March 29, 2013 |
Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Roy Halladay arrived for spring training as a trio of aging stars whose ability to play was limited in 2012 by injuries. The impact on the Phillies could be seen in the standings. After five consecutive division titles, the team finished at .500, and questions arose about the end of perhaps the best era in the franchise's history. The impact on the players carried into the offseason, in which each man in his own way altered his plan of attack with the hope of an improved 2013 for himself and his team.
March 18, 2012 |
The Yankees signing 39-year-old Andy Pettitte, who spent all of last season throwing baseballs to his kids, has heartened a lot of American League teams. If the Yanks were sure that their other six potential starters were healthy and effective, they'd have kept Pettitte as a spring-training workout director and not given him $2.5 million. But, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, "Among an out-of-shape Michael Pineda's disappearing fastball velocity, a heretofore-underperforming Phil Hughes and an injured Freddy Garcia, the Yankees face rotation questions.
March 31, 1989 |
Mike Schmidt last night was anointed the Phillies' opening-day third baseman, but the team's general manager said he still had some strong reservations. General manager Lee Thomas said he remained concerned about the readiness of Schmidt, who still is not throwing 100 percent and has not hit a spring- training home run. "From the beginning, I've operated on the assumption that if Mike couldn't do the job, he'd know that and come to us," Thomas said before last night's 5-4 exhibition victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
March 20, 2002 |
Bob Watson insists baseball really means it this time when it vows to speed up games. Since 1995, commissioner Bud Selig repeatedly has vowed crackdowns. The average time of a nine-inning game, meanwhile, ballooned with the increase in offense, going from 2 hours, 47 minutes in 1998 to 2:53 the following year to a record 2:58 in 2000. Last season, with a larger strike zone and a decrease in scoring, the average dropped back to 2:54. "Things have kind of slipped through the cracks," said Watson, who last month replaced Frank Robinson as baseball's vice president of on-field operations.
March 9, 2012 |
DAVID ROBERTSON walked out of the Yankees clubhouse, holding a pair of crutches, his right foot in an oversized black boot. Instead of making his second spring-training appearance, he had gone to a hospital yesterday for an MRI after a household accident: He sprained a foot when he stumbled on stairs while moving boxes. "It's embarrassing. I already had 'Mo' rag me out about it," he said after speaking with closer Mariano Rivera. The New York Yankees were waiting to find out the cost of their first misstep of 2012.
February 25, 2010 |
NINE THINGS I learned at spring training in Clearwater, Fla. (and one I already knew). Bottle service: As a young player at his first big-league spring training, Charlie Manuel had a locker between Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison. One day, Allison invited Manuel to dinner with the intention of schooling the young player on "how it is here in the big leagues and how you're supposed to act and everything," Manuel told me. Out at a bar in Orlando, Manuel recalled Allison saying, " 'I'm going to introduce you to a drink today, and you're going to drink it for the rest of your life.
March 26, 1986 |
You are traveling to find the true meaning of spring training. You walk off the plane and throw your winter jacket into the back seat of the rent-a-car. You watch the palm trees sway, and you feel baseball in the sunshine. You must be on the right track. You are not looking for the Grapefruit League standings. Or for Dwight Gooden's spring-training ERA. You are not looking for Dwight Gooden, period. You are not looking for Dale Murphy, George Brett, Pedro Guerrero or Eddie Murray.
May 12, 2013 |
Darin Ruf's transition to left field at triple-A Lehigh Valley might still be a work in progress, but listen to the men paid to evaluate his work for a living, and you'll be astonished by the progress. "The left-field play has been very good," said Joe Jordan, the Phillies' director of player development. "It's not a concern for me. It's not a concern at all. " That's quite a different take from the one we heard seven weeks ago, when Ruf's quest to make the big-league roster out of spring training ended mostly because playing left field had been such an adventure for the 26-year-old slugger.
January 31, 2012 |
"Let's go eat" were Hunter Pence's three most memorable words in 2011. By the time the Phillies' season ended, however, he was still hungry even after getting his first taste of playoff baseball. "We definitely didn't reach our ultimate goal last year," Pence said Monday night at the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association Dinner in Cherry Hill. "We accomplished some great things. We had a great regular season, won another division title, so to be a part of that was special.
October 20, 2011
THE PHILLIES will begin Grapefruit League play on March 3 against the New York Yankees at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. The Phillies will play 17 home games this spring, including an opening exhibition against Florida State on Feb. 29. They will conclude the exhibition season with two games against Pittsburgh on April 2 and 3 at Citizens Bank Park. Reporting dates for pitchers and catchers and the full team have not been set yet, the team said. Spring-training three-game packs will go on sale Dec. 14 on phillies.com, and individual ticket sales for spring training begin Jan. 12. The full schedule is on Page 55. In other news: * The Phillies outrighted Pete Orr and Brandon Moss, and moved Jose Contreras from the 60-day disabled list to the 40-man roster.