Have to say I was very surprised to hear that Charlie Manuel and Ruben Amaro Jr. chose to let go the Phillies 3rd base coach of the past 2 years, Steve Smith. The rest of the coaching staff will return. I am not sure why Smith has been singled out. I know he took some time to learn the position, but thought that overall this year, he did a good job. No word on a replacement yet.
On a personal note, I have spoken directly to Smith several times in the past two years and he was always full of knowledge about the game and eager to share his experiences on the field. He was an emotional guy with a big heart and I am very sad to hear that he will be going. I wish him the best of luck!
And for the football fans, I have also started a Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod! All Dol-Fans, and anyone else who wants to say hello is welcome!
Remember also to check out our homepage My Team Rivals and our Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Billy Penn Curse, Reinstate Pete Rose, Phillies Mets Rivalry, Phillies Marlins Rivalry, and Phillies Braves Rivalry pages!
Yesterday I attended the Phillies Baseball 101 for women which was an all-day clinic where we were given the opportunity to meet with and be coached by the entire Phillies staff. 125 women took the field in Pat Burrell’s territory to stretch out before beginning the day. Then, we split up into smaller groups to work with the coaches in each of four stations: hitting, base running, fielding and pitching.
Jimy Williams and Milt Thompson awaited us in the Phillies indoor batting cages where each lady received personal instruction and got to take 5 whacks at the ball off the same tee that Chase Utley uses every day. Steve Smith gave lessons on throwing and fielding and was also happy to answer any and all questions we had about any of the players, no matter how personal or ridiculous. Have to say, I could write an entire 5 pages on all I heard from Steve, but I feel almost impolite about spilling the beans on him… From the more specific reasons Shane got moved to right field to how badly he misses Aaron Rowand (as a friend…don’t worry he still loves our outfielders!)…Steve is a fun guy to talk to :o) So skipping the details, on to base running! Looking quite well for a man recovering from prostate cancer, Davey Lopes literally took us around the diamond and talked about the do’s and don’ts of base running and then we had free reign of the base path to go wild, if we so chose. And finally, in the bullpen, the always entertaining Rich Dubee showed everyone how to throw a pitch, explained the ever elusive balk rule and then each lady tossed a few pitches at Ramon Henderson and Mick Billmeyer, who were brave enough to go it without the face masks.
After all the on the field fun, we had tons of guest speakers! – Michael Barkann of Comcast Sportsnet, John Clark of NBC, Tom McCarthy (broadcaster), Susan Ingersoll Papaneri (Director, Baseball Administration), Jen Utley (yes, Chase’s wife!), one of the ball girls, Ruben Amaro Jr., and the BIG speaker of the day, Greg Dobbs who stood RIGHT in front of me! Whooo hooo! I took a lot of video and will be posting as much as I can on my You Tube page in the next few days and a few bits here. First, let’s begin with the NBC 10 special which I promised to post. Now, 5 ladies, myself included were chosen for the special and told we were to be interviewed and filmed hitting on the field. Well, we did hit, we were filmed, but they never did the interviews (except some other lady later on) and they cut all but one of the ladies out of the final special. Not sure what that was all about except that the guy doing the interviews was kind of a knucklehead. You’ll see in the film…he makes fun of Ryan Howard, Jamie Moyer and Mitch Williams all in the span of like 3 minutes. We were all booing him in the background but they managed to cut out that part too. Well, you do see me for like 2 seconds at the beginning standing in the dugout and for like 2 tenths of a second after the one girl bats she hands me the bat. But, that’s about it. Here’s the piece just for posterity:
Here is a slightly more interesting piece. You’ll hear me asking a question to Assistant GM Ruben Amaro Jr. about Chad Durbin. You can see the rest of the Q&A session on my You Tube page. Ruben was surprisingly open and candid and answered a lot of very good questions.
And here is the question I asked Greg Dobbs as I had the video camera practically shoved right up his adorable little nose. Which, of course, Scott Palmer just had to point out. :o) The rest of the Dobbs segment will also be on the You Tube page along with segments from the Jen Utley interview, Harry Kalas meet and greet and other bits from the days events as I slowly get them uploaded over the next day or so. Pictures should be done tomorrow and I will post an update when that is done. So, here is Greg…
And this just in, Cole Hamels pitches a COMPLETE GAME SHUT-OUT!!!!!! WHOOO HOOO!!!!!!!!! You gotta love that!!!!! That’s picking up your team when they SOOOOOOO need it! Go Phillies!!!!!!!!!!!