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April 2, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
ARLINGTON, Texas - During the dog days of spring training, after another day in what felt like a month's worth of games when his lineup was dormant, a hopeful Ryne Sandberg was more interested in looking ahead. The first-year manager said he liked the construction of the lineup, even if it wasn't producing results in exhibition contests. Sandberg used the word "potential" three times in a 30-second span. The balanced lineup Sandberg saw in his head but not on the field in Clearwater, Fla., showed up at an opportune time, on Opening Day in Texas.
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April 1, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
Chase Utley's statistics were not good this spring, but the Phillies second baseman shrugged off the numbers and talked more about the process. Utley said he wasn't bothered in the least that he had to go 3 for 3 in his final exhibition game during Friday's 3-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citizens Bank Park just to raise his final spring average to .217. Utley entered the game with one extra-base hit all spring and departed with two hard-hit doubles. "The whole goal going into the season is trying to feel as comfortable as possible," he said before the team departed for Arlington, Texas, and Monday's season opener against the Rangers.
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April 1, 2014 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
The Phillies did not break camp in Clearwater last week - which brings to mind a crisp departure like a football team clapping in unison as it exits the huddle - as much as they escaped it. Their six weeks in Florida were attended by the requisite rituals of spring, although not by nearly as many fans as in the past, and from the outside it was just another normal slow buildup to the grind of the regular season. But any camp that includes an outbreak of a potentially life-threatening staph infection in the clubhouse is not one that will be remembered fondly.
SPORTS
March 31, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Spring training, manager Ryne Sandberg said, was a time to preach fundamentals. The relentless Phillies coaching staff fired grounders at the infielders. Pregame drills were performed at game speed, and players noted the difference in intensity. Still, there was one principle they forgot, and the four-word reminder was tacked to corkboards at the clubhouse's entrances in mid-March. "Please Wash Your Hands," it said. More than a dozen Phillies were sick with flu symptoms.
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March 29, 2014 | STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers have agreed to a 12-year deal worth up to a record $352 million, CBSSports.com reported Thursday. The deal is said to be for $248 million guaranteed over eight years, making it a record $292 million, 10-year commitment including the two years he had to go on his previous deal, according to the report. There are also $30 million vesting options based on achievements and awards for years 11 and 12, which, if reached, would earn the slugger $352 million.
SPORTS
March 28, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Bobby Abreu had a day like no other Wednesday in his attempt to return to the Phillies and the major leagues. After a disastrous game in the field and a not-so-hot one at the plate, the 40-year-old Abreu was told after a 1-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers that he would not be on the 25-man roster on opening day. Abreu has not made the team, but he has not been released yet. "Bobby Abreu is still with the Phillies organization and...
SPORTS
March 28, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Lefthander Cliff Lee completed a dominant performance in spring training Wednesday in his last start before his opening-day assignment. Lee allowed one run on six hits in five innings during a 1-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Bright House Field. "I have felt good the whole time, and spring training for me is over now and it is on to the real games," Lee said. "I am looking forward to it. " Lee will pitch Monday against the Rangers in Arlington, Texas. Although it's dangerous to get too caught up in spring-training statistics, Lee had a 2.55 ERA in 242/3 innings.
SPORTS
March 26, 2014 | By Sam Donnellon, Daily News Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Ben Revere is one hurtin' happy dude. Sometimes the pins holding together his right foot feel like nails, he says. "And some days it might just be sore. " But make no mistake, there is pain involved. "This is all about mental toughness," he said in front of his locker at Bright House Field early yesterday morning. Here's the disclaimer. The centerfielder said this with his infectious smile. He said this while caressing his bat, inching toward the batting cages the way kids waiting to do something really cool do while waiting for the grownup to finish giving instructions.
SPORTS
March 25, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Phillies outrighted infielder Kevin Frandsen to triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday, opening another spot on the 40-man roster. Frandsen cleared waivers and now has 72 hours to accept his assignment. If he opts to become a free agent, he will forfeit this year's salary, a guaranteed $900,000. He is likely to accept the assignment. The Phillies signed Frandsen to that contract in the offseason, avoiding arbitration. He led the majors with 14 pinch-hits last season.
SPORTS
March 21, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The time was just before 12:30 p.m. when Mike Adams strode onto the lush green grass that separates a firing line of pitching rubbers from their respective home plates. The Carpenter Complex is mostly known as an incubator for big-league dreams, but every now and then the sprawling complex that unfolds in the shadow of Bright House Field gets a chance to rehabilitate them. "I was nervous," Adams said, "don't get me wrong. " Most of us would like to think that we would still feel that way at age 35, even with $13.5 million in career earnings and $7 million more on the way. That's what competition does, in almost any setting, from the first tee of a municipal golf course to the tipoff circle of 40-plus rec league.
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