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Phillies Winter Breakfast Q&A session
by Scott Butler 1/30/13

The Phillies hosted their Winter Breakfast on Friday in a State of the Union of sorts. Fans were greeted this season by Ruben Amaro, Charlie Manuel, Erik Kratz, Kevin Frandsen, and Tom McCarthy. As I mentioned on Saturday, it was a fantastic event. During the breakfast (which featured a ton of great grub, I might add), fans had the opportunity to ask questions in a Q&A session.

Before we get to the answers from Charlie and Ruben, I thought I would share part of my brief conversations with Erik Kratz and Kevin Frandsen. I didn't take down any direct quotes, so you will have to trust my memory on these, but you'll get the gist of it.

Erik Kratz

On the difference between the minors and the majors:

The difference is consistency. You might get 2 of 4 pitchers in the minors who are major league talent but you get them every day in the majors.

On how tougher the pitchers are in the majors:

It's not much different, really. You can only throw a ball so fast and there is a limit on much break you can get. Maybe it is just that they have better command in the majors.

Kevin Frandsen

Frandsen, who spent the first six years of his career in the Giants organization only to leave before they won two championships, mentioned how tough it was to watch them win.

Me: Those were crappy teams, too.

Frandsen: No, they were teams. They didn't have the sexy names, but they were teams.

Charlie Manuel and Ruben Amaro Q&A

Here are some of the quotes from the Q&A session with Charlie and Ruben:

Does scoring runs concern you if guys don’t get on base? 

Charlie: "You don’t." (That one got a huge laugh from the crowd.) "If we have a lot of swingers, guys who don’t want to get two strikes on them, then they get over anxious and chase bad balls and don’t get good balls to hit. First rule of thumb is to get a good ball to hit."

"We have guys like Henderson, Wally Joyner, Sandberg and also myself, we think we are all good hitting instructors. We have the best hitting instructors in baseball if you want to know the truth."

"We want to create a culture or an attitude, we want to get more involved and enjoy it a little more."

On Mike Adams and Michael Young:

Ruben: "With this type of surgery (for Mike Adams), from the very minute he left the operating table he felt much, much better. He’s one of the best in the game and I think your going to enjoy watching him pitch."

"As far as Michael Young is concerned, I don’t know that there’s a better character guy other than Chase Utley. The only thing he cares about is winning."  (Regarding his defense) "He’s got the type of mentality that he will not let himself get embarrassed."

On Darin Ruf:

Charlie: "He can hit the ball the other way. I like some of the things about his hitting. I want him to do his own thing. I don’t want people to know a lot of the things about him." 

Ruben: "Darin’s going to get an opportunity to play this year. Darin has really jumped onto the scene the way he handled himself. I’ve never seen a player jump, hand speed wise, so greatly from one year to the next.  We saw him in the AFL (Arizona Fall League) and we could see he had some strength, but he might have been a little tired at that point.  This year he was so short with his swing that he can really get back on the ball in a different way. The ball comes off the bat in a really different way. He’s very athletic and for a big guy, he moves around OK. He’s a good kid, a good makeup kid. We’ll pull for him."

On the lineup:

Charlie: "I like Rollins to lead off. Nobody in baseball except Trout last year knocks in as many runs and scores as many runs as Rollins does and that speaks for itself.  I know he gets criticized a lot, but this is about run producing, it’s about scoring runs."

Ruben: "Chase can hit in one through four. Michael Young is extremely versatile one through five or six, there’s some versatility."

Insurance

Ruben: "We do have insurance on players, particularly long term contracts.  To be honest with you it’s a very complicated process. The player would have to be out an entire season for us to begin to collect or more than one season. One of the beauties of what the union has done for the players and has made it more challenging for people in the front office is that when you guarantee a contract it’s guaranteed. It’s not like the NFL where you can just cut a guy. No, we didn’t collect any insurance money."

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