On Wednesday night, WHIP general manager Ed LeFurge and sports director Tom Hanslin were invited to participate in the Philadelphia Phillies’ College Live Reporting from the Field & Press Box Experience at Citizens Bank Park.
LeFurge and Hanslin were given an exclusive media training session by Scott Palmer, the Phillies Director of Public Affairs, and learned about the organization’s interaction with media members from Greg Casterioto, the Phillies Director of Baseball Communications.
Prior to the game, LeFurge and Hanslin viewed Phillies and Washington Nationals’ batting practice on the field, and were selected to interview Phillies manager Pete Mackanin and catcher Cameron Rupp.
LeFurge and Hanslin asked Mackanin and Rupp about the recent departure of catcher Carlos Ruiz, the influence of veteran Ryan Howard on the Phillies’ young roster, and the reaction to Chase Utley’s two-home run performance in Philadelphia two weeks ago as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Mackanin on Ruiz: “I told [Carlos] I loved him. He’s one of my all-time favorite players and he’s just an exceptional catcher and an exceptional human being. His work ethic, the way he handles the pitchers, the way he goes about his business, he’s totally focused in games and hopefully the young players paid attention to that.”
Mackanin on Howard: “Howard’s been great. He’s taken his role on the team very professionally, and I have no issues with him. He seems to adapt. He’s been great with the players and hopefully he’ll have a good finish to the season this year and finish strong.”
Rupp on Howard: “I never want to see him go — ever. He’s a very close friend of mine, and not just on the field. Off the field I talk to him a lot. We’ve got a very good relationship, and there’s so many things that I can take away from him as far as how he handles himself. What he’s done for the community, the money he’s donated to help kids that aren’t as fortunate as some, and the things he’s done around here, there’s just so many things you can list and I hope he’s appreciated for every single thing that he’s done.”
Rupp on Utley: “I got chills. He deserved every bit of it. That guy’s won a World Series here, a Silver Slugger, all kinds of All-Star awards and everything he deserved and everything he gave back to this community he deserved every bit of it.”
Following batting practice, LeFurge and Hanslin were given designated seats in the Phillies’ press box to watch the game, and reported to the media room for Mackanin’s post-game press conference.
WHIP would like to thank Lauren Testa, the Phillies Publicity Assistant and the Philadelphia Phillies organization for the unique opportunity.