The pitchers are throwing, the catchers are catching and many of the position players have reported early.
It is not a surprise the three top candidates to replace Jayson Werth in right field — Ben Francisco, Domonic Brown and John Mayberry Jr. — arrived early. It is notable Jimmy Rollins arrived early because he typically does not check in until the official report date for position players. Haven’t spoken to Rollins yet, but people seem to think he is in excellent shape heading into Spring Training. That is good news for him and the Phillies, who could use his production atop the lineup.
But let’s take a break from camp to talk about the Phillies’ Wall of Fame. The Phillies yesterday announced 12 players on this year’s ballot: Curt Schilling, Mike Lieberthal, Larry Christenson, Lenny Dykstra, Jim Fregosi, Greg Gross, Jim Konstanty, Von Hayes, John Kruk, Ron Reed, Jimmie Wilson and Rick Wise.
Fans can vote at phillies.com. Players receive five points for a first-place vote, three points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote. The top three finishers are put on the final ballot, which is handed to the Wall of Fame selection committe. Not that you asked, but here is my ballot:
My reasoning is simple: Konstanty earned NL MVP honors in 1950 and helped the Phillies win their first pennant since 1915. He went 16-7 with a 2.66 ERA in 1950 as a relief pitcher. And then after pitching in relief the entire season he started Game 1 of the World Series against the New York Yankees. He allowed four hits and one run in eight innings in a 1-0 loss. He did his job. The offense didn’t. Konstanty, who died in 1976, really only had one great season, but his accomplishments with the Whiz Kids measures up to some of the other people on this ballot. I think he deserves a spot on the Wall of Fame, so I’m pushing him because fans naturally lean toward the players they’re most familiar with — players from the 1980 and 1993 teams.
So then why Schilling and Dykstra? Because if Konstanty doesn’t get enough votes to make the Wall of Fame, I want to be entertained at Citizens Bank Park during the induction ceremony. And I think Schilling and Dykstra would provide the greatest entertainment. Need I say more?