February 2007

Ready to roll

Physicals for pitchers and catchers are out of the way.  Much of today, especially the morning, was spent in the athletic trainer’s office.

Now, 31 pitchers and nine catchers will get physical at Carpenter Field starting at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning.  A batch of position players, led by Chase Utley, Aaron Rowand, Pat Burrell and Ryan Howard, will work out informally at Bright House Networks Field while the pitchers and catchers do their thing on the four fields next door at Carpenter.

Actually, 29 pitchers will be in action.  Right-handers Scott Mathieson (Tommy John surgery last summer) and Yoel Hernandez (right-shoulder problems from a year ago) will not be ready to go full tilt.  They will have different programs while rehabbing.

Charlie Manuel and the entire instructional staff that is in camp, are finished with meetings.  They huddled Tuesday and today, reviewing every player in camp, plusses and minuses and medical issues.  Basically, all are physically fit to get going except the two mentioned above.

Players begin arriving at Bright House Network Field as early as 7:30 each morning.  Breakfast is available for those who are hungry.  The clubhouse is cleared of media at 9:30 a.m. with the players briefed on the day’s schedule around 9:45 a.m.  Day one will end around 12:45 p.m.

Spring training is here

CLEARWATER–Around 8:00 a.m. this morning, a large North American moving van pulled into Bright House Networks Field packed with over 25,000 pounds of Phillies equipment and supplies, thus officially triggering the start of spring training.

Can’t play baseball without bats, balls, uniforms, shoes, gloves and bubble gum.

It was a bright, sunny, 63-degree morning, something the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce likes to brag about.

Jack O’Rourke, the veteran KYW Radio reporter—and I mean veteran—has a tradition of meeting the truck and filing his first of some 300 daily reports from Clearwater.  Jack has the truck driver blast the horn three times as his official start of spring training.  Very creative person, that Jack fellow.

Clubhouse personnel were busy throughout the day getting things unpacked.  The team of athletic trainers were stocking their shelves with medical supplies.

Charlie Manuel huddled with Frank Coppenbarger, Director of Travel and Equipment.  Aaron Rowand was the first player in the clubhouse this morning, getting his locker in order.

On Wednesday, pitchers and catchers report for physicals.  The next day, they work out for the first time.  On Monday, Feb. 19, position players have their physicals and then practice officially for the first time on the 20th.  But, you can except other position players like Rowand to be in camp early.

The Baron’s Corner will spring into much more frequent action starting on Wednesday.  The goal is to keep you informed of inside the Phillies spring training camp.