Results tagged ‘ Mike Schmidt ’

State of the Schmidt

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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.

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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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Schmidt in the Booth

Thumbnail image for schmidt.jpgYou might have seen (and heard) Mike Schmidt in the Phillies’ broadcast booth Sunday afternoon.

He will be back in the booth today.

Phillies manager of broadcasting Rob Brooks said Schmidt has had some interest in broadcasting and felt this would be a good opportunity. He worked the fourth, fifth and sixth innings with Tom McCarthy and Gary Matthews.

Phillies vice president of communications Bonnie Clark also said Schmidt is interested in expanding his role with the Phillies. He likely will be broadcast one series during the regular season and do some suite entertaining at Citizens Bank Park.

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

Mike Schmidt on Mark McGwire


schmidt.jpgMike Schmidt
is in camp for the next week, and this afternoon he talked to reporters about a variety of topics — one of them being Mark McGwire‘s return to baseball.

On McGwire getting the hitting coach job with St. Louis: “I thought it would be better for me to remain silent. It’s very hard to comment. I’d hate to be in his shoes, having to do what he did. I think he did what he needed to do at the time of his pending job coming as hitting coach with the Cardinals. He needed to clear the air, sort of pave the way for a smoother year for himself. It’s not going to be a smooth by any means. He’s gonna have to talk about it wherever he goes but I’m happy for him. It was a great start for his new career as hitting coach. Probably the one thing it alleviated was any discussion about it within the Cardinals family and camp. The daily workouts at Cardinals camp would’ve been riddled with Mark McGwire talk. In fact, I live five minutes from where he works and it was a big deal when he arrived in town and did his first bit of coaching. I think time will cure that. He’ll settle in, he’ll be their hitting coach. There’ll be some fallout I guess, especially in his travels around the country. You guys are gonna wanna talk to him wherever he goes. When he comes into Philly, I’m sure somebody is going to pose some steroid questions to McGwire everywhere he goes in his travels.

“I think he has a good basis for answering questions now. He’s got the whole admittance off his chest. The only thing I think maybe had he had to do it over again — he did it the way he wanted to do it and he told the truth as he saw it — maybe temper his comments about the steroids and their effect on his performance numbers. He stated that his usage of steroids didn’t help his power output. He may believe that and it may be true, but I don’t think that’s what the public wanted to hear. They probably wanted to hear an admittance that his numbers  were increased and his position in history was probably elevated to some degree by the use of steroids.

“Again, I think that’s what the public wanted to hear. He sort of stuck to what he feels in his own mind was and is the truth about it. That would be my only comment. I think Mark will do fine. I’ve heard everything about him that he’s a great student of hitting, got a great sense for the art of hitting, the mechanics of hitting. If I was a young hitter, I couldn’t wait to get in Mark McGwire’s ear.”

On how he feels knowing that McGwire passed him on the home run list: “It never enters my mind really. I made a speech the other night and I talked about … there’s 25 guys in the 500 homer club now. There’s five or six of them that have been associated with or have admitted to a relationship with steroids. It’s just fact. I don’t care one way or another. I don’t have a strong opinion that they shouldn’t be there or that there should be an asterisk involved in their position in history.

I’m just a guy that says that baseball fans … I trust baseball fans to understand the era in which they played. It is what it is. It’s part of life. The game will move on. In 20, 30 years from now, I won’t be here, but we’ll be looking back at it and it’ll be an accepted period of time in history. I don’t know any other opinion to have on it than that one. That’s my opinion.”

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Rollins, Victorino Win Gold Gloves


rollins and victorino 1111.jpgJimmy Rollins
and Shane Victorino found themselves in rare company Wednesday when they picked up Gold Gloves.

Rollins is the first National League shortstop to win three consecutive Gold Gloves since Rey Ordonez in 1997-99, and the first Phillies player to win three consecutive Gold Gloves at any position since Mike Schmidt won nine consecutive at third base from 1976-84. He also is the fifth Phillies player to win at least three Gold Gloves, joining Schmidt (10), Garry Maddox (eight), Manny Trillo (three) and Scott Rolen (three).

Victorino is the first Phillies outfielder to win consecutive Gold Glove since Maddox won eight consecutive from 1975-82.

Rollins led the Majors with a .990 fielding percentage. He committed just six errors, which were fewest in baseball amongst qualifying players. He ranked second in the league in games (152) and innings (1364 2/3), fourth in putouts (212), sixth in total chances (607) and assists (389) and eighth in double plays (72). His career .983 fielding percentage is the second best in baseball history. Only Omar Vizquel is better with a .985 fielding percentage.

Victorino had a .997 fielding percentage, which was the second best in the National League amongst outfielders. He committed just one error. He ranked sixth with 336 putouts. He ranked tied for fifth amongst centerfielders with eight assists.

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Game 3, and Its Magic Numbers

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A few things about last night’s 11-0 victory over the Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLCS:

  • Ryan Howard has a hit and RBI in every playoff game this year (seven games, 10 hits and 12 RBIs). He is the Phillies’ all-time RBI leader in the postseason (22 RBIs in 24 games) and has reached base safely in 16 consecutive playoff games (22 hits and 10 walks).
  • Howard’s seven consecutive playoff games with an RBI established a MLB single-season playoff record. Lou Gehrig had eight consecutive games with an RBI from 1928-32.
  • Chase Utley singled in the first inning to reach base safely in 23 consecutive playoff games (22 hits and 21 walks), which dates to Game 2 of the 2007 NLDS. Utley’s streak is tied for second all-time in playoff history with Gehrig. Boog Powell holds the all-time record with 25 consecutive playoff games reaching base safely.
  • Cliff Lee struck out 10 batters, tying a Phillies postseason record for strikeouts in a game with Steve Carlton (Game 1 of the 1980 World Series) and Curt Schilling (Game 1 of the 1993 NLCS).
  • Jayson Werth hit a two-run homer in the first inning. It was his third homer of the 2009 postseason and seventh of his postseason career. It was his fifth postseason homer with the Phillies, tying him for second on the all-time franchise list with Howard, Greg Luzinski and Gary Matthews. Lenny Dykstra holds the franchise record with six. Werth also became the Phillies’ all-time leader in postseason extra-base hits (14 in 82 at-bats), passing Mike Schmidt who had 13 in 140 at bats.
  • Shane Victorino moved passed Schmidt on the team’s all-time postseason RBI list, when he hit a three-run homer in the eighth. Victorino has 18 RBIs and trails only Howard.
  • Carlos Ruiz has reached base safely in 12 straight playoff games (15 hits and nine walks). He is hitting .625 (5-for-8 with one homer and three RBIs) this series.
  • Last night’s victory marked the largest margin of victory for the Phillies in a playoff game.
  • In NLCS history, 20 of 29 teams who led the series 2-1 went on to win the series

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Chooooch, Rauuuul, Chan Ho and More In Game 1

chooch 1014 b.jpgSome quick hits after the Phillies’ 8-6 victory over Los Angeles in Game 1 of the NLCS:

  • Since the NLCS moved to a seven-game format in 1985, the team taking a 1-0 lead has won 16 of 23 series, including 14 of the previous 16. Eight of the 10 NL teams that took a 1-0 lead on the road have reached the World Series, including the last seven.
  • In the NLCS and ALCS since ’85, the Game 1 winner is 28-18.
  • Carlos Ruiz hit a three-run homer in the fifth against Clayton Kershaw to make it 3-1. Ruiz, a career .246 hitter in the regular season, has hit .354 (17-for-48) with three doubles, two home runs, 10 RBIs and eight walks in his last 15 playoff games. “He likes the bright lights,” Ryan Howard said.
  • Howard smacked a two-run double to right field in the fifth to give the Phillies a 5-1 lead. It was Howard’s 17th and 18th RBIs in the postseason, which set a Phillies playoff record. Howard has 18 RBIs in 22 postseason games. Mike Schmidt had 16 RBIs in 32 postseason games.
  • Dodgers left-hander George Sherrill has allowed just two home runs to left-handed hitters the past two seasons: June 14, 2008, against Adam LaRoche and last night to Raul Ibanez. “I think that was a shock for everybody, especially the walks, which really hasn’t been something that he has done a lot of,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said of Sherrill. “You know, that was a blow.”
  • Cole Hamels allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings. He got rattled in the fifth when Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley could not turn a double play. Manny Ramirez followed and hit a 2-0 changeup for a two-run home run to cut the lead to 5-4. “It’s tough because you’re battling,” Hamels said. “I got exactly what I wanted and unfortunately the results didn’t happen. It takes a lot out of you because these guys are very tough hitters, so when you do get them in a situation where you can seal the deal, it takes a lot to really get through that. I really thought we had that. It’s the process I’ve had to go through all year – learning how to deal with my emotions and learning to control them and forgetting about what just happened.”
  • Hamels went 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five postseason starts last year. He is 1-1 with a 6.97 ERA in two starts this postseason, but sounded upbeat after the game. Everybody in the clubhouse thought Hamels had thrown much better than his line indicated, for what that’s worth.
  • Chan Ho Park pitched great. He entered the game in the seventh inning with a runner on second and no outs. He got Ramirez to ground out to Pedro Feliz to keep Andre Ethier at second. He struck out Matt Kemp and got Casey Blake to ground out to Utley to end the inning. It was the pitching performance of the night. “I thought he was outstanding,” Rich Dubee said. Charlie Manuel and Dubee said they did not consider sending Park back out to start the eighth. They had Ryan Madson rested, and did not want Park going out throwing 50 pitches his first time back since Sept. 16.

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Random thought: I’m looking forward to seeing Pedro Martinez pitch today in Game 2.

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Ozark Dies, Manny Being Manny

ozark.jpgFormer Phillies manager Danny Ozark died today.

He was 85.

“Our family is deeply saddened by the news that Danny passed away,” former Phillies president Ruly Carpenter said. Danny was more than a baseball manager, he was a genuine human being.  We would not have had the success in the ’70s if it wasn’t for him.  He taught those guys how to play the game,” former Phillies president Ruly Carpenter.

“He was a good friend, my first major league manager, played a major role in early years my career, and was instrumental in building us into prominence in the mid-1970’s,” Mike Schmidt said. “He brought a wealth of baseball experience from his years with the Dodgers to Philadelphia and we were fortunate to have him as our leader throughout that time. My wife and I extend our deepest sympathy to Ginny and the Ozark family.”

“Danny was the guy that took us from last to first,” Bob Boone said. “He was the perfect manager for the Phillies in the 70’s.  He had the patience of Job and helped all of us grow up as men and players. He was a wonderful man. He will be missed but his legacy will live on.”

I spoke with Ozark last summer for a book I was working on. He couldn’t have been nicer. I talked with him for about 45 minutes about everything from the greatest players in Phillies history to his decisions during Black Friday. Very generous with his time. Very open and honest. I appreciated that.

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So we learned earlier today that Manny Ramirez has been suspended 50 games for violating the league’s policy against performance enhancing drugs.

Do you care?

Personally, I’m tired of it. But let’s begin the “Are you shocked?” questions and “Should he be in the Hall of Fame?” questions. Don’t worry, it should be over in about a month or two.

I think Matt Stairs put it best.

“People are going to have to stop taking this health bull (bleep) and go back to being chubby and having fun,” he said.

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Schmidt: Kalas Big As Franklin, Penn

Mike Schmidt tried to put into words the impact Harry Kalas had on Philadelphia during his 39 years with the Phillies.

“Harry Kalas – he’s household,” Schmidt said “He’s a household name. He’s a guy they depended on for 40 years. I’m just a guy that played for 17 of them, just like all the other Phillies. We come and go. The guys there are here now they’re going to be gone. We’re all going to move on. Harry was just always here. He was always here for you.

“If you can look past Ben Franklin and William Penn, he may have been the greatest person to grace Philadelphia in the history of the city, when you think about it. As many lives as he affected over the time that he lived in Philadelphia, who would have had a bigger impact on the city? Who would have? If anybody can think of somebody I’m willing to hear it, but I don’t know.”

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The Phillies just played a video recording of Kalas singing “High Hopes” during the seventh-inning stretch. Everybody sang along. A very cool moment, and it’s the kind of thing that could become a tradition in time if the Phillies choose to go that route.

Honoring the Legend

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It’s Harry Kalas Tribue Night, and so far it has been very impressive.

Harry’s signature is on the field. The TV broadcast booth has been renamed in his honor. The pregame ceremonies were great. A tribute video on the PhanaVision scoreboard in left field. Kalas’ sons – Todd, Brad and Kane – threw the first balls to Mike Schmidt, John Kruk and Jimmy Rollins, representing the last three decades of baseball with Kalas in the booth.

There was a moment of silence.

Kane sang the national anthem, with Rollins holding a pair of Kalas’ famous white shoes and Chase Utley holding Kalas’ powder blue sport coat.

The Phillies did a great job with it.

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