Members of the media rubbed elbows with the Phillies at a luncheon held at Citizens Bank Park yesterday. With the start of spring training just three weeks away, the Phils are feeling confident.
Summary of articles: Brett Myers told John Smallwood that he has accepted his reassignment to the rotation, but at the same token, the right-hander already sounds stir crazy about the four, long days in between starts. ... Pat Gillick downplayed Ryan Howard’s contract negotiations as a matter of business, and says the media is trying to create a situation out of nothing. The Phillies GM also says it’s more unlikely than likely pitching will be added before the start of spring training, and also says he likes their outfield depth better than last season. ... Manager Charlie Manuel says the back of the bullpen is built to win, and passed along word that Tom Gordon, who’s participating in a strength and conditioning program in Clearwater, is in “top-notch shape.” ... Outfielders Greg Golson and Chris Snelling are working out with Manuel, just as Aaron Rowand (and Greg Jacobs) did last off-season.
Noteworthy: The award for most interesting tidbit goes to this little line, about 10 graphs down in Paul Hagen's piece about Shane Victorino: "As it stands now, Manuel will mix and match some in center, too. He said that because Victorino is such a high-energy player, he projects him to play between 120 and 130 games," Hagen writes.
Unlike Gillick, Manuel doesn't sound quite as confident that the outfield sets up better than last season. "We were definitely more set last year with Rowand in center," he told Hagen.