Hoping to keep things light on the first day of spring training, Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee showed up to speak with members of the media toting a plastic answer providing assistant. With his Magic 8 Ball by his side, the 36-year-old proclaimed with a smile that he’d use the device to help with any hard questions.
Relying on the toy for answers related to teammate Cole Hamels‘ proclamation this week that the Phillies won’t be winners and if he’d wish to be traded to a contender, Lee offered more genuine thoughts on his outlook overall. The four-time All-Star pledged his focus to win a championship for the team he’s currently with.
“Until we get out there and play the games, get ourselves in a certain position, I can’t expect to do anything other than to win and get to the World Series, and win a World Series,” Lee asserted. “That’s the only way I know how to look at it.”
Team general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was not concerned with the ace Hamels’ desire to pitch for a winning club.
“Listen, all of these guys want to play for competitive and winning teams. That’s the nature of the beast. These guys are human beings, they want to win. And they’re athletes. My job is to create that atmosphere again and it may take a little time to get there. But I don’t have any problem with Cole – maybe he could have chosen his words a little but differently – but I don’t have a problem with that at all because I know he wants to compete and I fully expect him to do so. He’s a very professional guy, he’s going to go out and pitch, and he’s going to do his job here.”
In other news, the Phillies announced that former CSN studio analyst Ben Davis would replace Jamie Moyer on the television broadcast team. Davis, who is also an on-air personality for WIP sports radio, is a Chester, PA native who played seven seasons in the big leagues.
Position players that are confirmed to have reported to camp early include outfielders Ben Revere, Jeff Francoeur, Darin Mastroianni, Darin Ruf, Odubel Herrera and Jordan Danks along with third baseman Cody Asche.
Also, former Phillies minor league outfielder Steve Susdorf confirmed his retirement from baseball with me on Wednesday. He is looking forward to his career outside of the sport he played professionally for seven seasons. Susdorf played in three games in the majors for the Phils in 2013.