After two quiet days at Bright House Field, the Phillies locker room exploded with energy this morning in advance of the first workout for pitchers and catchers, which is about to begin. This is the first official day of spring training.
Rich Dubee, once again in charge of organizing camp logistics, strode around the room and barked orders to the players, telling them where to go and what to wear. A thick crowd of national media circled the room, another reminder of the Phils high-profile status. Introductions are ongoing, as are reunions: Placido Polanco reported today and settled in four lockers away from Chase Utley, the player whose need for playing time once contributed to Polanco’s. Polanco said that he normally did not report until a day or two before position players were required to arrive, but this year he wanted to get in extra time at third base, and spend more time with his new/old teammates.
In the middle of the loud room, Charlie Manuel sat at a table, telling us writers how he had to have all his uniforms refitted after losing 56 pounds since the middle of last season (reports of a 70 pound loss were a bit exaggerated, he said). He said that his waist size has shrunk from 46 a year ago to 38 now. Manuel also revealed that he had joined the ranks of Mike Golic and Don Shula, having filmed a NutriSystem commercial that he expects will air next month.
Every pitcher and catcher is here, with Utley and Polanco the only major league position players. The first full-squad workout is Tuesday, and stay tuned for news later today—Manuel and Cole Hamels will address reporters in the early afternoon.