February 21, 2016
AH, THE PHILLIES and spring training! The mere images breathe life back into a winter-weary fan base, so take a good look! Here they are again in Clearwater, and gone are many of the familiar names and faces that were part of so many spring-training rosters. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels . . . gone. With an updated cast for 2016 comes hope. Our own experts tell us that the Phillies should be at least interesting this season - interesting in that maybe, just maybe, they won't be bordering on 100 losses again.
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.
February 25, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - It's elevation time for Cole Hamels. After one final throwing session from flat ground Sunday under the watchful eye of pitching coach Bob McClure, the Phillies lefthander said he was ready for his first spring-training bullpen session from a mound, which is scheduled for Tuesday at the Carpenter Complex. "Obviously it's unfortunate with what the date is today, but I feel I'm right where I'd be at if it was Feb. 1 going into spring training," Hamels said. In other words, he's about 10 days to two weeks behind where he typically would be at this point.
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 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.
February 15, 2015 |
40-man roster Pitchers 74, Elvis Araujo, LHP: Signed in November, the 6-foot-6 reliever from Venezuela hasn't pitched higher than double A, so he will likely begin the season in the minors. 48, Phillippe Aumont, RHP: Out of minor-league options, this spring is the last chance for the cornerstone of the worst trade of Ruben Amaro Jr.'s tenure as general manager. 70, Jesse Biddle, LHP: This spring marks the start of an important season for the Germantown Friends graduate and former first-round draft pick who struggled mightily in 2014 and is expected to begin this year back in double A. 38, Chad Billingsley, RHP: In the wake of Tommy John surgery in 2013 and another operation last year to repair his right flexor tendon, the recently signed veteran will probably enter spring training a bit behind the other starters.