Baseball is back! Now some might not be as excited about the 1st Grapefruit League game, but I LOVE Spring Training games. They are filled with storylines and it gives you a chance to see how players young and old look after a long offseason. Plus considering the games results don't really count, its easy to just sit back and enjoy the game. Here are some of the main things I noticed from the first game today. Some may be important, some may not be. That's the magic of the Spring!
A month after being hired by the Sixers as General Manager and President of Basketball Operations Sam Hinkie proved he was all business. During the 2013 NBA Draft, last June, Hinkie traded all-star PG Jrue Holiday, the face of the 76ers. Holiday was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for injured center Nerlens Noel, selected with the 6th overall pick and a protected 1st round pick for 2014. It was no doubt a risky move for the Sixers but one that would no doubt pay dividends for the future. 5 picks later, with the 11th pick, the Sixers replaced Holiday by selecting Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams.
It is the most demanding infield position. A spot that Jimmy Rollins has held down, full-time, for 13 seasons. For the past decade J-Roll has been my favorite Phillie. A World Series ring, MVP, 3x all-star and a 4-time Gold Glove winner, J-Roll will go down as the greatest shortstop in Phillies history. Heading into the 2014 season Rollins is 59 hits away from tying Michael Jack Schmidt for most hits in a Phillies uniform, amazing! So why is everyone sick of J-Stroll? Has he thrown in the towel, is he playing for just records? Is it time to let 24-year old Freddy Galvis get his shot?
It's been ten years since the Phillies opened up camp without Charlie Manuel at the helm. 2014 marks a new era for Phillies baseball as the skipper in waiting, Ryne Sandberg, looks foward to his first spring training as a major-league manager. A new era brings a new voice, a new leader, and a new direction. Hopefully a start of something good for a team that is trying to get back to baseball relevancy.
1,2,3,4,5,Sixers! 10,9, 8, 76ers! No, 76 was not how much they lost by last night but they did come close that number in recent games. Last night they were able to keep the game close and only lost by 5. This was practically a win after losing by 45 to the Clippers on Friday and 43 to the Warriors on Sunday. But its not a secret that wins this season are not the main focus. I don't believe losing is ever what an Organization should strive for but I don't see a problem with letting young players devolop and building for the future.
According to Todd Zolecki and multiple media outlets, the Phillies and free agent pitcher AJ Burnett have agreed to a 1 year $16 million deal. The final details of the contract have yet to be released but there are now reports that the deal includes an option for 2015 and a limited no trade clause. The 37 year old right hander spent the last 2 seasons pitching at the other end of the state and has also pitched for the Yankees and Blue Jays.
Baseball is back!! In 3 days pitchers and catchers officially report to Clearwater Florida for their first workout, in 8 days all position players arrive and in 16 days the Phillies welcome the Toronto Blue Jays to Bright House Field for their first Spring Training game. Ceeeeelebrate good times, come on!
As we get ready for camp to open here are 5 things you NEED TO KNOW about your 2014 Philadelphia Phillies:
I am no scout, and by far a minor league baseball regular. Despite my low attendance at R-Phils (they will forever be the R-Phils to me) or Iron Pig games I thoroughly enjoy seeing phuture Phils in action. You can't beat the price of admission, cheap food, and in-game entertainment like Disco Dan. In 2012, myself and the other half of BLN (Bruds) made the trek to Baseball Town to see our favorite R-Phils in action. My quick observations from one game in Baseball Town were as follows: Trevor May got shellacked, Darin Ruf can hit the ball a ton, and I wasn't overly impressed with Cody Asche.
It may be cold and snowy in the North East but "Spring is in the Air" in the Sunshine State. The Phillies Pitchers and Catchers are set to report on Thursday. In addition to the 40 man roster, the Phillies have an addition 18 "non-roster" invitees who will be in the big league camp. While the majority of the spots are locked up, there will be a few Opening Day seats up for grabs over the next 7 weeks. I'll take my annual crack at what the roster may look like on March 31 in Texas.
In Part Two of the Phillies History, the "P" and their Uniforms we talked about the Whiz Kids, the Phillie Phanatic, and the Phillies first ever World Series Championship in 1980!! It is incredible to look through the history of our Phillies and see such a rich tradition of hall of famers, legendary players, and championship caliber teams.
Since that 1980 Championship that rich history has continued to grow. The 1993 Phightin' Phils to the current Phillies, we have seen a period of Phillies baseball like no other. 30 years from now we will look back on the Charlie Manuel led Phillies and realize just how incredible of a time it truly was for Philadelphia sports.