January 2010

2010 Winter Tour Recap…

Welcome back to a special edition of “Philling You In”.success.jpg

Today’s edition will serve as a recap of what proved to be a great night for the Reading Phillies franchise, and of course, an outstanding night for Baseballtown charities.

Last night, the 2010 Phillies Winter Tour made its annual stop in Reading, and a great time was had by all in attendance. Jam-packed with awards, highlight videos, great food, auction items, merchandise, and an “A” Team of who’s who in the Phillies organization — the night was an overall success once again.

As part of the successful night, and thanks to the many in attendance, the event raised over $13,000 for Baseballtown charities.

For me, being a part of this event was something I had been excited about for awhile. Standing there with Charlie Manuel, Ruben Amaro, Benny Looper, Ricky Bottalico, Marty Bystrom, and Scott Palmer, was the feeling of a lifetime, and for the 500 plus people in attendance, the night was one they will never forget.

2010 King of Baseballtown Carl Mathias, who was a member of the 1957 Eastern League Champion Reading Indians, spoke to the crowd about his time in Reading. Mathias was very amusing, making the crowd laugh, and giving everyone a good feel for what baseball was like during the era in which he played.

Once it was the Phillies turn to take to the podium, Director of Public Affairs Scott Palmer took the mic for a Q & A session with the distinguished crew. In what proved to be a joyful part of the evening, Palmer’s questions to each of the members were what every fan in attendance really wanted to know.

In speaking with Amaro — Palmer asked him about dealing Cliff Lee, acquiring Roy Halladay, restocking the Phillies farm system, and his busy offseason, which included signing Placido Polanco, Dannys Baez, and the recent (earlier yesteday) Jose Contreras.

Amaro on Dannys Baez “… he give us some versatility, a little more depth and hopefully that will help improve our bullpen overall.”

Amaro on Philadelphia and its fans “…the fans have been extraordinary…once you win here, it becomes a very special place.” “…It makes our lives a lot easier to have the kind of support of our fans….”

In speaking with Manuel, Palmer asked him about his weight-loss, the 2010 squad, the acquisition of Placido Polanco, and his philosophies on the game of baseball.

Manuel on Polanco “…he handles the bat real well, plays situation baseball, moves the runners…”

Manuel on the team – “…we got the best attitude and best chemistry I have ever been on. Believe me, I have been in baseball 48 years, we have that kind of guys. We play the best we possibly can!

Manuel on Nutrisystem – “I thought to myself I can do that…I got on the program…some of the food was absolutely terrible…a lot of it was really good.” 

Advice from Manuel – “Win! “Winning takes care of everything, winning handles everything. You can learn a whole lot by winning.” 

To hear more from last night’s event
Check out http://www.readingphillies.com for my interviews with Marty Bystrom and Benny Looper
and videos with Ruben Amaro, Ricky Bottalico, and Marty Bystrom from last night’s event, which will continue to be released in the coming days…

January 18 – Opening Day in 80 Days!

Welcome back to another edition of “Philling You In”.80_eighty_red_alarm_clock_digital_number_postcard-p239096399388109575qibm_400.jpg

With just one week of football left before the Super Bowl, I am getting more and more excited for the thought of baseball coming back.

And, it feels even better now that the snow is gone, the Cowboys are out of the playoffs, and in just 80 days there will be a baseball game here at FirstEnergy Stadium — yep, just 80 days until Opening Day.

What a week for baseball too! Mark McGwire admitted to steroids, Jose Offerman threw another punch, and the New York Mets soap opera took center stage once again.

While those stories, as well as many other ones have been in the news, my focus, at least in this blog, will be more towards the news surrounding current and former R-Phillies.

Let’s take a look at this week’s blog — enjoy
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Brett Myers – 2001, 2008, & 2009 (R) – signed one-year contract with Houston Astros
Myers, 29, posted a 4-3 mark with a 4.84 ERA over 18 games with the Phillies last season. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Myers owns a career mark of 73-63 with a 4.40 ERA over eight Major League seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. While he spent most of last season recovering from surgery to repair a torn hip labrum, he did return to make eight relief appearances down the stretch — including two in the postseason.

Myers posted a 13-4 mark with a team-best 130 strikeouts and a 3.87 ERA on the 2001R-Phils Eastern League championship team. He started strong, posting a 20-inning scoreless streak in April and ended strong, winning his last six regular season decisions. Myers later returned to the R-Phils on rehab appearances in both the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

Jorge Padilla – 2002 & 2003signed Minor League contract with Toronto Bpadilla.jpglue Jays
Padilla, 30, hit .367 with four homers, 21 RBIs, and 14 stolen bases for Triple-A Syracuse in 2009. Those numbers earned Padilla his first-ever call to the Big Leagues, as the Nats promoted Padilla to replace the injured Austin Kearns. A native of Puerto Rico, Padilla appeared in 29 games with Washington, posting a .120 batting average (3-25). 

Originally selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the third round of the 1998 draft (74th overall), Padilla posted a .256 average with 7 homers, 65 RBIs, 32 stolen bases, and 71 runs scored in 2002 — his first of two straight seasons with the R-Phils. A year later, Padilla hit .295 with 2 homers and 23 RBIs in just 46 games. Over the course of 12 Minor League seasons, Padilla has posted a .289 career batting average.

Zack Segovia 2006-2008 signed a Minor League contract with the New York Yankees
Selected by the Phillies in the second round of the 2002 segovia.jpgdraft (58th overall), Segovia was ranked as the number ten prospect in the Phillies organization in 2003. He made his Major League debut with Philadelphia on April 8, 2007, appearing in one game (L, 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 2 K). The 27-year-old righty from Dallas, Texas, appeared in eight games with the Washington Nationals in 2009. Over that span, he posted a 1-0 mark with a 7.84 ERA, while finishing two games.

His best years, however, came with the Reading Phillies. In2006, Segovia posted an 11-5 mark with a 3.11 ERA over 17 games (16 games started). He returned in 2007 and went 5-3 with a 4.84 ERA over ten starts for the R-Phils. He last appeared in Baseballtown with the R-Phils in 2008, where he went 0-1 with a 14.40 ERA over just four games.

Brandon Duckworth – 2000 & 2003 (R) –
signed a Minor League duckworth.jpgcontract with Philadelphia
The 34-year-old Duckworth spent the past three seasons in the Kansas City Royals organization. In 2009, Duckworth made 19 starts (appeared in 20 games) for Omaha (AAA), and posted a 3-6 mark with a 5.31 ERA. He last appeared in the Bigs in 2008, and went 3-3 with a 4.50 ERA in seven starts for the Royals. Over eight Major League seasons, Duckworth has compiled a 23-34 mark with a 5.28 ERA over 511 innings pitched.

Originally signed as an undrafted free agent with the Phillies in 1997, Duckworth first appeared in Reading during the 2000 season. A native of Salt Lak City, UT, Duckworth enjoyed a solid campaign with the R-Phils in 2000, posting a 13-7 record with a 3.16 ERA over 27 games. The 6’2 righty fanned an impressive 178 batters over 165 innings pitched that season, helping the R-Phils to an 85-67 finish (1st place).  

John Suomi – 2008signed a Minor League contract with Philadelphiacard_john_suomi.jpg
Suomi spent the 2009 season in the Kansas City Royals organization, splitting time with NW Arkansas (AA) and Omaha (AAA). In 37 games with NW Arkansas,Suomi hit an impressive .311 with 7 homers and 19 RBIs. Over nine Minor League seasons, the Toronto, Ontario native has posted a .258 batting average with 42 homers and 316 RBIs. Originally selected by the Oakland A’s in the 22nd round of the 2000 draft (660th overall), Suomi has once called Reading home. 

In 2008, Suomi split time with both Reading and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, as the team’s catcher. With the R-Phils, Suomi posted a .236 average with 3 homers and 13 RBIs over 32 games played.