August 2009

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Team landed at Philadelphia International Airport at 3:45 this morning.  Completing a 5-1 road trip makes early-morning returns much more tolerable.

While there is no game scheduled for tonight, Jimmy Rollins is hosting his annual BaseBOWL charity bowling event.  Several of his teammates will be there.  Numerous players have charity events and numerous teammates always show up in support.  Proceeds from tonight will go to the Jimmy Rollins Family Foundation to benefit the Philadelphia Arthritis Foundation.

Pedro Time
Phillies are home for just three games against the Diamondbacks starting tomorrow night.

Pedro Martinez gets his second start.  Last time he pitched at Citizens Bank Park was last August 26, an, 8-7, 10-inning Phillies win.  He started for the Mets.  His line: 5 innings, 7 hits, 5 runs, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts.  Opposing starter was Jamie, whom Pedro replaced in the rotation last week.

Midnight tonight is the deadline for 30 MLB clubs to sign players they selected in June. Of the first 15 players the Phillies selected, they’ve signed 12.  RHP Brody Colvin (7th round), OFJake Stewart (14th) and C Andrew Susac (16th) are unsigned as of 2 this afternoon.  All three are high school athletes who have college offers.

Overall, the Phillies have signed 33 of the 49 players they selected.  In addition to signing bonuses, the Phillies have given out 11 college scholarships.

National TV
Last night was the third time, second vs. the Braves, the Phillies have appeared on the ESPN exclusive Sunday Night telecast.

Two more are on the schedule: August 30, Braves again, and September 13, Mets.  Both are home games.  Five is the maximum number of Sunday night telecasts any one club can have.


Phillies Insider also appears on twitter as barons63.



Answering E-Mails

From the e-mail bin……..

Recently saw a replica Mike Schmidt jersey that was white with blue in stripes (not the normal red).  Did the Phillies ever wear this jersey (if so what year) or was it a factory color mistake?

Phillies Insider:
No, the Phillies never wore a blue pinstriped uniform.  There are a lot of variations of our uniform being sold these days, same for caps. 

I was wondering, you have a tribute to HK iin the Hall of Fame Club.  Why don’t you consider moving it to the main concourse where everyone, including the average fan who can’t afford tickets to the HOF Club can also see it?

Phillies Insider:
Harry’s display is part of a larger display of other Philadelphia baseball memorabilia in the Hall of Fame Club.  When we designed Citizens Bank Park, we felt the best location for such displays was the enclosed Hall of Fame Club.  It is a climate-controlled area which is needed when you have valuable memorabilia on display.  And, the HOF Club is the most secure area, also of importance.
Hi.  You have Ashburn Alley so why don’t you name a place in Citizens Bank Park Kalas’ Korner?

Phillies Insider:
When we opened Citizens Bank Park, we unveiled Harry the K’s Broadcast Bar & Grille in left field, adjacent to Ashburn Alley.  We thought it was fitting to have this dining area named after Harry.  There are two levels as part of the scoreboard structure.

When Harry passed away, we placed a plaque on the TV booth in memory of Harry.  The radio book contains a plaque in memory of Richie.  We had done that at the Vet and moved the plaque to Citizens Bank Park. 

Why did the Phillies take the World Series patches off the uniforms?

Phillies Insider:
We decided, several months ago, to discontinue the World Series trophy tour at the end of June.  Next, were the WS patches on the uniforms.  And, at some point soon, the WS banners that are mounted on poles that surround the perimeter of Citizens Bank Park will be changed.  Focus should be on the present and not the past anymore.

The patches actually weren’t removed.  New jerseys were purchased.  Hopefully, another patch can be sewn on those jerseys in a few weeks.

On Saturday’s Alumni Night, my family and I were guests of Fred Schmidt (my step father).  I would like to thank everyone involved who put on this event.  We were treated wonderful and could not have asked for anything better.  What a great time was had by Fred, my mother, wife, son and myself.  Thank you Philadelphia Phillies.

Phillies Insider:
You are welcome.  We are very proud of our Alumni and so glad Freddie could join us.

For those who aren’t familiar with the name Freddie Schmidt, he pitched for the Phillies in 1947,  At age 83, his the sixth oldest living Phillie.  The oldest is first baseman Art Mahan, 96.  He was unable to join us on Alumni Night.

Kathy Ozark:
I want to thank you for the wonderful time we had Saturday at Alumni Night.  It was very thoughtful to include Ginny, my husband and me.  My father-in-law meant the world to me.  I’m still in awe and very grateful for all you did to make us feel welcome.

Phillies Insider:
You are welcome.  Danny meant a lot to the Phillies organization.  We are just so pleased that his widow could be here and accept a Phillies Alumni jersey #3 that Danny had worn two years ago at our Alumni Night.  It was really cool to have Charlie Manuel present the jersey to Ginny, a very touching and emotional moment.

Phillies Insider also appears on twitter as barons63.



Offense Comes Alive

Dormant to dominant. 

No, it wasn’t Pedro, but the Phillies offense.  After getting three hits in 12 innings the night before, the offense produced two first-inning runs last night when they had three consecutive hits.  From there, the offense exploded, taking the pressure off Pedro.

The eight-run inning was the 18th time the Phillies have scored five or more runs in one inning this season.  That’s tops in the NL.

Pedro made it through five innings and thus picked up a win.  When he his team has scored four or more runs, he’s 162-16 in his career.  That’s an amazing stat.

Shane had beer dumped on him while making a catch in front of the center-field bleachers.  Sure video is running everywhere.  Scott Franzke, Phillies radio voice: “Security is trying to find the right person.  Everyone in the bleachers has a beer so just look for the person who doesn’t have one.”

Sky-high Ratings
Comcast SportsNet drew a season-high 11.1 rating last night.  The night before, WPHL also had a season high, 12. 

Dating back 11 years, the highest cable rating for a Phillies game had been 10.5 in 2007.

Minor League News
23-year-old OF Michael Taylor went 5-for-5 and hit for the cycle last night in Lehigh Valley’s 10-9, 10-inning win over Louisville: triple, single, double, double, home run. The homer came in the bottom of the ninth and sent the game into extra innings.  His average jumped from .247 to .286.

Proving he’s human, he was caught stealing and got picked off first base another time.

Taylor also went 5-for-6 in an 11-inning game on May 29 while playing for Reading against New Hampshire.  He had four singles and a homer that night.

OF Steve Susdorf is the Player of the Month for July in the Florida State League after hitting .368 in 29 games for the Clearwater Threshers.  Last night, he hit his first AA home run for Reading, his fourth game since being promoted from Clearwater.

Phillies Insider is also on twitter as barons63.

Rare 3-hit Win

Baseball can be a strange game.  On the way to being no-hit last night, J-Roll gets Phillies first hit, a two-run homer to tie the game in the 6th.  We take the lead scoring a run without a hit in the 8th, have the game tied in the last of the 9th against Brad and win it in the 12th on our third hit of the night, Francisco’s home run.

Winning games on three hits doesn’t happen often.  Computers can spit out all kinds of statistical notes: it was the sixth time this decade the Phillies have had a 3-hit win–three times in 2003, once in 2007 and twice this year.  The other 2009 game: 2-0 over the Mets on July 5.

The unexpected seems to be part of baseball.  Sometimes Charlie is asked a question and he answers simply, “That’s baseball.”

Right now the league’s highest scoring team can’t hit with runners on base.  Key or clutch hits are AWOL. If Chase, Ryan, Raul, Jayson and Pedro don’t hit the rest of the season, we have a problem.

Meanwhile, the pitching continues to do well and that’s the key, really.  Happ didn’t have his best stuff last night in front of some 100 family and friends.  He kept the Cubs to two runs and that’s all you can ask for a starter.

Pedro Time
Comcast SportsNet, ESPN and MLB.TV will have large audiences tonight as Pedro makes his first start since last September 25 when he was with the Mets.  The opponent then? The Cubs in Wrigley.

Minor League News
Domonic Brown, the young outfielder the Phillies refused to part with at the trading deadline, is off to a good start with the AA Reading Phillies.  He’s the organization’s player of the week for last week.

Pitching honors go to Joshua Zeid of the Williamsport Crosscutters, a righty who was drafted this summer.

Lakewood BlueClaws won the South Atlantic League Northern Division first-half title.  So, they are a lock for the playoffs.  Reading, Williamsport and the Gulf Coast League Phillies are in the running for post-season play.

Phillies Insider is on twitter as barons63.

Pedro In Rotation

Headline on the back page of today’s Philly Daily News: YOUTH MOVEMENT.  Phillies to start 37 year-old Martinez tomorrow; 46-year-old Moyer sent to the bullpen.

All the speculation is now history as Charlie and Dubee made the announcement yesterday.  Will be interesting to see the Comcast SportsNet TV ratings tomorrow night.  Game is also on ESPN, but blacked out in the Philadelphia market.

Jamie last pitched in relief, one outing, in 2004.  Before that, 1996, 13 appearances with the Red Sox before he was traded to Seattle on July 30.  He made only one start that year between May 3 and July 2 and that was against the Mariners on May 21. 

Where were you in 1996?  Please don’t tell me you weren’t born.

Every Monday this month, except the 24th, the Phillies are not scheduled.  In September, they have two days off, 14th and 21st.  September also has doubleheaders on the 13th and 22nd.  So, another starter will be needed in that time frame.

Blood Drive
This Saturday the Phillies are hosting a blood drive at Citizens Bank Park.  Fans who donate blood will have the chance to take a photo wearing the real World Series Championship ring. You need to bring your own camera and must pre-register. So far, over 1,300 fans have registered.  

Yes, medial staff personnel will be on hand in case you faint from (1) giving blood or (2) wearing the ring.  Very fast security will also be there so don’t try to bolt out of the park with the ring on your finger. 

Suppose you put the ring on one of your fingers and can’t get it off.  Yes, carpenters will also be standing by.


Phillies Insider is also on twitter as barons63.

Lost Weekend

Give the Marlins credit.  They came wallowing into Philly after a three-game sweep in DC.  This time they had the broom. The Marlins did everything right, good defense, clutch hitting, tough pitching.  Phillies didn’t.

Charlie wasn’t happy with the way we played and held a rare post-game meeting. 

The team that leads the NL in scoring has been in a two-week offensive funk, or in Phillies language, phunk. .  Over the last two weeks, a .159 average with runners on second and third.  That covers 13 games, of which five are wins. 

Glass half empty, three straight losses.  Glass half full, a four-game lead with seven weeks of tense baseball remaining.

When you woke up on August 10 last year, the Phillies were in first by two games and everybody was happy.

Road Warriors
Phillies leave for Chicago this evening, night, night, day in Wrigley, starting tomorrow.  Then, on to Atlanta to end the six-game trip, night, day, night. 13 of next 16 games are on the road.  Hopefully, the Phillies can continue to carry the NL’s best road record (31-19).

National TV
Wednesday night, ESPN; Saturday, FOX; Sunday, ESPN Sunday night game.

Alumni Weekend
Batting challenge yesterday wrapped up the three-day Alumni Weekend.

Gray uniform team of Ricky Bottalico and Ricky Jordan easily won the batting challenge. Jordon is the lone hitter out of six to go yard.  He hit two into the left field seats off Mick Billmeyer.

Final scores: gray, 101 points; red (Eisenreich/Wild Thing), 78; blue (Thompson/Noles), 66. 

Best news, all six survived with no injuries.

In response to a posted comment (list those who were here for Alumni Night on Saturday):

Dick Allen, Howie Bedell, Bob Boone, Ricky Bottalico, John Briggs, Jim Bunning, Marty Bystrom, Steve Carlton, Larry Christenson, Doug Clemens, Darren Daulton, Bob Dernier, Ron Diorio, Jim Eisenreich, Gene Garber, Dallas Green, Tyler Green, Tommy Greene, Don Hasenmayer, Dave Hollins, Keith Hughes, Tommy Hutton, Ricky Jordan, Jim Kaat, John Kruk, Mike Lieberthal, Garry Maddox, Art Mahaffey, Maje McDonnell, Rogers McKee, Mickey Morandini, Al Neiger, Dickie Noles, Robin Roberts, Jim Schaffer, Freddie Schmidt, Mike Schmidt, Rich Surhoff, Tony Taylor, Fred Wenz, Mitch Williams and Bobby Wine


Phillies Insider is also on twitter as barons63..

Goosebump City for HK Ceremonies

Aug 8

For 30 years Harry Kalas was the voice of the Phillies Wall of Fame ceremonies.  What do you do when he is the inductee posthumously?

Video Dan Stephenson, the creative head of the Phillies video department, said, “I believe through our video archives, I can find Harry’s voice when he introduced the Wall of Famers.”  Eleven Wall of Famers were going to be there last night for Harry’s ceremony.

Sure enough, Video Dan was able to locate Hary’s voice for the introductions of the 11.  It was a little weird at first but really cool.  Very touching.

We felt Mike Schmidt would be the perfect MC and he was.  Given some guidelines, Schmitty wrote the script.  He was a talented player.  He’s an equally talented writer.

He invited the sellout crowd to count down the unveiling of the plaque.  Once unveiled, the plaque got a standing ovation, a first.  Goosebumps city.

Video Dan did a terrific job in recapturing some of Harry’s calls during a 4-minute video. More goosebumps.

Todd Kalas spoke so well on behalf of the family.  He and his brother, Brad and Kane, concluded the night with a ride in a Toyota Solara convertible, a victory lap around the warning track, a tradition for the Wall of Fame ceremonies. While that was happening, another Harry video, this one had him singing “High Hopes.”  A perfect ending to a perfect evening.

Better than reading about last night, check out video on Just click on the Video Corner, upper right-hand corner of the home page.

Phillies Insider is also on twitter as barons63.

Alumni Weekend is Here

Beautiful day for Harry the K.

Tonight at 7 o’clock, Harry Kalas will be inducted posthumously into the Phillies Wall of Fame, the first non-player since we began honoring former greats in 1978.

Harry’s 14″x20″ cast bronze plaque was installed early this morning by Steve Vinciquerra, a carpenter here at Citizens Bank Park.  Steve also draped the plaque. It will be officially unveiled during the ceremonies.

If you don’t have a ticket for tonight’s game and Harry’s s induction, be aware the ceremonies will be carried live on if you live in downtown London or ComcastSportsNet if you are in Comcast country.

Tomorrow is Toyota Alumni Night.  The 6:30 p.m. ceremony will not be carried on TV or

Sunday, the Alumni Batting Challenge at 12:30 p.m.

Three teams will compete: Milt Thompson and Dickie Noles . . . Jim Eisenreich and Mitch Williams. . . Ricky Jordan and Ricky Bottalico. 

Why pitchers in a batting challenge?  Bottalico was an amateur catcher and left-handed slugger . . . Noles batted .308 in 1980 . . . Who will ever forget Mitch’s 4:30 a.m. single that won a doubleheader on July 2, 1993, against the Padres at the Vet?

Don’t tell anyone, but Mitch has been hitting the batting cages.  He’s taking this seriously.

Phillies Insider is also on twitter as barons63.

What a night

Happ turned in the best effort of a Phillies starter last night at steamy Citizens Bank Park.  He threw 127 pitches on a humid night in blanking the Rockies, the NL’s third-highest scoring club.

He, Tim Lincecum and Joel Pineiro are the only NL pitchers with two shutouts this season.  Not bad for a rookie.

Passionate Phillies fans were on their feet in the top of the ninth applauding and cheering as if he was working on a no-hitter.  Sorry, he gave up four hits.

With Pedro getting closer to joining the staff, a starter has to be moved to the bullpen.  That decision, a very difficult one, will be made by Ruben, Charlie and their respective staffs.  Media and bloggers are full of their own ideas.  Media wants to make the news instead of waiting until the news is announced.  That’s just part of the sports world.

One blogger has her own idea of how to settle the rotation.  Interesting.

Wall of Fame
Harry Kalas will be inducted posthumously into the Phillies Wall of Fame at 7 p.m. tomorrow, with the Marlins-Phillies game to follow.

Other than 500 standing room tickets, the game is sold out.  But, you can watch the ceremonies live on

Phillies Insider is on twitter as barons63.



Rox are Hot

Well, it was a warm night Tuesday and time for hittin’ season.  Only problem, the Rockies were the ones with the big bats.  They’re hot and it showed.  An amazing turn around under new manager Jim Tracy. They’ve won 5 in a row, best in the NL.

Ryan is struggling at-bat.  All sluggers do at some point.  Good news, a hot spell always follows a cold spell.

Chase was hit by a pitch last night, extending his club record to 99.  He’s only 186 away from tying Craig Biggio’s major league record (285).

Pedro Mania
Martinez will start tonight in Reading against the Trenton Thunder.  Rob Hackash, Reading Phillies’ Director of Communications, kidded he may have more media there tonight than at Citizens Bank Park. Both games, Philly and Reading, are sold out.

GM Ruben Amaro and super scout Charley Kerfeld will be there.

Tony Zonca, writer, reports Pedro’s last AA appearance was at San Antonio as a 19-year-old in the Dodgers system. 

Minor League Notes
Lakewood OF Anthony Gose stole two more bases last night, giving him 60, tops among all minor league players . . . Williamsport OF Roy Uhl had three triples as the Crosscutters clobbered Staten Island, 20-4.  In Phillies history, 3B Harry Wolverton had three triples in a game in 1900 against the Pirates.  It was a major league record that has since been tied by several others . . . Minor league players of the week are Clearwater RHP Darren Byrd and Williamsport OF Leandro Castro.

Phillies Insider is also on twitter as barons63.