Exactly how I like my Charlie Manuel... slumped in a chair, sunglasses on, with what could possibly be an empty beer can under his chair, fist bumping Jim Thome.
Those of you who emailed me with Hector Luna as the first Phillies player to hit a Homerun this season will receive a free DroppedStrikeThree.com T-shirt! (no one emailed, and those shirts don't exist). The Phillies won today's exhibition game in Clearwater this afternoon against the Florida State Seminoles with a score of 6-1. Not much worth commenting on other than the fact that Juan Pierre led off the game with an incredibly uncharacteristic strikeout and Domonic Brown took a ball off the hand he injured last year. For two guys that need a lot of things to go their way to earn a spot on the team, this probably wasn't the start they were hoping for. Pierre was an interesting get mostly because he's a contact hitter who rarely ever strikes out. He'll be competing with a near mirror image of himself in Scott Podsednik for a 5th OF spot and a likely frequent pinch running gig. A healthy Podsednik has a leg up due to his 2010 success, though last year he battled through multiple injuries. Keep an eye out for this one. Brown, on the other hand, practically needs to have a flawless spring and while he did steal a base in that same inning, the HBP just gives management one more thing to point at should he struggle for a few brief moments this spring. His only real chance lies with an injury to either of the two mentioned above or Laynce Nix. The real Grapefruit League action begins in two more days with a Saturday afternoon game against the Yankees. Anything to get this image off my Yahoo home page:
Another fantasy baseball freebie here for you from the folks at ClubhouseGM.com. Check out their 35 page draft kit, as well as their player rankings and tier projections. I find you can never have too many opinions when it comes to fantasy.
Mike Stanton is now Giancarlo Cruz Michael Stanton... add this one to the list of name changes this season.
Poor David Wright... stuck on a team that dumped 50% of its salary and just about every asset they have to fend off the bill collectors. Now, to top it all off, he has to wear orange and blue shirts with the Underdog logo on the front. As if they weren't already the punchline of just about every joke in baseball, now they've chosen to promote their struggles. This isn't a team that has struggled to attract free agents or sustained years of reduced payroll. This is a team that was has been auctioned off over the past year because the Wilpons are desperate to maintain ownership of the team. It's going to take a team full of superhero dogs to save the Mets. Sorry, David Wright... there is very much a "need to fear."
The Cure Baseball is a pretty non-profit organization with the goal of raising money for cancer research groups and families affected by cancer through the game of baseball. They are raising money to support a traveling summer baseball team that will in turn use every summer game to act as a fundraiser. I think it's a pretty cool outreach that all baseball fans could get behind. How do you support from Philadelphia? Well donate, or buy some merchandise!