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Archive for the ‘2014 Spring Training’ Category

PostHeaderIcon The Phillies, Ben Wetzler and the NCAA investigation

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Ben Wetzler, an Oregon State pitcher drafted by the Phillies in the 5th round of the 2013 MLB Draft, was suspended 20 percent of the college season for violating NCAA policy of having representation prior to the draft. The Phillies turned Wetzler and 6th round pick Jason Monda into the NCAA in November. (AP Photo)

Ben Wetzler, an Oregon State pitcher drafted by the Phillies in the 5th round of the 2013 MLB Draft, was suspended 20 percent of the college season for violating NCAA policy of having representation prior to the draft. The Phillies turned Wetzler and 6th round pick Jason Monda into the NCAA in November. (AP Photo)

In hindsight, the Phillies probably didn’t do anything wrong. It just feels that way. And the cowardly way they handled the backlash is what will get them in far more trouble than the actual act itself.

The story: two draft picks of the Phillies in 2013 basically changed their minds. They decided to return to school instead of signing with the Phillies and taking the sizable monetary bonuses that come with it.

Ben Wetzler, the Phillies 5th-round draft pick, and Jason Monda, the team’s 6th-round pick, both declined signing with the Phillies to return to school and play in the NCAA for another season. The Phillies, who were in negotiations with both players, subsequently turned in both athletes for using financial advisors in the negotiation process, a violation of NCAA policy. Wetzler has been suspended for 20 percent of the Oregon State season as a result. Monda was just cleared to play a week ago after the Phillies tried a similar method. Read the rest of this entry »

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PostHeaderIcon Sounds of Spring: Highlights of Phillies spring training

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Ryan Howard believes he can still hit 40 home runs in a single season, if fully healthy. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Ryan Howard believes he can still hit 40 home runs in a single season, if fully healthy. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

It has already been a busy week or so at Phillies spring training. Obviously, the Phillies made a splash by signing A.J. Burnett on the same day that pitchers and catchers reported to Clearwater. But many things have happened since the start of spring training worth noting.

It has been a little while since I’ve been able to write about some of the issues. So here’s a brief rundown on some of the news items with my thoughts below. Read the rest of this entry »

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PostHeaderIcon Papelbon speaks out on clubhouse attitude, leadership

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Jonathan Papelbon said on Monday that he is ready to be a positive influence on the Phillies clubhouse. (AP Photo)

Jonathan Papelbon said on Monday that he is ready to be a positive influence on the Phillies clubhouse. (AP Photo)

Jonathan Papelbon will always be the outspoken member of the Phillies teams in decline. As the team failed through the middle of the season, Papelbon started to struggle on a regular basis. And finally, when the Phillies looked as incompetent as possible, Papelbon snapped.

Papelbon’s now famous quote – “I definitely didn’t come here for this.” – stood out as one of the important moments in the season.

So when Cole Hamels said during the offseason that there was a lack of leadership in the clubhouse last season, it certainly appeared that fingers were being pointed. Somebody wasn’t being a team guy. It was easy to assume that person was Papelbon.

On Monday, Papelbon addressed the media for the first time this spring. His comments started about clubhouse leadership and being a leader to the team. Read the rest of this entry »

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PostHeaderIcon Burnett deal official, right-hander arrives in Phillies camp

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Newest Phillie A.J. Burnett joined the team in Clearwater on Sunday and was introduced at a press conference. (David Maialetti/Philadelphia Daily News)

Newest Phillie A.J. Burnett joined the team in Clearwater on Sunday and was introduced at a press conference. (David Maialetti/Philadelphia Daily News)

The newest member of the Phillies, pitcher A.J. Burnett, arrived in Clearwater on Sunday and reported to Phillies camp for the first time. His one-year, $16 million contract was finalized on Sunday morning.

The deal also includes a mutual option for $15 million in 2015 and also a limited no-trade clause. Burnett also has a player option for $7.5 million if the Phillies choose to decline the mutual option.

On Sunday afternoon, Burnett was introduced alongside GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and manager Ryne Sandberg. Read the rest of this entry »

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PostHeaderIcon Former Phillies manager Fregosi dies at 71

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Jim Fregosi managed the 1993 Phillies to the NL Pennant. The 1993 Phillies lost to the Toronto Blue Jays in six games in the World Series. (Ed Reinke/AP File Photo)

Jim Fregosi managed the 1993 Phillies to the NL Pennant. The 1993 Phillies lost to the Toronto Blue Jays in six games in the World Series. (Ed Reinke/AP File Photo)

An iconic leader in Phillies history is gone.

Manager Jim Fregosi, who led the 1993 Phillies to the World Series, suffered a stroke last weekend while on a Major League Baseball alumni cruise. He was hospitalized in the Cayman Islands after being stabilized.

Word of Fregosi’s condition reached the world of baseball earlier this week. On Thursday, Fergosi was taken off life support after multiple strokes and passed away early Friday at the age of 71. Read the rest of this entry »

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