A Brief Phillies Calendar

Sunday’s release of the Phillies 2008 Spring Training schedule coincides with a few other notable dates that Phillies fans should keep on notice.  First off, this Tuesday the NL MVP will be announced and Jimmy Rollins remains a strong condender.  Besides leading the Phils to the playoffs this season, he has already brought home a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger award.  Here is how breaks down the competition, keeping in mind the votes have already been cast by the 32 member committee before the playoffs began. 

Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers: Fielder led the league in home runs and finished tied for third with with 119 RBIs. He also batted .288, slugged .618 and had a .395 on-base percentage, all figures that rank among the league leaders. Since Milwaukee moved to the National League in 1998, no Brewer has finished in the top 10 in MVP voting and just three (Carlos Lee, 17th in 2005, Richie Sexson, 12th in 2003 and Jeromy Burnitz, 19th in 1998) received votes. That will change this season with Fielder.

Matt Holliday, Colorado Rockies: Holliday helped the Rockies win the pennant by finishing first in two Triple Crown categories (batting .340 and driving in 137 runs). His 36 home runs were the fourth most in the NL behind Fielder, Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard (47) and Cincinnati’s Adam Dunn (40). Holliday also finished among the league leaders in runs (120, third place), hits (216, first) and total bases (386, first).

Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia Phillies: Rollins (.296, 34 HR, 94 RBIs, 41 SB) had more total bases (380) than any player in the league except Holliday (386), and Rollins played Gold Glove-caliber defense. No NL shortstop, however, has won the MVP Award since Cincinnati’s Barry Larkin in 1995.

The next important date on the schedule will be Thursday, November 29.  On this day, the Phillies will unveil new road uniforms.  Sources indicate they will feature “Philadelphia” across the chest.  According to the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Uniform Database, this would be the first time the city’s name appeared since “Phila.” graced the chests of the 1900 team.

Finally, with the Spring Training schedule announcement comes the offical date for those heart-warming words, “Pitchers and Catchers report.”  That day will be February 14th, otherwise known as Valentine’s Day.  Let the countdown begin.

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