Results tagged ‘ Mike Schmidt ’

Rollins Ties Whitey

Jimmy RollinsJimmy Rollins said Sunday his pursuit of the franchise’s all-time hits record isn’t going fast enough.

But he seems to be on a pretty good pace. Just a few days after he passed Ed Delahanty for sole possession of third place on the Phillies’ hit list, he picked up two hits last night at Marlins Park to tie Richie Ashburn for second place with 2,217 hits. The hit that tied “Whitey” came on a single to right field in the fifth inning.

Rollins needs just 17 more hits to tie Mike Schmidt‘s mark of 2,234 hits.

Schmidt Won’t Be in Camp this Spring

Mike Schmidt, Charlie ManuelThe Phillies are bringing several former players to Spring Training next month as guest instructors, but they will be without Mike Schmidt in Clearwater, Fla., for the first time in more than a decade.

The Phillies announced today that five former Phillies will be in camp: Roy Halladay, who retired in December; Brad Lidge, who recorded the final out of the 2008 World Series; Gary Matthews, the former TV broadcaster and outfielder for the 1983 National League championship team; Larry Andersen, the current radio broadcaster and pitcher for the 1983 and 1993 NL championship teams; and Dave Hollins, the current scout and former third baseman for the 1993 team.

Schmidt had been in Clearwater every year since 2002, mostly as a guest instructor.

“Mike is treating a health issue that requires him to remain near his doctors, and he will be unable to attend Spring Training as a field instructor this year,” a Phillies spokesman said in a statement. “Mike plans to visit camp in the middle of March as part of his marketing relationship with the Phillies and continue his normal visits to Philadelphia throughout the summer.”

It seemed a certainty Halladay would be in camp, based on what he said in December at the Winter Meetings.

“Baseball has been so great to me,” he said. “My goal is to try and leave baseball better than what I found it, and I’ve tried to do that in my career. I’ve tried to be respectful to the game and do things the right way. I’ve tried to do that to the best of my ability, and moving forward, I’d like to do the same.”

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg extended an open invitation to Halladay at that time.

Lidge and Andersen will be able to offer advice and perspective to the organization’s young relievers, who need to step up this season to give the team a chance to win. Andersen has been interested in coaching again after working as pitching coach with Double-A Reading (1995-96) and Triple-A Scranton (1997).

“It’s my passion, working with guys in the bullpen,” he said. “It’s all about making the team better. That’s the bottom line.”

Matthews has coaching experience, serving as hitting coach for the Blue Jays, Brewers and Cubs. Hollins served as a hitting coach in the Mets organization from 2004-05.

Schmidt on Howard, Ruf and Brown

Mike Schmidt, Charlie ManuelMike Schmidt is in camp through March 20 as a special instructor. He spoke for about 25 minutes this morning at Bright House Field, touching on a variety of topics. Here are a few higlights:

On new third baseman Michael Young. “Golly, I was talking to (Phillies president) David Montgomery about him 10 minutes ago. What a lot of people don’t realize and I haven’t heard it, Michael Young could retire tomorrow and he would be a strong candidate for the Hall of Fame. He’s probably two Michael Young years away from being a first ballot Hall of Famer. I don’t know if anybody has thought about that. I don’t know what his career hitting numbers are, but he’s a little like Derek Jeter, is he not? He’s that kind of player and he’s had that kind of career. Obviously it’s not playing in New York, but if he played in New York, imagine what people would be saying about Michael Young’s career? Somebody would have mentioned the Hall of Fame a long time ago.”

On connecting with Ryan Howard early in camp. “I’ve got to tell you right out of the chute, Ryan Howard to me is very interested in my input in his hitting. To me that makes me really feel good. We’ve chatted over the years about hitting. I’ve always been a Ryan Howard fan, but he’s picking my brain a little bit more. He looks good. He’s thin. He’s doing some of the things we talk about. It’s not going in one ear and out the other. He’s taking it all in. I’m only in my second day here and I’m really excited. I feel like I’ve made more strides in my temporary coaching role than I ever had to this point. Of course we’ll see in a couple weeks how it all works out as they get game at-bats.”

On how he can help Howard the most. “He’s stuck in a game situation against the best pitcher, one of the best left-handers in the league, probably 60-70 times more than other any hitter in the league. He probably creates 20 jobs in the Major Leagues. There’s 20 left-handers that wouldn’t be in the Major Leagues if Ryan Howard weren’t in the major leagues, right? I guess what we’re kind of working on is a mindset that may allow him to become a little stronger in those at-bats. A little more contact. He’s still going to strikeout. I’m in the top 10 all time in strikeouts so I’m pretty comfortable with striking out. But I think he needs to and we were talking about ways where we might get him to be a little less strikeout prone in those kind of (Jonny) Venters at-bats, against Atlanta late in the game, when you get that nasty left-hander to get him out. We need contact in this at-bat. I don’t care if it’s a grounder to second or a chopper up the middle. Even if it’s on the first pitch or second pitch. Less foul balls and two-strike vulnerability in those at-bats. He has bought into the discussion 100 percent.”

On Darin Ruf. “At this point I’m a big fan. I chatted with him really quickly, told him, ‘Congratulations on your great start with the Phillies in the Major Leagues.’ I think he opened a lot of eyes when he came up. I don’t want to speak out of turn, but I would guess they want him to play … I just like him. He’s a great young kid. He has no fear as a hitter against tough right-handers. You see that sometimes. He can give you a hell of an at-bat against a nasty right-handed pitcher. He’s very mature for 26. I wouldn’t discount him being your Opening Day starter (in left field). Let’s wait and see. He has everything you need to win that job.”

On Domonic Brown. “From a hitting standpoint, even now he might be ahead of where I was at that time, a little better idea of hitting. I couldn’t hit a ball to the opposite field to save my butt back then. I couldn’t hit a curve ball, I couldn’t hit a slider. But I sure could hit a long home run down the left-field line and play third base. I was afforded the time to make adjustments and sort of become an everyday, consistent Major League hitter. He doesn’t have that luxury. He has Darin Ruf hounding him … he’s got like six guys who want his position. For him to get that guarantee of, ‘You’re our left fielder, you’re getting 500 at-bats’ is very, very hard. … It’s about time that Domonic does the things that everyone thinks he can do. And not do them over a day, but does them over a month, then two months. And that’s when he gets his name inserted in the lineup every day.”

Rollins Wins Fourth Gold Glove

Jimmy Rollins has been one of the best shortstops in baseball for years.

He got a little hardware today to prove it.

Rollins won his fourth National League Gold Glove Award. He previously won in 2007, ’08 and ’09 to rank third in franchise history with four Gold Gloves. Only Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt (10) and centerfielder Garry Maddox (eight) have won more.

Rollins’ career .983 fielding percentage ranks third in baseball history behind Troy Tulowitzki (.985) and Omar Vizquel (.984). His .978 fielding percentage this season led the league. He committed just 13 errors in 594 chances.

Good year, right?

“Good and average,” Rollins said by telephone tonight. “I felt I did a lot of things good. I scored 100 runs, which is something I wanted to do. I stole 30 bags. Those are just benchmarks I have to reach every year. Obviously, winning the Gold Glove is just an affirmation to the work I do every day at shortstop. But obviously I would like to hit .300 and score 150 runs. There’s always room (for improvement) … every athlete, no matter how good a season they have, there’s always room. When you have a season where you did good in some places and some places you could do better, it just leaves a lot more out there to continue to work for.”

Carlos Ruiz lost to Yadier Molina for the NL Gold Glove for catchers.

Rollins Passes Bowa, Talks 3,000 Hits

Is this a big deal to Jimmy Rollins?

Meh.

Rollins is scheduled to play his 1,731st game at shortstop for the Phillies tonight at Marlins Park, which will pass Larry Bowa (1,730) for the franchise record. Rollins has played 1,748 games for the Phillies overall, which is third-most in franchise history. Only Mike Schmidt (2,404) and Richie Ashburn (1,794) have played more.

“It’s something that wasn’t on my radar,” Rollins said before the game against the Marlins. “Most games played by a shortstop? Obviously they keep stats for everything, but that definitely wasn’t one I paid attention to. When I’m done (playing baseball) I’ll probably think about it.”

Rollins and Bowa have maintained a close relationship over the years. Bowa managed Rollins from 2000-03 and they have remained in contact since, exchanging text messages during the season and even in the offseason. Both men share a bond as Phillies legends that played the same position. They also know how to talk a little trash. A favorite is the time in 2004 when Rollins noticed Bowa strutting through the clubhouse and Rollins told Bowa he should drag his back foot a little more.

“Pimp that walk,” Rollins said.

“Why don’t you drag that back foot across home plate every once in a while?” Bowa countered.

Rollins laughed.

For a long time Bowa said Rollins had a ways to go before he could be considered the greatest shortstop in Phillies history.

Bowa came around a few years ago.

“I wasn’t a great player. I was a good player,” Bowa said in 2008. “Jimmy is a great player. Yeah, I think he’s a great player.”

Asked what motivates him these days, Rollins said, “I want to work.”

He said he still would like to be remembered as one of the best shortstops to play the game, but he needs to pile up more numbers to enter that conversation. Rollins needs 22 hits to reach 2,000 for his career. He needs 213 hits to catch Bowa, which Rollins said has been a goal.

Rollins should accomplish both those feats, but what comes after that? How about 3,000 hits? It is not impossible, although it is a long shot. Rollins is on pace for 157 hits this season. He has averaged 157.8 hits per season the previous three seasons in which he has had 600 or more plate appearances, while also figuring in this season’s current pace.

If Rollins stays healthy, stays on the field and maintains that 157-hit pace he could reach 3,000 hits in 2019 when he is 40.

“Is it possible? Yeah,” Rollins said. “If I play every day and bang out. It depends how long you play. If you’re around long enough anything is possible.”

Is it motivation for him?

“Two thousand is right now,” he said. “Let me get there first.”

Photo Day

It was photo day at Bright House Field, which had players running from station to station for photographs for various publications and uses. Mike Schmidt happened to be taking his photos, when Jim Thome passed by and asked if he could take a photo with the Hall of Fame third baseman. At about that moment Ryne Sandberg walked past and hopped in for a shot.

That’s two Hall of Famers and one future Hall of Famer.

Unfortunately, I can’t find that photo, but I’ll look for it. Here’s Schmidt and Thome, though.

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!

Schmidt Shares Skepticism on Braun

Ryan Braun’s successful appeal of a 50-game suspension for using a performance enhancing substance raised more than a few eyebrows in the baseball world, even if most players are remaining quiet on the topic.

But Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt shared his skepticism Monday at Bright House Field.

“Good lawyering,” he said of Braun’s successful appeal. “I don’t know that innocence or guilt has been established at this point in time. I surely would like to believe in innocence because Ryan Braun is a good kid from my perspective. We worked together in the World Baseball Classic and I got to know him. I surely hope that everything he says about it not being true is the truth. But just the fact that he was exonerated does not mean that they’ve gotten to the truth, unfortunately.”

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!

Howard Hits His Mark

Got some Ryan Howard tidbits for y’all:

  • He hit his 10th career grand slam in a 10-3 victory tonight over the Mets.
  • He hit a two-run homer, too. It was the 26th multi-homer game of his career.
  • The grand slam was the 259th homer of his career, which ties Del Ennis on the franchise’s all-time list. Howard needs to hit 289 homers to catch Mike Schmidt. Oh, is that all?
  • Howard set a franchise record with 27 RBIs in April. Pat Burrell had the previous record with 24 RBIs in April 2008.
  • Howard had six RBIs. It’s the fourth time in his career he has had six or more RBIs in a game. He had a career-high seven on June 20, 2006, against the Yankees.

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State of the Schmidt

schmidt.jpg

Mike Schmidt is in camp this week as a guest instructor, and he spoke for nearly 30 minutes this morning at Bright House Field.

He had plenty to say, especially about the Phillies’ offense.

Here are the highlights:

Q: What do you think about this year’s additions to the Phillies?
A: Maybe the best ever. A lot of this has already been said, but winning baseball is about pitching and defense and offense is sort of secondary. If a team is built around something and can be built around the four greatest starters maybe ever assembled on one team, you feel like you’ve really got a chance, a strong chance of having a great year. Probably deep enough to be able to withstand an injury here and there. If the pitching staff stays healthy all year and Brad (Lidge) and the guys in the middle of the bullpen are healthy and are good, it’s going to be an exciting team to watch. Maybe more exciting than any team they’ve had and they’ve sure had some exciting ones the last couple years. I’m excited being around here in camp. I haven’t had a chance to talk to Roy Halladay yet or Cliff Lee or actually any of them. Cole (Hamels) and I live in the same place and we chatted this morning. I drafted Cliff Lee first in the golf tournament (Friday). I look forward to a day with Cliff Lee. He’s got to be able to play golf, doesn’t he? Slick left-hander like that? He’s got to have some golf game. I feel blessed that I still have a role, though it’s bit of a minor role with the team, more of a marketing role now. My relationship with the Phillies right now is as strong as it’s ever been. And that part of my life is really good. I’m a very happy man.

(more…)

Victorino Wins Gold Glove


victorino catch.jpgShane Victorino
won his third consecutive Gold Glove today.

Victorino, the only Phillies player to win a Gold Glove this year, is the first Phillies outfielder to win three consecutive Gold Gloves since Garry Maddox won eight consecutive Gold Gloves from 1975-82.

Victorino tied for the league lead in assists (11) and finished fifth out of 37 qualifying outfielders in fielding percentage (.995) and range factor per game (2.59).

He is the sixth player in franchise history to win three or more Gold Gloves. Mike Schmidt (10), Maddox (eight), Manny Trillo (three), Scott Rolen (three) and Jimmy Rollins (three) are the others.

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The Phillies coaching search continues. Juan Samuel is the frontrunner to replace Davey Lopes. Ryne Sandberg is a candidate to manage in Triple-A. Mickey Morandini also is in the picture to coach in the minors.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

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