October 2007

Ready to Rumble

October 3, 2007

Today’s Lineup
Rollins, ss; Victorino, rf; Utley, 2b; Howard, 1b; Rowand, cf; Burrell, lf; Helms, 3b; Ruiz, c; Hamels, p.

Carlos Ruiz’ ailing left elbow has improved and he’s behind the plate.  With a lefty going, Wes Helms gets the nod at third base.

The NLDS logos have been painted on the field, red/white/blue bunting is in place, players are in both clubhouses getting ready for the rumble that begins at 3:07 this afternoon.

Both teams are offensive machines, both teams catch the ball, both teams have some solid starting pitching and both teams have aces in the pen. Don’t expect any 1-0 games.

Coste to Coast
(Phillies fans coast-to-coast will be able to get an inside look from Chris Coste here during the postseason)
What an amazing season!  For me, it has felt like several different seasons in one.  Going from Clearwater to Ottawa in April, and then a brief stop in Philly when Ryan Howard went on the DL, and then down to Reading for a month before finally anchoring myself in the Phillies clubhouse in late June.  It is hard to comprehend that I am now in this position and got the incredible honor of catching the final pitch from Brett Myers that clinched the 2007 National League East Title.  Only one thing can make it better: catching the final pitch of the 2007 World Series!

Let's Go Phillies!

October 2, 2007

Hard to believe that after 44 years, I’m going to do something I’ve never done before this month…..write a blog. Last time we were in the postseason (1993) there was no such thing as a blog or e-mails.

My goal is to post every day before the games, providing the starting lineup and other inside goings on.

Today, both teams were scheduled for workouts, a requirement of Major League Baseball.  Workouts are to be held before the first and third games of every series.  Our workout was set for 1 and the Rockies at 4.  The Rockies didn’t land in Philly until 8 a.m. following their long game last night in Denver.  So, the Rockies were excused from working out.

A media interview room is also required on workout days and pre- and post-game.  We were on stage at 2:30.  Charlie Manual, Chase Utley and Cole Hamels answered questions for 30 minutes.  At 3, Clint Hurdle, Jeff Francis and GM Dan O’Dowd were available in the interview room. 

Clubhouses are closed pre-game to the media in the postseason, except for work out days. During the season, clubhouses are open to the media 3.5 hours prior to game time.

We opened at 12 noon.  Before we opened, Pat Gillick and Ruben Amaro spent an hour talking to each individual player that wasn’t included on the Division Series roster.  One by one the players were called into Charlie’s office. The final roster for this series must be filed with MLB by 10 Wednesday morning. 

Ken Mandel has all the details about the roster situation on this site.

After Pat and Ruben were finished, I spoke to the team, filling them in on what to expect in the postseason with the media.  Some things are the same, some are different.  The media mass is bigger than the regular season and grows larger as the LCS and WS come into being.

Members of the media are offered pre-game dinner in the Press Dining Room for $10.00.  That’s the regular season.  For the postseason, we are required to provide complimentary box lunches.  Geez, we face 19 possible games of sandwiches!

Starting Times
We’re getting quite a few e-mails from fans complaining about the starting times of the games.  The 3 o’clock games have some issues with some fans as do the 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. games in Denver this weekend.

Game times are decided by Major League Baseball and the network carrying that particular series, TBS in our case.  By spreading out the starting times, it allows fans throughout the country to see every game.  Time zones also come into play and this year there are four teams in the Eastern zone out of eight postseason teams. 

We understand the fans’ concerns but let’s look at the bright side, we are playing baseball in October!

Wear Red
Mayor John Street has proclaimed tomorrow as Phillies day, urging fans to wear red.  I’m sure fans around the country will join the fad.

One of the unwritten rules in the Press Box is that there is no cheering.  Well, this isn’t the Press Box so, Let’s Go Phillies!

All eyes on Denver

October 1, 2007

Stopped in the clubhouse this morning on the way to the office.  When I left that place last evening, the carpet was covered with bubbly and ice.  Crews shampooed the rug last night and were going to do it again this afternoon.

Players were told to report here at 11:30 for the noon Rally Monday at City Hall.  We had a police escort to get us there on time.

WOW.  What a turn out.  It looked like the red sea.  No doubt, this town has caught Phillies fever.  All along the bus route to and from the event, fans applauded, pumped their first, waived rally towels and cheered.  It was really cool, second only to the 1980 World Series parade.

Riding up there, I’m sure the players didn’t know what to think.  They knew what to think when they got there.

More fever, the Cira Centre building in the city will illuminate a Phillies ‘P’ beginning tonight through the conclusion of our postseason.

There’s a new pennant hanging above Citizens Bank Park, a white one with blue lettering “2007.”  It joins other Phillies teams who have won the Division, 1976, 1977, 1978.  Blue with white lettering represents the pennant winners and the red one with white lettering that is displayed in center field represents the 1980 World Champions.

TV Big Time
Yesterday’s clinching game on CW Philly 57 drew a 16.8 household rating/36 share, that’s 493,000 households or 734,000 viewers.

For those in the CW Philly viewing area, the game will be rebroadcast at 10 o’clock tonight.

Just more Phillies fever.

Tonight, all eyes will be on Coors Field and the Padres/Rockies. 

Some interesting comments were offered to last night’s blog.  Heartwarming to read about the fan with Parkinson’s disease and a chronic back problem.  “I was able to forget about my health problems and enjoy me team winning a championship.” Hopefully, we can keep up with that medicine.

And, thanks to a classy Mets fan congratulating us on a Phanatastic season.  Thanks, too, to your comments about me.