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Phillies reportedly “zeroing in” on Triple-A manager Dusty Wathan as their next skipper

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Phillies are “zeroing in” on Triple-A manager Dusty Wathan to take over as the big club’s manager.

Wathan has managed the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs for one season, where he went 80-62. He has managed at every level in the Phillies organization, with stops at Single-A Williamsport, Single-A Lakewood, Hi-A Clearwater and Double-A Reading before taking over at Lehigh Valley last September. Before his coaching career he spent 14 seasons in the minos as a player, and had a brief cup of coffee with the Kansas City Royals in 2002

Wathan, who is 44, is the son of former Royals manager John Wathan.

There has been no official announcement from the club yet, but it would make a lot of sense to give the job to a man who, over the past several seasons, managed the players the Phillies will count on in the next few years as they climbed the ladder to the bigs.

Baseball to honor Stoneman Douglas High School as spring training games begin

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There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.

The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.

All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.

After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.

Here’s today’s schedule: