Phillies "All-Star Grounds Crew" Gets Noticed

The Phillies provided a pretty high priced grounds crew to help out at Coors Field in Colorado. Their move has brought national attention, but they insist they were just doing their part. Plus, we've got some news and notes on theinjury front and more.

In saving themselves from getting swept by the Colorado Rockies, the Phillies may have saved several grounds crew members from getting injured.

With driving rain and wind gusts whipping through Coors Field in the seventh inning Sunday, the grounds crew rushed to cover the infield. But the tarp flared in the air, covering some of the workers and dragging several others. About 20 Phillies players and coaches raced from the dugout. Right fielder Shane Victorino grabbed a corner and pulled. Starting pitcher Adam Eaton wrestled another edge. Ryan Howard weighed down a section with his knee, while Abraham Nunez heaved sandbags toward other sections.

"It was so incredible. I was overtaken by it," head groundskeeper Mark Razum said. "You think one or two players, maybe some bench guys, but the whole lineup was out there. I looked over and Victorino was like, 'I've got it. Don't worry.' (Bench coach) Jimy Williams kept yelling, 'Where's the sandbags?' I've never seen anything like it."

The video of the event showed up in various places including the CBS Evening News. Most of the reports pointed out that Latroy Hawkins was the only member of the home team Rockies to come the aid of the Colorado grounds crew, which seemed slightly odd.

Victorino said the Phillies weren't trying to be heroes, and they certainly don't have any secret groundskeeping ambitions.

"We all reacted off instinct," Victorino said. "I mean, who would've thought a baseball team would all go out there and help pull the tarp? But when you see some guys go under, you don't want anyone to get suffocated or trapped. It was fun to see guys, like we know what we're doing or something. I'm just glad nobody got hurt."

Said Howard, "We're just regular guys. It was something you don't see everyday, but it was just we were trying to go out there and help."

Maybe it was manager Charlie Manuel who figured out the secret as to why all the guys were out there. "They were having fun. They were out in the rain like little kids."

Notes from the City of Brotherly Love

  • RHP Tom Gordon, sidelined since May 1 with a strained right rotator cuff, retired five of six batters Sunday in his second rehab appearance for Class-A Clearwater. Gordon threw only 16 pitches, and his fastball was clocked at 90-91 mph. He'll make another rehab appearance Wednesday for Clearwater and may rejoin the Phillies for their three-game weekend series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park.
  • Brett Myers is about to take his next step back to the Phillies' bullpen. Myers, sidelined since May 23 by a muscle strain in his right shoulder, threw 20 pitches from a bullpen mound before Saturday night's rain-delayed game with the Colorado Rockies. He uncorked fastballs and breaking pitches and didn't experience any setbacks. Next up: Myers will report to Clearwater during the All-Star break to throw a bullpen session Wednesday under the supervision of rehab coordinator Brian Cammarota. If that goes well, he could pitch live batting practice or appear in a game for Class-A Clearwater next weekend.
  • Ryan Howard will attempt to win his second straight Home Run Derby crown Monday night in San Francisco. Ramon Henderson will try to win his third. Henderson, the Phillies' bullpen coach for the past 10 seasons, was the batting-practice pitcher for Howard last season and Bobby Abreu in 2005. He has become the rare bullpen coach who gets recognized by fans at home and on the road. His secret? "You want to throw it belt-high so (the hitter) can elevate it," Henderson said. "And, also, you want to maintain the same speed. If you throw one pitch 60 miles-per-hour and the next pitch 50, that's no good."
  • Pat Burrell belted a solo homer in the fourth inning Sunday, giving him three home runs in his last five games. During that span, Burrell is batting .429 (6-for-14) with five RBIs. For the season, he's batting .215 with 11 homers and 37 RBIs.
  • The Numbers Game

    34 Doubles for Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, most in the National League. Utley is on pace for 64 doubles, which would tie Joe Medwick's NL record set in 1936. The major-league record is 67 by Earl Webb in 1931.


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