April 1 Already

Hard to believe Wednesday is April 1.  No foolin’. April means baseball is back and income tax is due.  The beauty and the beast.

For the Phillies, April 1 is the second-last Clearwater game with the Braves coming to town. The Rays on Thursday, April 2, and then “outta here”.

Pirates mauled the Phillies on Monday in Bradenton and both benches emptied but no punches were thrown.  This Friday and Saturday the two teams meet in the On Deck Series at Citizens Bank Park.  Will bad blood continue?

Spring Training Awards
Before Wednesday’s game, the Phillies will present three annual awards:

**Bill Giles, for player in minor league camp that stood out, catcher Andrew Knapp.

**Larry Rojas, for the most impressive Hispanic player in the minor league camp, infielder Grenny Cumana.

**John Vukovich, for a member of the instructional staff that demonstrates loyalty, dedication, competitiveness, knowledge and terrific work ethic, Steve Schrenk, a former pitcher who has been a member of the Phillies instructional staff since 2004.

Monday’s Best Tweet
From Todd Zolecki: “PSA: Phillies fans driving to Bradenton this morning. Lots of speed traps on the way, especially on 41 South.”

On The Air
For the second straight day, new voices are broadcasting today’s Phillies game on the internet as LA and Franzke have returned to Philly.

The voices are Jon Schaeffer, Director of New Media and a broadcaster for the Iron Pigs, and Kirsten Karbach who is entering her third year as the broadcaster for the Clearwater Threshers.

What’s New?
Phillies are hosting a What’s New at the Ballpark Preview party for the media and some season ticket holders today in the Hall of Fame Club to reveal what’s new at Citizens Bank Park for 2015.  Heard a new burger is on board.

LA and Franzke are the hosts, two party animals.

Happy Retirement
To Dan Goroff, who began working for the Phillies in 1987 and worked his way up to the Director of the Ticket Department, who is retiring after today.  Berks County’s gift to the Phillies was a loyal and dedicated employee who spent the first half of every home game in his office watching on TV before getting to see the final innings in the Executive Suite on the Press Box Level.

Claims he’s going to polish his golf game which currently is more fitting for the comedy channel than the golf channel.  Well, that’s what I’ve heard.

Spring Training Phun Fact
Twenty years ago in spring training Richie Ashburn received the long-awaited call that he was going into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Spring Training Memories
Bobby Shantz (LHP, 1964)
“Geez, that was a long time ago.  I signed in 1948 and was sent to Lincoln, NE, where I won 18 games.  So my first camp was the next year and it was the big league camp.  The A’s trained in West Palm Beach.  We stayed in a hotel in downtown and ate there too.  My roommate was Alex Kellner. Next year I was married and we rented a small house.  My first uniform number was 30 and that’s what I wore all of my six years with the A’s. Met Mr. Mack (manager Connie Mack) that spring.  He was quiet and I don’t remember him talking to me very much.  I always loved spring training.  Heck, it got us out of the crappy winter weather in the north into sunshine in Florida.  Spring training then meant getting in shape, although Robin Roberts, Richie Ashburn, Curt Simmons, Stan Lopata, and I worked out all winter in Conshohocken. There was nothing I disliked about spring training.”

Lens Gem

Moran Circle-L

Rookie manager Pat Moran led the Phillies to their first National League pennant in 1915 finishing seven games ahead of the defending World Champion Boston Braves. The 39-year-old former catcher was baseball’s first manager since the turn of the century to win a championship without prior experience.  Photo: Bob Warrington collection.

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