December 2013

Holiday Batting Lineup

There’s an eraser board on the left wall as you enter the Phillies clubhouse. It is where the lineup for the game is posted early in the afternoon. The chore normally belongs to the bench coach.

Right now the clubhouse is decorated for the holidays, lights, trees, snowmen and even an electric train.

The lineup board even has a holiday flavor:


Wall of Fame Question

Question has been raised: Will Doc Halladay be added to the Phillies Wall of Fame?

Well, the WOF eligibility rules stipulate a player has to have played five years with the Phillies. Doc wound up with four. (Managers and coaches need four or more years service). Then, in 2005 we added two more stipulations, position players needed to play in a minimum of 700 games; pitchers, minimum of 180. Idea was to make sure we had quality candidates.

Should we make an exception? Will it open the famous can of worms? Should the number of years be reduced to four or three? Should the games played be changed or dropped? Who else then qualifies if the rules are changed? Should general managers an club presidents be considered?

Borrowing one of Paul Owens’ favorite sayings, we’ll “mull it over.”

Yes, exceptions have been made since we started the WOF in 1978. The exceptions related to another rule that a player needs to be retired for three years before being considered. But, never the number of years in a Phillies uniform.

Exceptions have included Steve Carlton (1989), Mike Schmidt (1990), John Vukovich (2007) and Harry Kalas (2009). Lefty and Michael Jack were inducted the year after they retired. Vuk and Harry the K were inducted posthumously without waiting three years.

To Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre for being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Next announcement relates to players and that will occur on January 9. Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine appear to be shoo-ins. This past July, the inductions included only deceased people. 2014 will be a huge weekend in Cooperstown.

To Curt Schilling, who is taking the place of Orel Hershiser on the ESPN Sunday Night telecast team. Schill joins John Kruk and Dan Schulman. Poor Dan.

To Lori and Scott Franzke who became parents of twin girls on December 6, Loretta and June. Son Gus and Scott are now out-numbered in the Franzke household.

Ryne Sandberg will leave the winter meetings in Orlando later today for Philadelphia.

He’ll take part in some of the Phillies Week of Giving Events next week. He’ll also be meeting with his coaching staff for a couple of days next week before heading for his Arizona home for the holidays. Ryne will be back east for a couple of weeks in January.

Want a warm thought? Pitchers and catchers first workout is February 13.

Thanks, Doc

Recognizing the end is here is admirable and very difficult for athletes who are fierce competitors. Roy Halladay is one of the great competitors who dominated the game from 2002 through 2011. Citing back issues, he officially retired yesterday as a member of the Blue Jays, which is fitting.

Congratulations on a great career, Doc.

Equally important, thanks for all the thrills you gave Phillies fans in your four years in pinstripes.

A World Series isn’t part of his resume. Other greats have experienced the same, including Jim Bunning. Jim’s a Hall of Famer and someday Doc will get there. There’s no higher honor than to be enshrined in Cooperstown.

Thanks to the Phillies communications department, here are a bunch of tributes to Doc:

“Roy was the most prepared, ferociously competitive pitcher I’ve ever been around and was the epitome of professionalism. How he conversed with people and treated his teammates was something I really admired about him. He did it all. He and Jamie Moyer are the most demanding pitchers I’ve ever had. They wanted to get better every time out and if you look at Roy’s numbers, having played in the AL East all those years, winning two Cy Youngs, pitching a perfect game and a postseason no-hitter, he should absolutely get strong consideration for the Hall of Fame.” Rich Dubee

“I know it must have been hard for Roy to make this decision to retire because I know how much he loved to play the game.  Roy was, without a doubt, one of the greatest competitors I ever had the pleasure of being around.” Charlie Manuel

“Roy was a great player and a very special friend. To have caught both his perfect game and playoff no-hitter is something I will remember for the rest of my life. I wish him and his family all the best in retirement.” Carlos Ruiz

“He was one of the best competitors who ever played this game and taught everyone around him to prepare the right way in order to be the best. For me, personally, he helped me understand the game more and gave me insight on how to become a top of the line starting pitcher.” Cole Hamels
“Roy was probably the best influence in my career. Being able to spend the last four years with him taught me what work ethic and commitment are all about. In my eyes, the game just lost the best pitcher of the last 10 years.” Kyle Kendrick

“Roy Halladay is the ultimate competitor. He is by far the hardest worker that I’ve ever seen and treated every game as if it were his last.  It was no coincidence why he was the best pitcher of his era.  I’m honored to have had the opportunity to watch him pitch for four years.  I’ll miss his presence and passion but, most of all, I will miss his intensity.” Chase Utley

“Roy was one of the best. There are no shortcuts to greatness; Roy understood that, and that’s why he never took any. “I wish I could’ve gotten him that ring he desired. That’s my only regret while having him on my team.” Jimmy Rollins

“It’s been an honor playing along side Roy Halladay. His tenacity, attention to detail, and preparation was second to none. He is one of the greatest competitors I’ve ever played with. We will definitely miss him, as will the game of baseball.” Ryan Howard

“Roy Halladay is one the most dominant, consistent professional pitchers I’ve ever had the privilege of playing with.  He was a great teammate, but an even better father, friend and role model.  He is one of those guys who is determined and driven to be great at whatever he does.  I wish him and his family all the best.” Raúl Ibañez

“Roy was one of the best pitchers and students of the game I’ve ever had the honor of playing with. Hands down, he was the best pitcher of this era and a first ballot Hall of Famer.” Roy Oswalt

“I’m very sad to see Roy retire but very happy to have been his teammate. He was a special player, and it was my great fortune to be able and watch him pitch. Hopefully he enjoys retirement.” Jamie Moyer

Then from the social media world of twitter:

“I want to congratulate Roy Halladay on a great career! Blessed to have played with such a fierce competitor and one of the best teammates.” Shane Victorino

“Congrats to Roy Halladay on an unbelievable career! It was an honor to be in the same dugout as you!” Cameron Rupp

“The great Roy Halladay retires. I am honored that in my one plate appearance against him, I scared him into walking me.” Doug Glanville

“It was an honor to play with Doc. Hardest worker I have ever seen. One of the best! It was a privilege to be on the same team as him. #34.” Jake Diekman

“What an honor it was to be in the same rotation as Halladay. Huge mentor for me in my rookie season and even harder worker. Will be missed.” Jonathan Pettibone

“I’m honored to be the very last out Roy Halladay got– 8,247 went down before me. Congrats to him on such an outstanding career.” Ed Lucas, Marlins first baseman.

The record shows that Lucas fouled out in the first inning in Marlins Park on September 25, Doc’s final start of the season. Doc’s last win came against the same Marlins, September 17, 6-4, at Citizens Bank Park, 1 run in 6 innings, allowing 4 hits.

Many assumed they might be the final two starts for the Phillies. Little did we know.

203 wins, 105 losses, 3.38 ERA. 2 Cy Youngs. 2 no-hitters including a perfect game. Cooperstown numbers.

Holiday Favorites

In the spirit of the holiday season, we’ve asked some Phillies Alumni two questions:

What is your favorite holiday song and favorite toy as a child?

Dick Allen
White Christmas by the Temptations
Baseball and glove, and basketball

Larry Andersen
Silver Bells
Hockey game and electric football set

Jack Baldschun
Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
My bike

John Briggs
White Christmas
Lionel electric train set

Rico Brogna
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Eagles plastic football helmet, white with green eagle wing; old school cool

Don Carman
O Holy Night
Baseball bat

Dave Cash
Silent Night
Roy Rogers bicycle

John Denny
Handel’s Messiah
Robot Commando; it was 2-3 feet tall, moved its arms and shot missiles

Jim Eisenreich
My favorite toy was a dart gun. It would shoot little suction cup darts that would stick to the wall or the tv, but wouldn’t stick to my little brother

Bill Giles
All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth
Army fort and soldiers set

Doug Glanville
The Christmas Song
Intellivision. The game system that competed with Atari back then

Tommy Greene
Silent Night
Hot Wheels toy cars and race track

Danny Jackson
I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas
The video game pong when it first came out. It was black and white on the television set but I thought that was cool to play. Bad thing is all the aunts and uncles hogged the game and the kids hardly got to play on Christmas day

Brad Lidge
Frosty The Snowman
Millennium falcon star wars ship

Mike Lieberthal
Electric train set.

Greg Luzinski
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Chicago Bears football helmet and uniform

Pete Mackanin
Feliz Navidad
Model cars

Don Money
Silent Night
Toy trucks, dump trucks…..any kind of trucks

Jamie Moyer
Jingle Bells

Lance Parrish
O Holy Night
BB gun…long, long time ago

Dan Plesac
All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey
I remember one year I got the game Battleship and thought it was the coolest thing in the world

Ron Reed
White Christmas by Bing Crosby
Roy Rogers cap gun and holster set. Many bad guys bit the dust with this lethal weapon in my hand

Ryne Sandberg
Little Drummer Boy
Table top NHL Hockey game and electronic football game

Mike Schmidt
O Come All Ye Faithful
Fanner 50 cap gun

Matt Stairs
O Holy Night
Hockey stick 

Jim Thome
Tonka trucks