Who Am I?
Yep, that Larry Andersen, who later turned into a man with many faces.
63 So Far
That’s how many players will be in spring training that begins in Clearwater in five weeks. With a lot of free agents still looking for jobs and weeks before practice starts, Matt Klentak may well increase that number.
Most often the list of non-roster players contains veterans who’ll be in triple-A. A sprinkling of prospects may be included. This year, the Phillies will have a flock of their top prospects in camp: RHS Mark Appel, SS J. P. Crawford, RHS Zach Eflin, C Andrew Knapp, C Gabriel Lino, C Logan Moore, 1B Brock Stassi, RHS Jake Thompson and CF Nick Williams.
Frank Coppenbarger, Director of Team Travel and Clubhouse Services, says he has 65 lockers in the Bright House Field clubhouse and that six more are being constructed just in case.
Former Phillies John Kruk and Curt Schilling are being replaced on ESPN’s Sunday Night crew by Aaron Boone and Jessica Mendoza, former Olympic softball player. Kruk returns to Baseball Tonight and Schilling, Monday Night Baseball.
Pete Mackanin and some of his players will be around next week for various appearances including banquets in Allentown, Reading, Lakewood and Williamsport.
For a complete schedule visit http://www.phillies.com/events.
Strength up–the-middle catcher, shortstop-second base and center field–is key on championship teams. Late last year, we examined players at these positions on Phillies pennant winners: 1915, 1950, 1980 and 1983. This week, the 1993 National League champions, team that had more nicknames, mostly unflattering, “throwbacks”, “misfits”, “rejects”, “outlaws”, “wild”, “crazy”. A book about the 1993 team was properly entitled, “Beards, Biceps and Bellies.”
C Darren Daulton, SS Kevin Stocker, 2B Mickey Morandini, CF Lenny Dykstra.
Daulton was drafted in the 15th round in 1980 as a skinny catcher out of Arkansas City (KN) High School. Listed on scouting reports as 150 pounds. Developed into a three-time All-Star who played 14 seasons with the Phillies are the longest tenure for a catcher in the team’s modern history. He had two 100-RBI seasons, a record for a Phillies catcher. Recognized as the team leader of the 1993 NL pennant-winners; led club with 105 RBI while belting 24 homers. Set two defensive club records that season, most putouts, 981 (1993) and double plays, 19. Darren played in 1,109 Phillies games, remarkable since he was on the disabled list eight times and underwent nine knee surgeries. In addition, he had a fractured right clavicle, a broken right hand and an incomplete tear of his left rotator cuff. Ended his career with the Florida Marlins, 1997 World Champions.
Juan Bell began the season as the shortstop. Mariano Duncan, Kim Batiste and Joe Millette also played there. The roulette stopped on July 7 when Stocker, a 23-year-old switch-hitter, made his major league debut in a 20-inning win over the Dodgers at the Vet. The second-round selection out of the University of Washington in 1991 played the final 70 games at shortstop. The rookie hit .324 and was solid on defense.
Morandini was a shortstop drafted by the Phillies in the fifth round in 1988 out of Indiana University. The left-handed hitter was moved to second base after his first pro season in 1989. He made his pro debut the following September. Mickey developed into a solid second baseman and an All-Star in 1995. During the championship season, he hit .247 and led the club with nine triples. Defensively, he made only five errors in 928 innings.
Dykstra was acquired from the Mets in the middle of the 1989 season, his fourth in the majors. Tough as nails, he developed into a tremendously productive centerfielder. During the championship season, he hit .305, had a .420 on-base percentage, collected 44 doubles, 19 home runs, 37 stolen bases and led the league with 194 hits, 143 runs and 123 walks. During the World Series, .348, 9 runs, 8 hits, 4 homers, 8 RBI and 4 steals. Lenny finished second to Barry Bonds in MVP voting. He was an All-Star in 1994 and 1995.
While the 1993 team produced no Rawlings Gold Glove winners, the “misfits” thrived on offense, leading the league in at-bats (5,685), runs scored (877), hits (1,555), doubles (297), walks (665), on-base percentage (.351) and total bases (2,422). They also became the first Phillies team to reach 3 million in attendance. They remain among the most popular teams in club history.
Next Thursday: the 2008-09 Phillies under Charlie Manuel.