Category: Dailies

First Day of Spring Games…

Happy first day of spring games for Minor Leaguers!

Last week I found out that this blog has been ranked as one of the Top 50 MLB Pro blogs — can you tell I am still extremely happy about that? That’s my mug on the home page too. Check it out!

Today was an extremely busy day, and while we are exactly one month from Opening Night (April 14),
spring_169x169.pngit’s really starting to feel more like the season is here.

Alex, my Media/PR assistant has really been a big help. We are just about done creating our media guide — then we can move on to the Baseballtown Gazette.

Tuesday will serve as a good day to proof-read the media guide, since the press box will not have power all day! Combine that with the internet being down for the majority of today (Monday), and the pressure of being ready for Opening Day has hit.

Also today, WFMZ ran a story on the $10 Million Renovations during their 5:30 newscast. I think that went extremely well. Great coverage all offseason from WFMZ!

Okay, as for today’s games, check out my full recap here. Now let’s go beyond the recap, with some additional notes from today:

Triple-A squad:

Michael Spidale — Spidale, an Illinois native, who has spent parts of the past four seasons in Baseballtown, went 1-2 with a stolen base and RBI for the Triple-A squad today. Last season he was named the R-Phils MVP after hitting a solid .303 in 131 games.

Matt Rizzotti — Rizzotti, a memberrizzotti-and-bozied.jpg of the Phillies 40-man roster, went 1-3 with a stolen base. The New York native was reassigned to Minor League camp on Friday after hitting .265 with one home run and two RBIs in Major League camp this spring. A sixth round selection of the Phillies in the 2007 draft, Rizzotti, 25, hit a remarkable .361 with 16 home runs and 62 RBIs for the R-Phils in 2010.

Tagg Bozied — Bozied, who was also assigned to Minor League camp on Friday, shined for the Triple-A squad today. The South Dakota native launched a home run and finished Monday afternoon 2-4. Bozied hit 27 home runs and an Eastern League-best .315 last season as a member of the R-Phils.

Double-A squad:

Francisco Diaz — Diaz, who will celebrate his 21st birthday one week from today (March 21), went 2-3 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI for the Double-A Phils. Last season, the Venezualan native hit .307 in 29 games for the GCL Phillies.

Eric Pettis — Pettis tossed a scoreless inning in Monday’s opener. Last season, as a member of the Williamsport Crosscutters (A-), Pettis posted an impressive line. He went 8-0 with seven saves and a 1.37 ERA over 20 games.

Single-A squad:

Jeremy Barnes — Barnes homered and drove-in two runs today for the Single-A club, who beat the Toronto Blue Jays Single-A squad 6-2. An 11th round selection in the 2009 draft by Philadelphia, Barnes, 23, finished Monday’s contest a perfect 2-2 at the dish. Last season he posted a .292 batting average for Lakewood (A-) over 109 games.

Jim Murphy — Murphy, who spent the entire 2010 campaign in Clearwater (A+) with the Threshers, went 2-3 with a walk and two runs scored today. Murphy has appeared in two games for the Major League club this spring, but has yet to register a hit (0-5 with a run scored). In 397 at-bats for Clearwater last season, the Washington native hit .239 with 6 homers.

Roster Cuts and a Thank-You

As I began to sit downbaseball_thankyou_navy.jpg and write a new entry today, I found out some interesting news.

I just noticed that this blog was named as one of the Top 50 MLB Pro blogs. And, my photo is one of the ones featured on the home page. I am ecstatic! It’s really nice to know that there are people out there who enjoy the things I write here. Thanks to all the readers, I appreciate everything!

Before I start to take a look at the first round of Phillies cuts, I wanted to share with you one more interesting tidbit.

Yesterday, before leaving the office for the weekend, I had a chance to take a look at the $10 million renovations to FirstEnergy Stadium with my fellow employees. Each day, I am more impressed. And, when fans get into the ballpark on Thursday, April 14, they are going to be impressed as well. Things are really moving along nicely. I can’t wait for Opening Night!

Among the 16 cuts on Friday were non roster invitees Brian Bass, Eddie Bonine, Andrew Carpenter, Matt Feierabend, Michael Schwimer, Joel Naughton, Matt Miller, Tagg Bozied, and Robb Quinlan. Quinlan asked for his release and it was granted.

Seven 40-man roster players were also sent to Minor League camp on Friday. Those players were Justin De Fratus, Drew Naylor, J.C. Ramirez, Matt Rizzotti, Carlos Rivero, Harold Garcia, and Cesar Hernandez.

J.C. Ramirez – Ramirez, a native of Managua, ramirez_j.c._7-10-10_full_2.jpgNicaragua, posted a 3-4 mark with a 5.45 ERA for the R-Phils in 2010. Acquired in the Cliff Lee trade, along with Phillippe Aumont and Tyson Gillies, Ramirez will look to get back on track in 2011. He won his Reading debut and posted a 1-1 mark with a 3.81 ERA at home for the R-Phils. There’s a good possibility we will see J.C. in Reading this season.

Drew Naylor – Naylor posted a 12-10 mark naylor_drew_8-8-10_full.jpgwith a 4.63 ERA for the R-Phils in 2010. The Aussie native finished second in the Eastern League with three complete games, and was solid at home — posting 8 of his 12 wins at America’s Classic Ballpark. Naylor appeared in one game this spring for the Phils, and allowed just one hit and one walk over 1.1 innings pitched. He also fanned three batters.

Two more days until Phillies Minor Leaguers begin play. Check back here each day, as well as for all the latest spring news. There will be news and notes, as well as podcasts and more!  

Fat Tuesday, Spring Training, & More

fat_tuesday.gifHappy Fat Tuesday from Reading, PA!

Spring Training for Major League players is now in full-swing, and in less than one week (March 14), Philadelphia Phillies Minor Leaguers will get their turn, as games begin for the Single-A, Double-A, and Triple-A players.

Full Spring Training Schedule

Make sure to come back here all next week for the latest news out of Clearwater. Also, check out for all the latest news and notes as well. There will be recaps, photos, and more each day!

Today is not your ordinary Tuesday. Nope, it’s Fat Tuesday. And, while that doesn’t mean much to me anymore, it’s still a day to celebrate. And, there’s so much to celebrate!

1.) March 14 – Games for the Minor Leaguers begin

2.) More Announcements regarding the 2011 R-Phils season.

3.) Major Press Conference coming up in the near future — more on that later.

4.) Media Day and R-Phils face Lehigh Valley in 222 Showcase on April 5

5.) R-Phils open the season in Portland on April 7

6.) R-Phils Home Opener on Thursday, April 14 at America’s Classic Ballpark.

As you can see, there are many reasons to celebrate! Enjoy Fat Tuesday!  

March 1st — Feels Like Spring

spring-training-logo1.jpgWelcome back to the “Philling You In” blog — it’s March 1st, and we are getting closer to the 2011 season by the minute.

Spring is in the air, and I am back working in the R-Phils press box. After a long offseason in the temporary trailers, it’s back to the press box. And, while I really enjoyed my stay in the trailers, it’s nice to get back to my office.

I’m glad that I was able to work closely with everyone on this staff. It was great getting to know everyone better while working in the trailers. I’ll never forget the last few months! Special thanks to my roommate Todd Hunsicker — the piano tuning guy!

Also new this week, my intern, Alex, started yesterday, and so far, things are going along nicely. I’m looking forward to a great 2011 season. Things are really starting to fall into place.

There’s nothing like baseball season. It’s what I live for. And, in just a few days, Phillies minor leaguers will begin to play baseball, and, I’ll write something about each game.

Make sure to check back here for daily updates on players who you may see in Baseballtown this season. I’ll get daily reports from Clearwater, and I’ll share it with everyone right here, as well as on

Stay tuned for stats, game recaps, photos, and more each day. Ah yes, baseball will be back before you know it.

Who needs football anyway? A lockout is fine with me!

Golden Steagle…

Promotions are a big part of Minor League Baseball — especially here in Reading.
steagle_award.jpgEach year, we strive to bring our fans the best of the best. And, it’s always nice when you get noticed.

The 2010 season was a special one in Reading, and on Monday morning, the R-Phils receieved the Golden Steagle award in the mail from The R-Phils won Honorable Mention in the category of Best Contest or On-Field Promotion for their Veggie Race.

From the press release:

Cleveland, OH – For the tenth consecutive year industry website has announced its Best of Awards for 2010. Six categories were decided by a panel of industry experts and awarded for excellence and creativity in the field of game operations and presentation.

The Veggie Race at FirstEnergy Stadium has become quite the show. Each game, R-Phils interns and staff members compete against each other in full veggie suits. The competitive contest consists of Carrot, Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Lettuce, and each of those veggies race to the finish line. At the end of each race, “Eat More Vegetables” is usually shouted by R-Phils GM Scott Hunsicker.

The Veggie Race is a great way for the R-Phils to promote healthy food options. Vegetables are an important part of anyone’s diet, and the R-Phils Veggie Race brings that out in the open.

On two occassions in 2010, the R-Phils receieved national media attention. The first, which took place on Friday, April 23, centered around the appearance of Wrestling Royalty, Jerry “The King” Lawler. Lawler, who met fans and signed autographs throughout the evening, made an on-field appearance during the Veggie Race.

During the Veggie Race cauliflower clothes-lined.jpgthat day, things were going well for Cauliflower — but something happened. “The King”, who was hiding, ran out to the field and clothes-lined poor Cauliflower. The moment, which was caught by R-Phils team photographer Ralph Trout, served as one of the best photos in all of Minor League Baseball.

Ben Hill, MiLB writer and blogger, talked about it here:

The second of the national media attention occurred during an R-Phils game on Saturday, July 3. The veggie racers were racing around the field, and broccoli, who got off to a big lead, made his way into the seating area. Once he made his way into the stands, Broccoli took the microphone and made an announcement.

broccoli-proposal.gifBroccoli, who is played by R-Phils Client Relationship Manager Jon Muldowney, got down on his broccoli knee and proposed to his girlfriend Michelle. The scene, was one for the ages. ESPN, CNN, USA Today, and many others, picked up on the proposal, and before you knew it, the video was everywhere.

Here is the video, if you haven’t seen it already, on YouTube:

Also, just so we don’t forget about Lettuce, here is an interview — enjoy!

The R-Phils will continue to do big things in 2011. Promotions and On-Field events, will once again be taken to the next level. You never know what you will find at a Reading Phillies game. But, one thing is for certain — you will be amused each and every game!

Man’s Best Friend & Baseball…

The R-Phils are stepping things up a notch in many ways this season.

Here’s another example.

Last week, we released the Top “20” Promotions for the upcoming season, and number 5 on the list was the R-Phils three “Dog Days at the Park”.

Fans who love baseball, and who love dogs, will be able to combine their love for each on all three of these days. On April 15 — the second game of the season, fans can bring their pooch to the park and it will only cost them an extra $5 for a Dog Ticket.

Dogs who come out to the game will be welcomed in all areas of the ballpark, which is a first for the 2011 season. The R-Phils will also make it a “Dog Friendly Day’. Expect to hear some great “dog” songs playing throughout the stadium. I mean, who wouldn’t want to hear Atomic Dog by George Clinton?

Here is what was in the original press release…

“Dog Days at the Park”April 15, June 7, and August 10
Friday, April 15 is the first Dog Day at the Park, courtesy of the 830 AM WEEU, and 69 News Berks Edition, and all dogs in attendance will have the run of the park. While the R-Phils have had Dog Days in the past, this year’s Dog Days at the Park will be like no other. 2011 will mark the first time ever that all dogs will be welcome in all areas of FirstEnergy Stadium (dogs will need a special dog night ticket, but dogs are not limited to any one area of the ballpark).

The night will also serve as the first of two “Crazy About Reading” Night’s at the Ballpark, thanks to Renaissance Academy Charter School, with a free ticket for participants and an R-Phils player reading session from 6:00-6:30 p.m. Friday is also the first 4 for $49 Family Night of the 2011 season presented by Capital BlueCross. R-Phils fans can get four box seats, four hot dogs, and four sodas, for only $49. Also, Family Night features pre-game play catch on the field, free player autographs, and balloon art.

On Tuesday, June 7, the R-Phils will hold their second “Dog Day at the Park” of the season, courtesy of 830 AM WEEU and 69 News Berks Edition. The R-Phils will host the Trenton Thunder for a 7:05 p.m. contest, and all dogs will be welcome in all areas of America’s Classic Ballpark. The first 2000 adults will receive an R-Phils Flashlight, thanks to Willow Creek Veterinary.

Every Tuesday is also a special Genesis HealthCare Assisted Living R-Phils Senior Club game, and all R-Phils Senior Club members will receive $3 off their ticket, as well as enjoy a Poolside Chat with Baseballtown Historian Charlie Adams at 5:00 p.m., at the Reading Eagle Pool Picnic Area.

The third and final Dog Day at the Park” will be held on Wednesday August 10. Also on that day, the R-Phils will give out a “Mad Dog” Ryan Madson Dog

Love & Baseball…

Today is Valentine’s Day, and there’s is only one way to roses.jpgcelebrate — with baseball, chocolates, and roses!

In the midst of the $10 million renovations project, the R-Phils spread some love around Berks County today, and fans of all ages were excited!

Over the last few weeks, the R-Phils gave fans the chance to purchase something for their loved one, and, gave them the option to have either Screwball, or the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor deliver it.

Beginning at 8 a.m. this morning, the R-Phils loaded up their van and headed to residences, work places, and schools to make it a special Valentine’s Day. In all, the R-Phils headed out to 40 different places, and made 40 fans happier than ever before.

Most fans who recieved a gift today were extremely surprised. Each of them ranked it as the best Valentine’s Day gift they have ever received.

Spreading love around Berks County today was a lot of fun. I interviewd the first batch of people this morning, and you can find a video on our website

Today was a great way to get fans thinking about baseball season. With baseball getting started in Florida and Arizona today, the 2011 season is close. The weather warmed up today, and things are really starting to fall into place.

Baseball, as well as love, is in the air.

Prospect Handbook is Here…

Today was not just a regular Monday morningprospect handbook.jpg — nope. That’s because today, I received the Baseball America Prospect Handbook. And, while I have plenty of things to do today, I had to take a few minutes to sort through it — ehh study it.

Over the next few weeks, I WILL study it. I’ll memorize the top 10 prospects for every Eastern League affiliate — I might even study the Royals’ top 10, if I have enough time!

I always like to have an idea of what players we could potentially see in Baseballtown in 2011. This book definitely helps with that!

Below, you will find the Phillies top 30 prospects. Check back each week as I focus on a prospect or two right here in this blog. 

Phillies Top 30

1.) Domonic Brown — for the past three years, Brown has been the top prospect in the Phils organization. In 2010, he broke-out in a big way.

After hitting just 14 home runs combined in all of 2009, the power for the youngster, really developed in 2010. The 23-year-old hit .318 with 15 home runs and 47 RBIs in 65 games with the R-Phils last season. He then went on to hit an impressive .346-5-21 in 28 games with Lehigh Valley, before earning a promotion to the Bigs.

While he spent a bit in Philadelphia in 2010, now, with Jason Werth out of the organization (signed with the Nationals), there is a hole in the Phillies outfield, perhaps or Brown. 

Did the top prospect do enough in 2010 to earn himself a spot in Philly? That question has yet to be answered, especially with Ben Francisco, a more than capable right fielder, on the Phils roster.

With that being said, it should be an exciting Spring Training for Brown. My guess is that with his five-tool ability, we’ll be seeing Brown as an everyday right fielder in Philly, sooner, rather than later.

2.) Jonathan Singleton

3.) Brody Colvin

4.) Jarred Cosart

5.) Trevor May

6.) Sebastian Valle

7.) Jiwan James

8.) Jesse Biddle

9.) Domingo Santana

10.) Aaron Altherr

11.) Vance Worley

12.) Antonio Bastardo

13.) Scott Mathieson

14.) Phillippe Aumont

15.) Justin DeFratus

16.) Tyson Gillies

17.) J.C. Ramirez

18.) Jon Pettibone

19.) Cesar Hernandez

20.) Freddy Galvis

21.) Perci Garner

22.) Harold Garcia

23.) Josh Zeid

24.) Austin Hyatt

25.) Julio Rodriguez

26.) Matt Rizzotti

27.) Leandro Castro

28.) Kelly Dugan

29.) Kevin Walter

30.) Cameron Rupp   

2011 Phils Winter Banquet a Success!

The snow seems to be hitting Reading today, but last night, there was something else that hit Reading — the 2011 Phillies Winter Banquet.


The event, which raises money for Baseballtown Charities, was filled with fans eager to hear about their beloved Phillies. And, thanks to distinguished guests such as Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel, Hall-of-Famer Ryne Sandberg, Phillies Assistant GM Benny Looper, Phillies Assistant GM Scott Proefrock, TV voice Tom McCarthy, and 40-man roster member Matt Rizzotti, fans were able to leave with a great hope for the 2011 season.

As for media, well they flocked to the event as well. There were many stories to be told.

Check out some of the great coverage from last night’s event! Enjoy!

Media Coverage:

Rich Hofmann, Philly Daily News

Rich Scarcella, Reading Eagle

Brian Smith, Reading Eagle

Brian Smith, Reading Eagle,

Leroy Boyer, Pottsville Republican Herald

Jeff Schuler, Morning Call

Mandy Housenick, Morning Call,0,3619316.story

Mandy Housenick, Phillies Files Blog

Dennis Weller, Pottstown Mercury

Don Scott, Lebanon Daily News



Welcome to Baseballtown, Mark Parent…

It was quite the crowd. Parent-Presser_full2.jpgThe Crowne Plaza was quite the host. Those are just two things I heard after today’s press conference.

Earlier today, the R-Phils introduced new manager Mark Parent to Baseballtown. Parent, 49, begins his second season in the Philadelphia Phillies organization,
and will become the 24th manager in Reading Phillies history when he
takes the field in 2011.

Last year, as the first-year manager of Single-A
Lakewood, the Ashland, Oregon native led the BlueClaws to an 84-55
record and a South Atlantic League championship – the club’s second in
as many seasons.

Back in November of 2010, the Philadelphia Phillies announced that Parent would take over as the new manager of the R-Phils. Today, it was time to be introduced.

Before a crowd of about 50 people, which included political
dignitaries, Kings and a Queen of Baseballtown, R-Phils front office members,
and media members in attendance, Parent was introduced by Steve Noworyta, Philadelphia Phillies Assistant Director of Minor League Operations, at the Crowne Plaza Reading Hotel.

Everyone in attendance wanted to know about the new skipper in Baseballtown. And, they wanted to know just what to expect in 2011.

Parent-Presser-_full.jpgThe new manager got right to it. Right away, he talked about wanting to win.

“For me, when I’m working with young players, I want people who are athletic, energetic, and want to win,” said the new R-Phils skipper. 

The former Major League catcher added, “I want to develop people, but I want them to want to win. Everyday you go out there, you gotta try to win a ballgame.”  

And now, with some great young prospects in the organization — winning games in Baseballtown may not be far away.

“Hopefully, with the young players that I had last year, and the young players that were in Clearwater, and some of the good players — the prospects, that were here last year in Reading, we’ll have a pretty good club out on the field this year,” said Parent.

He later noted, “My guys will know I am here for them. I want them to get better, I want them to have all the success in the world. I managed in two other cities, other than Lakewood, I managed in Lancaster, Cal. and Chico in the Golden League, and we won everywhere — so I expect to win.”  

It was an honor and a privilege to finally meet our new manager. I, as well as everyone in Baseballtown, are looking forward to a great season.

The 2011 campaign is shaping up to be one of the best yet. With the $10 million renovations project in full-swing, and a manager dedicated to winning, the R-Phils are committed to giving their fans a great product this season. And, as Mark said earlier today, the Phillies organization is truly an honor to be a part of.

“Being with the Phillies organization, as a player, and now as an
instructor/manager, it’s been quite an honor, it’s been quite a ride,
from Dave Montgomery down. It’s full of people who are in it for one
reason, and one reason only — to win ballgames,” said Parent.

Mark Parent Press Conference Video