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February 23, 2016

Everyone in camp as Phillies begin full-squad workouts

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Perhaps it was just that the room was crowded with people, period.

Players, writers, photographers, broadcasters, team employees and coaches sauntering through. But it sure seemed like you could feel the sense of anticipation, the excitement, as players laced up their turf shoes and put on their uniforms prior to the first full-squad workout of the Phillies 2016 spring training.

More than an hour before they had to be dressed and ready to take one of the six fields at the Carpenter Complex on Tuesday morning, a majority of the 65 players in camp were already sitting in the chairs in front of their lockers, ready to go. As with any spring, the first full-squad workout doesn’t begin until the manager enters the room – along with the coaching staff and many front office folks – and delivers a speech intended to get everyone headed in the right direction.

On Monday, first-year manager Pete Mackanin was asked what he had planned.

“I don’t know yet,” he said. “I’m formulating that right now. ‘Try to win as many games as you can.’ Basically, compete and give it your best shot. The best man’s going to win.”

Does he have any specific rules he plans to put in place on Day One?

“I’ve got a few - no big rules,” Mackanin said. “I want competitive guys with good makeup, that are team players that want to win games.”

Maybe he spent Monday night listening to some of the great orators in American history, like Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan, or FDR, JFK and MLK.

Or, if you think he should #StickToSports, how about imitating Herb Brooks?

“No, you know, I gave a motivational speech one time and I got carried away and then the bell went off and I realized I forgot to practice,” Mackanin said on Monday. “My speech went so long that we didn’t do anything. It was a good speech, though. So I’m going to keep it short and sweet.”

By the way, Maikel Franco arrived to Bright House Field this morning and will take the field with the rest of the Phillies today. There had been some hubbub when he wasn’t in camp on Monday, when he was the last regular player not in camp after Ryan Howard worked out with teammates for the first time in 2016.