Originally posted on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 4/1/12

Congrats Pierre!

You remember how it was, right?  It’s the week before school starts and you are laying everything out.  You’ve been to the store at least three times that week getting pencils, notebooks and anything you think you might need.  Then comes the clothes.  You can’t even dream about going back to school with the same gear as last year.

The goal is to have a plan.  A first week, first month plan as to how this school year will play out.  Then, as it always does, the plan falls apart the second day.  We do this every year.  And then when you finally graduate, first day of school is redirected to the first day of the year.  Resolutions are broken and the plan is useless.

So goes the way of the General Manager.  This is is his week before classes start.  He is making the changes and preparing himself and this team for class.  Sure, there is a plan.  There is always a plan.  He hopes it will last awhile, but you never know.  Changes will need to be made, but when?

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With this ‘plan’ in place for the season, there are some guys that just aren’t needed.  This happens every Spring and regardless of talent level or performance it’s just a fact that everyone can’t make the team.  The Phillies have slowly been trimming the fat, per say, to get this team ready to compete.  Casualties of baseball war really.  Bill Rice, a NJ native, was one of the names released this week by the organization.  He joins guys like Eric Pettis and Matt Way who won’t be wearing a Philadelphia uniform at any level to start the season.

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It’s not all bad news for the guys left in camp.  Some invitees have really impressed Charlie Manuel and the front office staff this Spring.  Juan Pierre, who was signed to a Minor League deal, has officially made the team while some other guys are still pushing for those final roster spots.  Hector Luna and Scott Podsednik are still trying to make the big league team as we head towards Opening Day.

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As Opening Day approaches you can’t help but to think about what happens after the season. Free agency.  The Phillies have had their check books under a microscope the past couple seasons spending good money on players like Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Ryan Howard.  The big name this season will be Cole Hamels.  He is a free agent after this season and rumor has it that he wants Cliff money; meaning in the 5yr/$100 million range.  Corey breaks down how it could happen for Rube and the Phillies.

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With some pitchers getting their final work in this week before the season starts, a couple of guys didn’t quite round out the spring like they would have hoped.  Halladay and Vance Worley got touched up in their starts.  For Halladay, it seems like the long ball has plagued him this Spring but he keeps saying he is right where he needs to be. His last start, against Toronto, was shortened by rain but he still managed to give up two runs in two innings as well as another home run; his seventh homer given up this Spring.  Worley, slated to start game three of the season, gave up 11 runs in four innings in his last start against the Twin.   The Vanimal had been pretty solid up this point in the Spring and will look to bounce back in Pittsburgh April 8th.

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The Phillies will have some warm up games against the Pirates Monday and Tuesday before heading to Pittsburgh for Opening Day.

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Opening Day is this week.  Get pumped up!  Go Phillies!

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