February 2014

And the Award Goes to…

Cole Hamels heads out for workouts Sunday in Clearwater.

All we need now is a red carpet.

In honor of the Academy Awards airing this Sunday, we are sharing our own nominees for outstanding achievements – inspired by baseball and your Phillies.

Best Original Double Play

It’s a beautiful performance that, when done perfectly, can please audiences everywhere – most importantly at Citizens Bank Park and/or any ballpark where the Phils are playing. Turning two can be elusive for some, but not when Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard get into their groove.

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With a flip of the ball, throw and tag – fans give standing ovations to this trio.

Best Athlete in a Lead Off Role

Hitting lead off, and taking a sizable lead to steal bases, is a role Ben Revere was born to play.

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His speed and stamina help make him our pick for star lead off man.

Best Catcher in a Supporting Role 

Carlos Ruiz poses during photo day Wednesday in Clearwater.

Through the years, many men behind the plate have supported and inspired their pitchers to achieve greatness. It’s hard to pick just one from Phillies history so we’ll showcase the great Carlos “Chooch” Ruiz for this post.

Carlos Ruiz comes into the dugout after scoring a run Tuesday in Clearwater.

He’s not a bad guy to have at the plate either.

Best Animated…Mascot

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He’s played many roles – but best mascot in the universe is one we’ve all seen him in. The Phanatic always delights whether he’s covering fans with popcorn or whammying the opposing pitcher. Side Note: Fans traveling to Clearwater this Spring Training can check out the Phanatic at every Phillies game played at Bright House Field.

Best Walk-up Musical Score

It’s hard to beat Kashmir.

Chase Utley: A two time winner in this post.

Hope you enjoy watching the stars this Sunday, March 2nd – the Phils vs Pirates 1:05 pm game airs on Comcast SportsNet. Oh, and watch the stars at the Oscars too.

#TweetOfTheWeek

Pitcher Kevin Munson gave us some perspective on his first spring training game of 2014.

Baseball is back!

We Get By with a Little Help from Our Fans

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The Phillies were busy in Clearwater this week getting the band back together for the first official full squad workout on Tuesday as well as the ever-popular Photo Day and other happenings in the sunshine. 

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Mean-muggin’ JRoll.

Meanwhile, back in Philly, the folks in the front office were busy too. Not only are preparations for the season in full swing, but also plans for fan events and, more importantly, fan input are very active.

Speak Now

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The title of the chart-topping album of songstress, and Pennsylvania native, Taylor Swift, yes. But also a directive to all Phillies fans to have their voice be heard.

Not since the presidential election has a vote of such magnitude been tasked to Americans, particularly those with a love for the Phillies. We’re asking for your help in ranking your favorite “Top 10 Moments” at Citizens Bank Park by heading to Phillies.com/TopMoments.

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Was it the last out of the World Series in 2008? Doc’s postseason no-hitter? Jim Thome’s 400th career homerun? We know, tough to choose…but you’re up for the challenge, right?

The “Top 10 Moments” online ballot is just one part of our plans to celebrate the past 10 seasons of baseball at Citizens Bank Park and we’re excited to give fans the chance to relive all of the wonderful memories over the decade through exclusive video available only on Phillies.com.

Voting will close on Friday, March 14, with the winning moments announced prior to Opening Day and acknowledged throughout this coming season. So get busy and vote right now!

Phun Facts

Speaking of CBP…

  • The Phillies moved into Citizens Bank Park in 2004 after 33 years at Veterans Stadium.
  • The world-class ballpark – rated one of the best in the country – opened on April 3, 2004, with an exhibition game against the Cleveland Indians.
  • Since the ballpark opened, the Phillies have captured a World Series championship, two National League pennants, and five consecutive NL East titles…and we’re not done yet.

Eye of the Tiger

Not only the anthem for one of the greatest movies ever made and set in Philly, but also a great workout song. But speaking of anthems, we want amazing and talented singers in the Delaware Valley to sing our national anthem on-field at Citizens Bank Park. We’re holding the inaugural Phillies R U Game? Talent Search on Saturday, March 8, 2014 to seek out the best singers in our fan base. It’s your time to shine.

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If you’re interested, make sure you register online at phillies.com/RUGame as soon as possible since only the first 500 fans are guaranteed an audition spot. You could even do your vocal warm-ups while registering – it’s that easy!

Hope to hear you singing one of the greatest American songs in the setting of the great American pastime on March 8th!

So Phillies fans – you have your weekend assignments: Vote and the sign up to sing. Done and done.

Tweet of the Week

We couldn’t pass this one by. Yes, it’s from the @Phillies account but it was a possum (or opossum, depending on who you talk to) that may have caused a bit of a stir during workouts on Wednesday.

For the Love of Spring Training

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Happy Valentine’s Day to all you baseball lovers! We certainly hope you’re showing the love today – including for your Phillies.

Now, we know everyone in the northeast feels like this right about now:

But keep this in mind: The Phillies are back under the sunny skies of Clearwater. And, more importantly, they’re ready to get back to work.

Pitchers and catchers had their first official  workout yesterday but that didn’t stop over 40 Phillies who play all over the baseball diamond to arrive in camp much earlier than that. Maybe it was cabin fever from all the snow we’ve had this winter or maybe it was the eagerness to get back on the field. Whatever the reason, we’re excited to see them warming up together, working with the Phils coaching staff and spring training instructors, including Roy Halladay and Brad Lidge, and preparing for games to begin in just a little over a week and a half.

In an effort to break you from your winter storm/nor’easter/seasonal depression doldrums (we feel it too), here are some photos taken from the workouts yesterday. We hear that being exposed to sunlight helps? Wonder if it works through a computer screen…let’s try it out.

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Sweet sunshine and blue skies on a baseball field = happiness.

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Now that’s a bullpen.

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Utley brushing dirt off his cleats > snow boots and shoveling.

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Run, run as fast as you can…

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Ryno’s first Spring Training as a manager must feel pretty good.

Feel better? Awesome. It sure put us in a good mood!

Want more? Well, OK. Check out our Phillies Facebook page for the #PhilsSpring Week 1 album.

Tweet of the Week

After the nor’easter business of yesterday, this photo was a welcome sight. Thanks J-Roll.

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One Phinal Note

We wanted to take a moment to honor the memory of Jim Fregosi, a man who will not soon be forgotten.

Here are just a few quotes from Jim’s former players that reveal what kind of manager and man he was.

“Jim Fregosi will be deeply missed in the baseball world. Joni and the rest of the family are in our prayers. Fregos, was the best manager I’ve ever played for. Our relationship was so special….and he was the one that taught me how to be a leader. Fregos and I could relate to each other whether we were in the clubhouse or on the field. In 1993 The City of Brotherly Love changed the world…..Fregos was the driving force!!! – Darren Daulton

“Jim Fregosi was not only one of the most respected men in baseball, he was a great man. He was a player’s manager. He had that special gift as a manager that made you want to get to the field and play your ass off for him. Jim Fregosi was the reason that 1993 was one of the most exciting years in Philadelphia sports history.” – Lenny Dykstra

“Jimmy was the perfect manager for our team. He knew exactly when to leave us alone and exactly when to jump our asses when it was needed…and along the way he became our friend.” – John Kruk

“Jimmy was the best manger I ever had the honor of playing for. He was a man who was happy every time in ever saw him. My career was less than spectacular, but would have even been more mediocre if not for Jim. The word that defines him best is trust! He trusted everyone to do their jobs. I was a manager’s nightmare, but Jim trusted that I would get the job done. He made all his players better because his trust gave us confidence. He would hand me the ball in the 9th and go up the tunnel and smoke and say let me know when it’s over.  He trusted me. He once said that ‘Mitch doesn’t have an ulcer, but he is definitely a carrier.’ I loved Jimmy and his wife Joni. They both lived to be happy. I can’t express the sorrow I feel for Joni, and Jimmy’s 5 kids. He was like a father to me, and I was just a player. I can only imagine the kind of father he was to his own kids.” – Mitch Williams

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It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

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Let’s replace that snowball for a baseball, shall we?

Ahhh, the wonderfully familiar signs of spring. Each year, similar to Groundhog Day movie fame, the Phillies equipment truck is dutifully packed up and sent down 95 South to its Clearwater destination. But this year, we spiced things up a bit – because if you can’t make a little noise, then what’s the point of it all?

(Thanks to Colleen Cordaro, Phillies Intern, for the great film work!)

The equipment truck turned into a mobile billboard for Phillies’ excitement yesterday as it exited Citizens Bank Park on it’s way to Bright House Field in supremely grand fashion. There’s really nothing like a Phanatic-led police and fire truck escort through Center City on a chilly February day to get fans in the baseball spirit…and thinking spring.

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Pretty awesome.

Let’s Get It Started

Down in Clearwater, the Phillies clubhouse is growing active with players already working out on the practice fields at Bright House and Carpenter Complex well before they are scheduled to officially begin. Actually, most of the guys have been at training facilities in their respective hometowns over the course of the offseason as well as down in Clearwater preparing for the upcoming year. Let’s do this.  

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Asche throws to Ruf. Note the lovely palm trees in the background…sigh.

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Howard and Ruf take turns taking some grounders.

Get Your Tickets Here!

AND the Citizens Bank Park Ticket Windows are about to open for individual ticket sales!

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Individual ticket sales will begin in-person on Thursday, February 13th beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the West Ticket Windows. As has become tradition, we like to make the day more of fan event for those who make their way to CBP to purchase their tickets to the upcoming Phils’ season. Need a few examples of what we have planned? Fans can anticipate Phanatic and Ballgirl sightings; a yummy continental breakfast inside the Majestic Clubhouse Store AND a Majestic Clubhouse Store Mystery Discount.

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When the word mystery is thrown in the mix of a discount we’re always intrigued – you should be too. Basically, fans could receive a discount of 20% to 75% off at the register that day. That’s kind of a big deal – literally and figuratively. The Phillies love to lead off our individual ticket on-sale date with a salute to the fans – because you guys are an important part of our team, for real.

So as the snow begins to melt into gorgeously luscious green grass, baseball, in all its splendid glory, will also make its return and with it comes all the wonders and promise of a new, fresh season.

Tweet of the Week

Tyga Brown, Dom’s pitbull pup, is a famous Puppy Bowl participant. He’s such a MVP aka Most Valuable Puppy.

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