Rosters Released and Player Releases

It looks like the rosters have been released for all the Phillies minor league teams. Here’s the links:

Lakewood BlueClaws

Clearwater Threshers NOTE: as of publication time they have NOT updated the roster on their website

Reading Fightin’ Phils

Lehigh Valley IronPigs

And finally, according to Baseball America, the following players were released:
RHP Zach Cooper, RHP Colby Shreve, RHP Mike Stutes, LHP Kyler Burke, LHP Nick Hernandez, C Justin Dalles, C Josh Ludy, C Bob Stumpo, 2B Sam Dove, 2B Jim Negrych, 3B Logan Pierce, SS Ronny Cedeno, OF Bobby Abreu

So there you have it.

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Rainy Days Always get me Down

It was a stormy day, thunder storm warnings and tornado warnings. Needless to say, Ross and I decided to stay home.

It gave me a chance to organize the autographs I’ve collected this spring:

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I can’t even begin to decipher all the names but I can tell you that the following players are on there, somewhere: Bobby Abreu, Domonic brown, Phillipe Aumont, Justin DeFratus, Cody Asche, Tony Gwynn Jr, Ruben Amaro Jr, Darin Ruf, Wil Nieves, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Maikel Franco, Kevin Frandsen, Kenny Giles,
Kelly Dugan, Aaron Altherr, Marlon Byrd, Ben Revere…I think.

I also got quite a few balls signed:

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I was also fortunate enough to be given a bat, my FIRST bat! It was Freddy Galvis’!

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I think this was my best season for autographs!

Rain couldn’t dampen our fun

We were lucky when we got out tickets for the game, prime autograph seats.

My program is nearly full.

Talked to new catcher Wil Nieves, he’s a really great guy. He took time to talk to fans and signed a lot.

The best thing to happen was that as it began to sprinkle, Bobby Abreu and Domonic Brown were signing near us. Abreu signed and brown was right behind him. Just as he got to me it started to pour, those huge drops, I pulled the plastic cover back on my program and Brown signed it and pulled the plastic back up before turning and running for cover.

The game was fun as well even if we didn’t win.

Here’s a few shots I took.

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And the best mascot in baseball was there!

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One of BEST days…

One of the best things about spring training is the “thrill of the chase”, and I’m not talking Chase Utley! The thrill of the chase is deciding what guy’s autographs you need, finding out what fields they’re on, and praying you time everything right so that you can grab their autograph.

It’s not always easy. I got Jonathan Papelbon the first day, I was in the right place at the right time, that one was easy. Then again, it took me seven years to get Jimmy Rollins autograph! The key is never giving up. You just got to keep trying. One day sometime you’ll likely time at all just so, and get that autograph.

Then there was this little boy, he had been trying for days to get Chase Utley’s autograph. It was the last day of his vacation and he was desperate. So when we were standing off to the side just the two of us, I told the little fella to say, “Mr. Utley, will you please sign my ball?” As the boy leaned over the fence, he called to Utley as I instructed, (and with me pointing frantically to the little guy) Chase stopped and signed. The kid was grinning from ear to ear! It made his trip!

That’s the way it was for me, too, may be the autograph Gods smiled on me for helping the little guy because I finally got Bobby Abreu. For five days I followed him around like a puppy dog not obviously of course, but kept tabs on where he was practicing, in the hopes of catching him in a signing mood. Today I got him between two of the fields between his practice sessions. I said, “Bobby would you sign my ball, pretty please with sugar on top?” So when he signed my ball, he signed it “To Sugar, Bobby Abreu”

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I thought that was pretty cool. No player has ever personalized anything to me before. It really kind of made my day. But my day only got better from there.

I’ve been recognized as Baseball Betsy before, but today was a first for me. This kind gentleman, whom I met before, actually asked for my autograph! It blew me away that he liked me so much that he would have me sign a ball. I never in my wildest dreams, when I started this blog, thought that anyone would want my autograph. So I signed the ball and took a picture of the two of us. It really made today a special day!

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Tomorrow’s practice is an abbreviated one as the Phillies have their annual golf outing.

Spring training day five – old and new

As I think about today, I realize there’s two things on my mind, the old and the new. The old? Players like Abreu and Rollins even Howard and Utley. I’m also thinking of the young.

I was able to get Chase Utley’s autograph today. And seeing him up close I realize that in my mind, I still see him as a 25-year-old, even though that’s not true. I see Abreu and for some reason he does seem like he’s been a player forever.

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It’s almost like what’s old is new. Baseball is a cycle. A player starts, he rises and comes down if you’re lucky you get to see him the whole way through. Like Abreu. He was my mother-in-law’s favorite player. Even when she was at the end of her life, she always wanted to see Abreu play. She’s been gone now, for several years and now her Bobby Abreu is back and it’s sort of bittersweet for me.

And I think of the new, not only like Cody Asche and Darren Ruf but also of some younger guys in the farm system.

Some of the players from the lower levels have started to trickle into camp. I’ve seen Carlos Alonzo, Steve Susdorf,Hoby Milner, Perci Garner and many others. And I’ve also seen some of last year’s Gulf Coast League Phillies trickle into camp.

One of those boys, Rivar Anguilo, made my day today. Sometimes, when you go to the rookie league games. There’s only three or four spectators. If you are one of the people who goes all the time the players get to know you and you get to know them. Last summer, I got to know quite a few of these younger players. Rivar was one of those guys. I made cookies for the boys last summer, I only did it two or three times, but I guess Rivar remembered. When he came into camp today and saw me standing there, his face lit up, it was a huge smile! He came right over and not only did he shake my hand strongly, he gave me a great big kiss on the cheek!

I think that made my weekend! Just to know that little bit of kindness meant so much to someone that six months later they are that happy to see you. People sometimes ask me why I like the lower levels of baseball and this is one reason why. Just a few minutes out of my week to make some cookies for some boys and it must have made an impression.

Just another reason to love baseball.

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Thinking about things-Day 4

It’s been four days since pitchers and catchers officially reported to camp. Newly signed pitcher AJ Burnett held a press conference and is in camp. Today was also the day when the last two remaining position players reported. Historically, Jimmy Rollins has been one of the last, but this year he was joined by returning Phillie Bobby Abreu.

Bobby Abreu was greeted warmly by fans as he walked to the clubhouse after taking batting practice. He returned the favor with a nice tip of his cap.

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I almost felt like I was in a time warp. What’s old is new again.

Cole Hamels participated in pitching drills again today.

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Another thing I like to see is that pitcher Jesse Biddle wears high socks. Last year ended the long standing tradition of rookies having to wear high socks and most of the younger players immediately adopted the long pants. The other reason I like him in long socks is that it makes him easy to pick out at a distance.

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Every once in a while, while watching everyone go about their business, you catch a moment, a fleeting glimpse that gives a little peek inside them. Sometimes my favorite pictures are these some of these.

I took one this morning, it’s Cody Asche leaning on the batting cage with a pensive look.

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