February 19, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The romance is gone, and now they are trying to save the marriage. Jonathan Papelbon sure did look good to the Phillies when he hit the free-agent market in 2011. How could you not fall in love with a guy who had a mid-90s fastball, a nasty splitter, pinpoint control, a minuscule career ERA pitching in the American League East, and a World Series ring? He was the closest thing to a loaded Porsche among the free-agent closers that offseason. The Phillies sure did look good to Papelbon, too. They had won a major-league-best 102 games the year before.
February 17, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Both John Mayberry Jr. and Kevin Frandsen signed guaranteed contracts through arbitration, and that could help both players' quests to secure bench jobs this spring. The majority of contracts for arbitration-eligible players are non-guaranteed, but Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said the team extended guarantees to both. Mayberry signed for $1.5875 million this winter while Frandsen agreed to a $900,000 deal. It is possible the Phillies saved money when signing both players by including the guaranteed language.
February 16, 2014 |
Jim Fregosi, 71, a baseball lifer who guided an eccentric Phillies team from last place to National League champions in 1993 and parlayed an all-star playing career into four managerial jobs and an influential scouting position, died Friday morning. Mr. Fregosi suffered multiple strokes last week during a Major League Baseball alumni cruise and was airlifted from the Cayman Islands to a Miami hospital, where he was taken off life support Thursday. "He had that special gift as a manager that made you want to get to the field and play your [butt]
February 15, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Clubhouse chemistry was one of the hot-button topics during the Phillies' long wait for the start of spring training after an abysmal 2013 season. Veteran pitchers Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon weighed in on the issue during the offseason, essentially agreeing that the team's bond was fractured. Hamels revisited the subject Wednesday by saying this season feels different already. Papelbon is likely to have his say on the matter at some point during these early days of spring training.
February 14, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - There was no hint of uneasiness in Cole Hamels' voice Wednesday, even as he described the pain in his prized left shoulder that forced him to stop throwing in December and pushed him behind schedule for spring training. The $144 million pitcher is confident he can pitch in April, but he will not pitch opening day. Maybe Hamels knew the detail revealed hours later on the day Phillies pitchers and catchers reported to camp: A reinforcement is coming. The Phillies agreed to terms on a one-year deal with A.J. Burnett, according to a source, and the 37-year-old righthander could arrive as soon as Thursday.
February 10, 2014 |
Winter's tedium dispatched Ruben Amaro Jr. to a nondescript banquet room at a Jersey Shore country club, where a day-old snowstorm served as the backdrop for one of the Phillies' many minor-league caravan stops. This sleepy offseason was met with apathy, and Amaro's charge this January day was to peddle a team with few expectations to a dozen tables of fans at a $40-per-plate dinner. Just before facing those fans, the Phillies general manager spoke in the country club's near-empty basement decorated in red and blue and with a portable parquet dance floor.
February 7, 2014 |
WITH A BITTER cold wind blowing outside of Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies' equipment truck departed yesterday for a 1,058-mile trip to Clearwater, Fla., where temperatures are expected to be in the high 60s upon arrival tomorrow. The 53-foot equipment truck carrying the team's spring training supplies left Philadelphia yesterday after nearly a dozen workers helped to load thousands of items packed tight en route to Bright House Field. "This process started right when the season was over," Dan O'Rourke, manager of Phillies equipment and umpire services, said while loading the truck yesterday morning.
January 31, 2014 |
LAST WEEK, Matt Stairs announced through his Twitter account that he was headed to today's Wing Bowl at the Wells Fargo Center. But it turns out he has some business to attend to in Philly, too. Stairs, a member of the 2008 world champion Phillies, will interview with Comcast SportsNet for the vacant TV broadcasting job, according to an MLB.com report. Stairs, 45, retired as a player after spending the 2011 season with the Washington Nationals. He worked as an in-studio analyst for NESN in Boston during the 2012 season.
January 24, 2014 |
ROY HALLADAY and Brad Lidge, two recently retired former Phillies, will be in Clearwater, Fla., this spring to work as guest instructors at spring training. But the most famous, longtime guest instructor - and the best player in franchise history - will not be able to work on the field this spring. Phillies Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt will not take part in this year's camp while dealing with a health issue. Here's a statement from the team: "Mike is treating a health issue that requires him to remain near his doctors and will be unable to attend spring training as a field instructor this year.
January 24, 2014 |
LAKEWOOD, N.J. - There was no eight-person delegation from Philadelphia that flew to Los Angeles for the purpose of wooing Masahiro Tanaka. The Yankees, armed with $175 million, sent their executives to persuade the Japanese pitcher, while the Phillies stood on the periphery. Ownership authorized Ruben Amaro Jr. to pursue Tanaka, and the Phillies general manager engaged the righthander's agent in cursory negotiations. International scouting director Sal Agostinelli and Pacific Rim scout Steve Cohen watched Tanaka pitch and filed reports that labeled him a No. 2 or No. 3 starter in the majors - in other words, a perfect fit for this team.