Happy Phillies Pitchers and Catchers Day, baseball phans! Yes, today is the day P&C are officially due to report to Clearwater, FLA, though most of them – if not all – are there already. First workouts will start tomorrow which leads to the internet discrepancies of various sites countdowns. Interestingly enough most of the “news” out of the Phillies camp dealt with Phillies alumni so we will get to those items and push back the remaining non-roster pitchers once again to next week, when we could have an even better understanding of where each guy fits in
Kruk Is Official:
On Tuesday the Phillies held a news conference making official what we have known for quite a few weeks, that John Kruk would be the latest addition to the TV announcing crew in 2017. Kruk who reportedly has a 5 yr deal w/ Comcast Sports Network, will work about half the games, with Ben Davis handling the balance. His 15 minutes of comments in front of reporters, were a mix of serious and comedic, “It’s going to be a long year for you, pal,” Kruk directed towards PBP announcer Tom McCarthy. Some of his other witticisms, which should give us a preview of his folksy on air style follow:
“My wife said I’m too young to retire,” Kruk said about his interest in CSN. “What else am I going to do? I have to do something. My God, if I sit around and eat all day … it’s not a pretty sight.
“Now, I can’t tell you some of the things he (referring to Phillies bench coach Larry Bowa) says about the players,” Kruk joked. “No, there’s going to be some studying. I watch enough that it ain’t going to be that hard. I’ll figure it out. … Put it this way, I’ll probably train harder for this than when I was playing.”
Asked about the difference between broadcasting locally vs. nationally, Kruk said, “No ties. That’s a blessing.
When the topic got around to being tough on the players:
“I’m going to take it for granted that if they screwed up they knew it,” he said. “Maybe some of them don’t. I don’t know. It is what it is. Look, ever since I came here in 1989, all people talk about is how knowledgeable Phillies fans are. So if I sugarcoat something they’re going to know I’m being a little you-know-what.
“But I’m not going to go out of my way to just bury someone”
Pete Rose To Phillies Wall Of Fame?
On Thursday, multiple sources reported that the Phillies have received permission from MLB to allow Pete Rose to be added to the fan balloting for the Phillies Wall Of Fame.
Rose was made permanently ineligible for Baseball’s Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, in late August of 1989, by commissioner Bart Giamatti. For many years following, this served as a de facto ban from any on-field activities by Major League Baseball teams. In 1999 though, that started to loosen as he was allowed to be selected to an all-century team celebration at the All-Star Game in Boston. Then last season the Cincinnati Reds were able to place him in their own Hall of Fame, during a game at Great American Ballpark.
This report set off a whole new round of “discussions” on TV, Radio and Social Media on whether Rose should be eligible for Cooperstown, which I will not get into here.
Of course we all know that despite the fact that Rose was only a Phillie for 5 years, his contributions to the Phils earning their 1st World Series Championship in 1980 certainly qualify him for inclusion on the Citizens Bank Park wall. Expected others on that ballot include fan (and one of my personal) favorite Placido Polanco, and not so fan (though I disagree) favorite Scott Rolen. Both had longer Phillies careers than Rose, each having a big impact when they were here, and were both players who gave their all when on the field.
Statistically Rolen (Phillies rankings 14th HR, 28 RBI, 32 R, 43 H) deserves to be on that wall in Ashburn Alley, but I am afraid the rift between he and the phans will keep that from happening. As popular as Polanco was, he just does not have the #s to earn this honor, and neither helped the team to get even close to a championship, so Rose would appear to be a lock for this.
10 Phillies Players Tapped for 7 National Teams in WBC:
Of the 10 players picked to play for various countries in the World Baseball Classic, which runs from March 6-22, RHP reliever Pat Neshek, will the first Phillies pitcher to play for Team USA in the event. Team USA will play it’s first game on March 10th so Neshek, 36, will have to leave camp early. The Phillies acquired him from the Houston Astros in a November trade, as detailed here. His experience should make him a definite for the Phillies pen even with the lost ST time.
Four MiLB players were also picked for various countries including C Jorge Alfaro (Colombia), RHP Nick Pivetta (Canada), and GCL Phillies LHP Nick Fanti (Italy), Wiliamsport RHP Kenny Koplove (Israel).
It will be interesting to see how this affects competition in camp. Probably the player that will benefit most will be prospect J.P. Crawford who will get more playing time with the absence of Galvis, and will help him advance to MLB if Galvis falters at some point this season.
With the start of spring training this week we will be able to get back to our look at the non-roster invitees in camp.
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