Notes: Burrell impressive in opener

Notes: Burrell impressive in opener

TAMPA, Fla. -- Philadelphia found some offense from Pat Burrell and Chris Coste in a 6-3 win over the Yankees in Thursday's Grapefruit League opener.

The game wasn't without incident.

After homering in the third, Burrell laced a double to left in the sixth and appeared to hobble into second. The left fielder took an awkward turn around first. He was replaced by Shawn Garrett.

Manager Charlie Manuel said Burrell was scheduled to come out of the game anyway, though his surgically repaired right foot will be closely watched all season.

Ryan Franklin, Ryan Madson and Gavin Floyd tossed two innings apiece. In allowing two runs and five hits in two innings, Franklin said he was "getting his work in." The right-hander threw 28 sinking fastballs of his 35 pitches, and plans to ramp up as the spring progresses.

The veteran free agent was caught off guard by a question regarding his status in the rotation, and doesn't feel he's competing for a spot.

"I'm a starter," he said. "That's what they signed me to be."

Manuel, while acknowledging that Franklin is a favorite for one of the five slots, is also a fan of competition, and wants the free agent import to earn his salt.

"I told him that he's going to have every chance to win a spot," Manuel said.

Madson wasn't just getting his work in on Thursday, as the righty mixed in all three of his pitches, establishing the fastball away, then dropping in some well-timed changeups.

He fooled New York's Gary Sheffield on one of them.

Floyd got roughed up a bit, but sounded relaxed after his initial spring outing. Floyd knows he's facing an uphill battle for a rotation spot, but felt comfortable with his effort.

"I wasn't afraid to let them hit it," he said. "I was like, 'here it is.'"

First up: Alex S. Gonzalez looked as natural as can be at first base, commenting that all the throws were accurate, and bragging about a pickoff play that caught Yankees rookie Kevin Thompson.

Gonzalez said he was a mess inside.

"I was looking in the dugout all the time [for positioning]," said Gonzalez. "My mind is going 1,000 miles a minute just to figure out where I need to be. I felt OK, but I felt like I still have a lot to experience."

Gonzalez has played the bulk of his Major League career at shortstop, and moved to third last season with the Devil Rays. He's expected to find work at all four infield spots -- and possibly the outfield -- with the Phillies this season.

"You're on the other side of the diamond," he said. "It's totally different. The responsibilities are totally different, [such as] knowing when to be at the mound for the cutoff, when to play behind the runner ..."

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An old face: For most of the Phillies, the sight of Larry Bowa in Yankees pinstripes required a double take.

"It was weird seeing him in a different uniform," said Chase Utley. "But it was nice to see him again."

"He looks good in pinstripes," said catching instructor Mick Billmeyer. "He needs to be on the field. He can do so much good there."

The sight of Bowa hitting fungos to Yankees infielders and coaching third in Thursday's Grapefruit League opener -- a few feet from the visitors' dugout -- provided a sideshow to Philadelphia's win.

Bowa, back in uniform for the first time since being dismissed by Philadelphia in 2004, didn't feel chatty on Thursday. He briskly walked past reporters after the Yankees warmed up, promising to talk on Friday when the two teams meet in Clearwater.

World Baseball Classic specifics: Mike Lieberthal was supposed to start Thursday's Grapefruit League opener, but he was scratched because Manuel wanted to see Carlos Ruiz before he left for Team Panama. The defensively gifted catcher left after the game to join his teammates, who will play their games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in Puerto Rico.

Ruiz is one of 16 Phillies on a provisional roster in the World Baseball Classic, including three who are expected to be on the 25-man roster. Chase Utley started for the Phillies on Thursday, then he flew to Arizona to join Team USA.

Utley's squad opens Tuesday against Mexico. On Wednesday, Utley and Co. will challenge Team Canada, which includes Rheal Cormier, Scott Mathieson and Aaron Myette.

Bobby Abreu doesn't have to go far to compete for Venezuela. The right fielder will work out with his teammates on Friday and play an exhibition game against the Phillies on Saturday. Venezuela is scheduled to play the Dominican Republic on Tuesday.

The other 10 Phillies on Classic rosters are: Tim Auty, Brad Harman, Mark Kelly, Tim Kennelly, Scott Mitchinson and Joel Naughton (Australia) and Nick Mattioni, Rolando Altamirano and Avelino Asprilla (Panama).

Pitchers Rob Tejeda and Eude Brito are not on the Dominican Republic's provisional roster, but agreed to serve as alternates.

Worth the wait: Don't worry Jimmy Rollins, Derek Jeter plans to make good on his promise, perhaps finally ending Rollins' two-year wait for a pair of the Yankees shortstop's cleats.

Rollins asked for the spikes two years ago, and was encouraged to hear a "no problem" from Jeter. When they hadn't arrived by the next spring, Rollins asked again, and received a second, "no problem."

Rollins is still waiting. What gives, Derek?

"You have to keep the demand out there for them," Jeter said. "You can't just give them up right away. It's like when you go to a club and there's a long line out front, then you get inside and there's nobody inside. The wait is the best part."

Rollins laughed when told of Jeter's stance.

"So that's how he wants to play it, huh?" Rollins said. "OK then."

No thanks: Aaron Small shook his head when told what his former South Hills High School classmate did this offseason.

"He did what now?" Small said, after hearing Phillies pitcher Cory Lidle got his pilot's license.

Small and Lidle were two of five former South Hills High students to play in the big leagues, along with Shawn Wooten and Jason and Jeremy Giambi. Hearing that Lidle offered him a ride sometime, Small shook his head again.

"I'd go, but I'm not that brave," Small said.

Quotable: "Coast to coast, trying to make the team. Keep going deep, it's hard to cut a man. I like long balls. That's the quickest way I know to get on the good side of a manager." -- Manuel, on Coste, who hit his first home run of the spring on Thursday -- his second if you count his blast in Monday's intrasquad game

Philling in: The Phillies renewed Utley's contract on Thursday, the first day teams could re-sign unsigned players. Ryan Howard is the lone unsigned player for 2006. ... Former Phillies and current Reds pitching coach Vern Ruhle has been diagnosed with cancer, revealed during his annual physical. In a statement, Ruhle gave reason to be optimistic. "My doctors feel that they've caught this at an early stage and it is very treatable. I am prepared to follow their direction and do whatever it takes to overcome this disease."

Coming up: Jon Lieber starts the Phillies' home opener at Bright House Networks Field on Friday. He'll be opposed by Jaret Wright. The game again the Yankees also marks the return to Clearwater, Fla., for Bowa, who managed the Phillies from 2001 until two days before the end of the 2004 season.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.