buzzed onto the screen of my phone. Subject: Phillies Statement. The first instinct was one that is beaten into any lifelong reporter: What did I miss? Unlocking the phone, my mind burned through the possibilities. A trade? A free-agent outfielder? Relocation to Havana? Exhale. "With regard to Pedro Martinez . . . " Of course. Pedro. Five years ago, he burned through our atmosphere like some oddity from space, crash- landing in Clearwater en route to Citizens Bank Park and 12 starts that feel like they took place forever ago. Yesterday, he was voted into the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers Association of America, the only proper end for one of the most dominant careers the sport has ever seen.