Bullpen coach and batting practice pitching legend Ramon Henderson won't be back with the big club next year. Instead, Henderson has been "reassigned to a Minor League coaching position."
Henderson, known most for his pitching performances during Bobby Abreu and Ryan Howard's Home Run Derby victories, was the bullpen catcher since 1998, although he almost lost his job in 2000 when the Tito Francona regime was abolished. The late John Vukovich petitioned new manager Larry Bowa to keep him on staff. Although Ramon is not related to Rickey Henderson, he had this third person account of the story:
He talked Bowa into hiring me back. Since that day, a lot of good things have happened to Ramon Henderson. Two All-Star Games [as a Home Run Derby pitcher]. I got to be a coach for the USA team [in Japan last fall].Henderson missed most of the 2008 season due to "personal issues" and will now be replaced by bullpen catcher and catching instructor Mick Billmyer.
The open coaching position will be filled by Mechanicsburg, PA native Tim Gradoville. [Hopefully, WSBGM's will get an interview with Gradoville this year so we can ask him Mechanicsburg related questions like "How 'bout that new Wegmans?" or "Been to the Italian Oven lately?"]
Maybe Henderson will be positioned with the R-Phils so we can go visit him sometime, but in case we never do, WSBGM's would like to take this time to bid gracias and adios to Ramon Henderson, the greatest Phillies bullpen coach of this millennium.