The Phils officially started spring training on Thursday, February 13, as pitchers and catchers arrived at Clearwater, followed this week by the rest of the squad, although a large number of players had been at Clearwater during the off-season, getting ready for the 2014 season, especially first baseman Ryan Howard, who has been trying to get back into playing shape.
On Friday, February 14, former ballplayer and ex-Phil manager Jim Fregosi passed away at age 71 from multiple strokes. Fregosi, who broke into major league baseball as a shortstop in September 1961, had an 18-year career playing for the Los Angeles/California Angels, the New York Mets, the Texas Ranger and the Pittsburgh Pirates. A six-time All-Star and a gold glove winner (1967), he would play in 1902 games, having a .265 career batting average (1726 for 6523) as he hit 264 2Bs, 78 3Bs and 151 HRs, knocking in 706 RBIs, while scoring 844 times. He would also walk 715 times. After retiring from baseball during the 1978 season, he would be hired as the manager of the team that he had begun his playing career, the Angels, starting a career that would end in 2000, during which he would be the manager of the Angels (1978-1981), the Chicago White Sox (1986-1988), the Philadelphia Phillies (1991-1996) and the Toronto Blue Jays (1999-2000), compiling a managerial record of 1028-1094 .484, as he managed a total of 2122 games. He would lead the Angels into the playoffs in 1979 as they won the American League West, but losing the AL Championship Series, 3-1, to the Orioles, and he would lead the Phils in 1993 to the World Series, before losing the series, 4-2, to the Blue Jays.
On the 16, the Phils finalized their one-year deal with A.J. Burnett, in which they would give the veteran pitcher $15 million dollars plus a $1 million buyout on a mutual option for 2015. Burnett also has a player option for $7.5 million if he exercises his option. With the buyout options and other incentives, Burnett could end up receiving a two-year contract worth $ 33.5 million. He also has a partial no-trade clause, in which he would have to sign off on any possible trade involving nine other teams. In order to make room for Burnett on their roster, the Phils placed left-handed reliever Joe Savery on waviers, awaiting reassignment. On Monday the 17, the A’s picked Savery off of waivers. Selected by the Phils in the first round of the draft back in 2007, Savery has pitched for the Phils for parts of three seasons (2011-2013), appearing in 41 games, with a 3-2 record and a 3.15 ERA, as he pitched in 47.2 innings, giving up 42 hits and 28 runs, 22 of which were earned, as he struck out 32 batters, while walking 19.
As spring training continues, former Phil Roy Holladay has come to camp as a special pitching instructor, offering advice to the team’s younger players. Hopefully they’ll listen to the future Hall of Famer.
For the third season in a row Phils’ centerfielder Shane Victorino has been awarded the Gold Glove Award, winning it for the third year in a row. He is the first Phil outfielder to do so since Garry Maddox won the award from 1975-82. This year, Victorino was tied for the league’s lead in outfield assists with eleven, while finishing fifth in fielding percentage (.995) and range factor per game (2.59). This year he would be the only Phil to win a Gold Glove. Congratulations on winning the award again, Shane.
Has just announced that they have elected Andre Dawson with 77.9 of the votes or 420 of the 539 ballots. Dawson, who spent 21 seasons (1976-1996) in the majors playing mainly both center and right field with the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals), the Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and Florida Marlins, batted .279 while amassing 2774 hits, 438 home runs and 1591 rbis, was an eight time all-star (1981-83, 1987-91), won the gold glove eight times (1980-85, 1987-8), won the silver slugger award four times (1980-81, 1983, 1987), won the National League MVP in 1987 and the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 1977. Dawson will be inducted into the Hall on July 25, along with manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey, who were both elected last month by the Veterans Committee.
Congratulations on finally getting into the Hall, Andre.
Kaat’s career a study in consistency
Lefty workhorse a Veterans Committee finalist at Baseball Hall of Fame
He was also one of the most effective pitchers of the last 50 years and now will be considered for the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.
Kaat, born on Nov. 7, 1938, played for the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins (1959-73), Chicago White Sox (1973-75), Philadelphia Phillies (1976-79), New York Yankees (1979-80) and St. Louis Cardinals (1980-83). A 6-foot-4 lefty with great athletic ability, Kaat pitched 25 seasons in the Majors and posted a 283-237 record with a 3.45 ERA and 2,461 strikeouts.
Kaat’s best season was in 1966, when he won a league-leading 25 games with 19 complete games, three shutouts, a 2.75 ERA and just 55 walks in more than 300 innings. The Sporting News named him American League Pitcher of the Year. His other top seasons were 1972, when he went 10-2 with a 2.07 ERA in a season shortened due to a broken hand, and 1974-75 with the White Sox, when he won 21 and 20 games.
A three-time All-Star (1962, ’66, ’75), Kaat also won 16 consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 1962 to ’77. He pitched in the postseason four times, winning a World Series ring with the Cardinals in 1982.
Kaat was the last original Washington Senators player to retire. Not only did Kaat log 200-plus innings 14 times (including 300-plus twice), but he had 180 complete games, including nine seasons with 10 or more.
Kaat will be considered for the Class of 2009 at the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee as part of the post-1942 ballot (players who began their careers in 1943 and after). The other members of the post-1942 Veterans Committee final ballot are Dick Allen, Gil Hodges, Tony Oliva, Al Oliver, Vada Pinson, Ron Santo, Luis Tiant, Joe Torre and Maury Wills. Any player receiving at least 75 percent of the vote from the Veterans Committee, which consists of the 64 living Hall of Famers, will be enshrined at the Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2009.
Results from the Veterans Committee vote will be announced Dec. 8 at baseball’s Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. (H/T National Baseball Hall of Fame.org)
As I said earlier, I hope he is elected in the Hall, and not just because he was part of the mid-70s Phillies’ team that won three straight NL Eastern Division pennants, but because he was a good pitcher he was a good pitcher who was also a good fielder. (Hey, he did win all of those Gold Glove Awards, remember?) Good, luck, Kaat, hope you get the call next month.
Originally post November 28, 2007 and edited from a longer post with some non-Phillies elements removed:
Okay, let’s begin….
I hated seeing the Phils get swept in the playoffs by the Rockies. I hated it even worst when they did the same things to the Diamondbacks. But, when I saw the Red Sox defeat the Indians the same way they defeated the New York Yankess back in 2004, coming from behind with a 3 games to 1 deficit, I had a feeling that somebody somewhere was rewinding the film and it was 2004 again, only this time it would be the Rockies playing the part of the NL champ that would be swept in four games by the boys from Beantown. And boy, was I right. The Rockies went down in flames losing to the BoSox 4 games to 0. Anyway, congrats Red Sox. Just please, do not become the 21st Century version of the Yankees..
M.V.P.!!! M.V.P.!!! M.V.P.!!! Need I say more? 🙂 Let’s see, Rollins now owns a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger and the M.V.P. for the year, while Aaron Rowland won a Gold Glove for his work in the outfield and Chase Utley won a second Silver Slugger at Second. Boy, that’s a lot of bling this year, isn’t it? ;p But, I agree with JayRoll. I rather have the World Series trophy. Pssst, message for the secret cabal running the Phils: Spend some money on real talent, you morons!!! This team have shown that it can win. Now go out there and get somebody who can get them into the World Series and win it, you idiots, and please, no more of those bargain basement crap players that you guys keep bringing us. I, and a lot of other Phillies fans want to see some Grade-A studs coming here. Is that too much to ask? Oh, and that would incude getting off your collective ***** and get Rowland resigned. Idiots!!!