Phillies: Get ready for boys of summer

Opening Day can’t come soon enough!

The sign outside The Wishing Well bar in South Philadelphia read Thursday: Pitchers & Catchers Report in 2 Days.

Outside Citizens Bank Park, hundreds of fans — some of whom had camped out for 24 hours — waited anxiously for the ticket office to open at 8:30 a.m. On Thursday alone, the team sold 70,000 tickets, according to Phillies vice president of ticket sales and operations John Weber, and 3.1 million for the season. Weber said those numbers were similar to what the Phils sold in 2011.

“Fan support has been absolutely incredible,” said Weber. “But there are still good seats available. We encourage fans to continue to go on our website and purchase tickets.”

It’s another reminder of just how much this city has morphed into a Phillies town over the last few years. The reigning NL East champions kick off Spring Training Saturday, when pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater, Fla.

As usual, expectations are high. Most fans agree that anything less than a World Series championship would be a major disappointment. Former Phillie and MLB Network analyst Mitch Williams predicts another 100-plus win season.

“I see another division title. They have that pitching staff and if that rotation isn’t the best in the game, it’s among the best,” Williams said.

The Phillies’ first workout is Sunday and their first exhibition game is Feb. 29 against Florida State.

Wild thoughts

Mitch Williams shared his thoughts on a few of the Phillies’ biggest questions.
   
How integral is Charlie Manuel to this team?

“I think Charlie is huge for this team. He knows how to get the most of all of his players. My 16-year-old son could manage a major league game strategically, but Charlie manages 25 different personalities better than anyone.”
   
How do you explain the last two postseason failures?
“I think the Phillies’ offense was really pressing the last two seaso
ns. They were trying too hard. I think they can still do it, and I think you’ll have the chance to see that this postseason.”
   
Can John Mayberry Jr. fill the void left by Ryan Howard?
“I think he’s going to be just like Jayson Werth when he broke out with the Phillies a couple of years ago. I think he can be a 30-homer guy and drive in a lot of runs and perhaps make up a good bit of the loss of Howard.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.