Tag Archives: Florida

Mike Schmidt Takes on New Role in Phillies Camp

27 Feb

Photo: Miles Kennedy/Phillies

Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt is a regular every season at the Phillies Spring Training camp in Clearwater Florida, but usually spends just a week or two with the club.  This season Schmidt has agreed to stay and spend more time with the club at the request of Charlie Manuel and the Phillies, saying that he may hang around until about the middle of March.  I can’t think of anyone better then the best position player ever to come out of the Phillies organization.

In the past Schmidt has spent his time floating around and working with hitters in a minimal role, but this season plans to get involved in a more one-on-one basis with the players, and talk more about hitting, and what goes along with that.

“There will be times when I chat with guys about mechanics, but for the most part, the additions I’m going to offer this year are in-game strategies like, ‘Let’s be more aggressive in fastball counts, let’s be tougher to strike out, let’s figure out a way to give up fewer at-bats,’” Schmidt said. “A guy like me is only good if there are ears that want to listen. I never said I’m the end-all when it comes to that, but I’m a sounding board for guys, and I enjoy it.”

There were plenty of outcries this offseason for the Phillies to add to their offense, and they did that in a way.  They added some better bats to their bench in Jim Thome, Laynce Nix, and Ty Wigginton, but other then that the names are pretty familiar.  What Schmidt wants to do, with reinforcment from Thome, is get the hitters to reconsider their approach to everything.

“Can you change a guy’s approach? Yeah, you can get a guy to think about his role and profession. You can get him to think about being great at it and get him to understand it takes applying your mind more to your craft. You can get a guy to change the way he goes about his pre-game work.”

“You can get a guy to think more about his craft,” Schmidt said. “You need to come to the park and be darn sure you know who’s pitching tonight for starters, and I’ve heard stories that there have been occasions where guys might come and ask the hitting coach who’s pitching tonight.  I can’t even fathom that… It takes applying your mind more to your craft.”

Schmidt also said that he thinks he knows how Ryan Howard feels about being “That guy.”

“I’ve been in his shoes,” Schmidt said.  “He and I were the clean-up hitters, and the guy expected to come through, and the guy making the most money.  We probably get the most opportunities to make things happen, so we probably fail more then anybody, so the focus is probably on us.”

Schmidt isn’t trying to call anyone out, but he feels that this collection of guys has more then enough pop to get into the Postseason, and go all the way.  It’s just a matter of having the right mental approach, physical ability, and a little bit of luck.

It’ll be nice having two Hall of Famers in Schmidt, and Ryne Sandberg in camp for an extended period of time.

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Hamels is Back…

29 Aug

 … and I’m back, too. Vacation was grand, but it’s back to the grind.

Rain, Rain… GO AWAY!

This was kind of an abbreviated week for the Phillies with all the weather issues and schedule changes.  It’s going to make for a hell of a final month as the Phillies step into the final stretch of the season with no more off days, and 33 games in 31 days.

In those 31 days the Phillies will start with Cincinnati who is in the middle of a 4-game win streak.   Later they move on to face the N.L. Central leading Brewers in Milwaukee where the Brewers are an astonishing 50-16 this season.

What the Phillies need to do to come out on top is to exploit the weaker teams they will face this month in the Astros (3 games), Mets (3 games), Nationals ( 3 games) and Marlins ( 6 games).  But their best bet will be to play their best baseball against the Atlanta Braves with who they have six more games with.  There is no better way to distance yourself from your competetition then to beat them in head to head play.

The Phillies will finally be back at it tonight with Cole Hamels coming off the disabled list and takes the hill in Cincinnati against Homer Baily (7-5, 4.44 ERA).

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Hamels Says He’s “OK”

15 Jun

A hush went over the crowd when Cole Hamels walked off the field with assistant athletic trainer Mark Anderson.

Hamels had some tightness in his back that he attributes to the cold weather, but when asked if he would make his next start in Seattle Hamels said “Oh, yeah.”

“I want to go out and pitch as much as possible. I don’t ever want to come out of the game,” Hamels said. “But at the same time, sometimes there’s situations where you have some doubt and you’re better off not trying to force anything. I think that was kind of the situation with how long the game was. The temperature of my body just kind of went cold and I was stiffening up. To go out and try to pitch at your best when you’re stiff that obviously just an opportunity to put yourself in a bad situation and put yourself in an opportunity to get hurt. I want to be able to make every start and to be healthy. If there’s one little bump it’s not really a big deal.”

Sounds ok to me, because the Phillies can not afford to lose Hamels, who is really one a roll this year.  By all means, let’s err on the side of caution.

Until his departure Cole was being Cole, retiring 17 straight batters at one point.  Cole has been absolutely dominate this season.  Not as many strikeouts, but after allowing one run in the first, Hamels and the Phillies didn’t allow another run.  Throw away his first start of the season and Cole is 9-1 with a 1.99 ERA.  Hamels has really established himself as one of the best lefties in the game.

The Bags are Packed

3 Feb

philliesbatrack.jpgEveryone is counting down the days to Spring Training.  Who isn’t excited to see our boys take the field when pitchers and catchers report to the Carpenter Complex on February 13th?  I thought you all might get a kick out of what the 53 foot truck will be hauling down to Florida.  Maybe there is room for a few stowe-aways?

  • 15 cases of gum (regular and sugarless).
  • 12 cases of sunflower seeds.
  • 20 coolers and a half pallet of POWERade mix.
  • 250 batting practice tops (apparently they don’t do the laundry everyday)
  • 300 helmets.
  • 350 pairs of shorts.
  • 450 pairs of socks
  • 600 pairs of pants.
  • 600 hats.
  • 200 fleeces.
  • 1,200 bats.
  • 2,000 T-shirts.
  • 10,000 12 oz. cups.
  • 15,000 baseballs.
  • 150 pairs of batting gloves.

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