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Phillies news and links — Matt Stairs is really swell

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In today’s news and links, everybody loves Matt Stairs, and we say some bittersweet goodbyes.

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Yankees, Game 2 Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Good morning! There were a ton of great suggestions yesterday for the new name of this daily feature, but I haven’t gotten around to picking one yet. I’ll narrow it down and maybe put it to a vote.

I hope you watched the World Baseball Classic last night, because it was awesome. And now, to the news.

IronPigs manager Dusty Wathan is, shockingly, excited about the upcoming season

CSNPhilly’s Jim Salisbury interviewed new Lehigh Valley IronPigs manager Dusty Wathan about the upcoming season, and he is, SO SURPRISINGLY, excited about the upcoming season. I’m guessing the players are excited about not having to deal with Dave Brundage anymore, so Wathan is already ahead of the game. Wathan takes his job seriously, though, and recognizes the part he’s playing in the organization’s rebuild and in molding young players. DO YOU HEAR THAT, DAVE?!

The New York Times thinks Matt Stairs is swell

And why shouldn’t they? Matt Stairs IS swell! Tyler Kepner, an outstanding baseball writer, breaks down Stairs’ journey back into a baseball uniform, and captures a shit ton of great quotes along the way. So many that they might warrant their own post later today, but I digress. It’s a really fun piece, and a chance to get a peek into what Stairs’ mission is, and what Matt Klentak is thinking going forward.

The Phillies allow their merchandising director to grant a rare public interview

This mysterious figure, shrouded in intrigue and rarely seen in public, takes fans through some of the team’s giveaways. Am I being dramatic? Only a little. I’ve never heard of Scott Brandreth, and considering how frightened the Phillies are of things like “media” and “internet” and “cameras” and “fans knowing things,” I’m amazed they let this man out of his cave. We’ll have a breakdown of the Phillies promotions later this week, but if you want to see a regular Phillies employee who doesn’t normally get any camera time, then this video is for you.

Around the Phight

Tweet of the day

Today, tweet of the day has some announcements.

We must say a bittersweet goodbye to our writers Eric Chesterton and Matt Winkelman. Matt joined us last season, and has been a tireless evaluator and analyst of Phillies prospects. He’s going to be taking over Crashburn Alley, but hopefully he’ll have time to pop in every now and then for a mailbag. I’ll miss him terribly, and you should too.

And speaking of missing someone terribly, I’m already feeling that way about Eric. Eric had been over at Crashburn, but had planned to continue helping with recaps. That is, of course, until opportunity knocked and he answered the door. Eric will be heading over to MLB.com’s Cut4 blog, which is filled with some of the funniest baseball tidbits you’ll see. They have an incredible team of writers, and Eric will only add to their arsenal of talent. TGP won’t be the same without him.