From the Bullpen: Matt Squires' On-Line Journal

Matt Squires lets readers behind the scenes of his life and career as a Reading Phillies reliever. In this week's journal, Matt talks about a now famous video segment on <i>Comcast SportsNet</i>, giving his time at the Reading Phillies Summer Camp, Ryan Howard's potential and all of the trade rumors flying around the Reading clubhouse.

Well, it's been an interesting week. I haven't gotten to see the video of our recent golf game that was on Comcast SportsNet the other night. They had a camera crew follow us on the golf course and they sure got an eye full - or lens full in this case. The weather was kind of wet that day and it wreaked havoc with our game. On the second hole, Gavin Floyd lost grip of his club and it went flying. The camera crew captured the video of us looking through a cornfield for his club. The funny thing about that was that I was afraid of losing the grip on my club. All of the clubs were wet and it was easy to do. I was just glad that Gavin had the first shot and it was his club we were looking for.

At another part of the course, one of our carts went did a 360 on the cart path. I was in the front cart and heard tires screeching and turned around to see the other guys coming down the path sideways. There were some older women golfing nearby and the next thing that I heard was them screaming. We gave them a pretty good scare, but they were good about it and asked if everyone was okay. I don't know if anyone has ever wound up on the DL because of a golf cart accident, but that was probably close.

I guess for Gavin, the highlight of the video would be his chip in from about 30 yards out on one of the holes. It really was a great shot. We've all received some comments about the video and it was a lot of fun on the course that day.

Not much time for golf this week. The annual summer baseball camps are going on in Reading and I've been helping with them. The kids are great and they're really into the camps. It really is a lot of fun working with them and helping them on different parts of their game. The camps are for kids 9-15 and are held at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading. The kids get to use the same equipment and facilities that we do and it's a big treat for them. Some of these kids are pretty good. It's fun to watch them and see how they take to the instruction. It's been a fun week and it's well worth the time that we put in. The coaches and a lot of the other players all contribute their time.

Obviously, there's been a lot of attention around Ryan Howard. He's just smacking the ball lately. The guy is powerful; no other way to put it. There's been a lot of things written about Howard being blocked by Jim Thome. I don't know if Howard really could learn to play another position, but there have been a lot of suggestions that that's what the Phillies should do. That's not always easy. Nothing against Ryan, but I don't really see it happening. It's a shame because he can hit and it's going to be nearly impossible to bump Thome, because he's so good, too. It's nice to have depth, but this is really an unfortunate experience. I would love to just stay in the same organization with Howard because he's going to be fun to watch. He's also a great guy and a good person to have around in the clubhouse. He's handling all of the attention with a lot of class.

With Ryan's situation, there have also been some trade rumors filtering their way through the clubhouse. We don't spend a lot of time talking about them, but they do come up. There have been rumors about Ryan and even Cole Hamels. None of us really want to be traded, but it's part of the game. I haven't heard my name in any of the rumors, but you never know. Sometimes, the ones you don't hear about are the ones that happen and the ones that are made out to be a done deal don't pan out.

Obviously, the Phillies have to look at the major league club and their long-range plans for the organization as a whole, but still, I really hope that we don't lose anybody from our club. We're playing much better and we're still in this thing. We already lost Scott Youngbauer to Cleveland to complete an earlier minor league deal that the Phillies and Indians pulled off. It would really hurt to lose a guy like Ryan Howard, who is a huge part of our club.

Not much else is going on. Remember, if you have any questions, you can always e-mail me and I'll answer them in next week's journal. Have a great week and I hope I'll see you out at the ballpark.

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