Notes: Burrell recalls college days
Former Miami star, Phils face Florida State on Wednesday
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Most players see the start of exhibition games as the next step toward the regular season, with fewer workouts and taking the field against players wearing different uniformsPat Burrell has an added incentive for the Phillies' first game, against Florida State University on Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. ET at Bright House Networks Field. The left fielder, who starred at the University of Miami for three seasons, wants blood against his former rival school. Actually, he doesn't, but he's laughed at the thought. Instead, Burrell remembered getting a similar thrill while in college. In 1997, he and his Miami teammates played against the Marlins, who would go on to win their first World Series that year. "That's when I realized we were pretty good in college, but that's the real deal," Burrell said. "Robb Nen came in to close the game. It was cool to be there. Kevin Brown was on the staff. Al Leiter pitched. Bobby Bonilla played." Don't forget Luis Castillo, Moises Alou, Edgar Renteria, Gary Sheffield and Alex Fernandez. After Wednesday's game, Burrell hopes to put together a solid spring en route to an effective regular season hitting behind reigning National League MVP Ryan Howard. So far, so good, Burrell said. The right foot that caused him problems last season feels fine and his lower back -- which was wrapped on Saturday -- won't be an issue. As far as his swing, the veteran left fielder said, "I usually feel a little better as time goes on. It's nice to see some live pitches." "I'd like to see him hit more balls to right-center and right field, especially when guys are on base," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I think he's going to be all right." Golf time: The Phillies held a draft for their annual Spring Training golf tournament, scheduled for Tuesday. Catching instructor Mick Billmeyer revealed his well-thought-out strategy for selecting his team. His first-pick was broadcaster Chris Wheeler, a strong golfer, followed by Minor League instructor Jerry Martin because of his sense of humor. His third pick was team president David Montgomery because, as Billmeyer said, "I'm looking for a two-year deal."
Brett Myers chimed in to brag about the diversity of his team, which included Shane Victorino. Myers also found it fitting that pitching coach Rich Dubee picked Cole Hamels and Scott Mathieson, who is eligible to "putt only," because he is recovering from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery."Dubee had to take all his sons," Myers said. Camera mugging: Players put on their dress whites before Saturday's workouts for the Spring Training ritual known as Photo Day. "I think I passed," Jamie Moyer said. Players posed at seven different photo stations, indoors and outdoors. The pictures are used for baseball cards, scoreboards and various other uses. "I was pretty excited when I got my first card," Moyer said. "I collected them when I was a kid and put them in my bicycle spokes. The first card is pretty cool. You feel like you've made it. Now I got about 100 of them, and there's more to answer in the mail. That's the downside." Philling in: Manuel intends to use Fabio Castro as a reliever this spring. This increases the lefty's chances of making the 25-man roster. ... A fan asked Manuel, 63, and Moyer, 44, were ever teammates, and Manuel jokingly replied, "Yes."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.