WSBGM's would like to welcome Larry Shenk to the blog for a nice little Q&A session. For those you not familiar with Larry Shenk, allow me to enlighten you- he is the writer of the Phillies Insider blog, is nicknamed "the Baron", has been associated with the Phils since 1964 (mostly as public relations director), and gets to watch baseball for a living...life is good.
1. What all do you do for the Phillies?
Have you been talking with my wife? Julie asked me the same thing last week. In my new role I serve as a blogger, writer (online and our publications), overseeing Phillies Alumni (Alumni weekend which includes the Wall of Fame, updating our files, responding to media requests for Alumni), historian, advisor to Bonnie Clark who assumed my previous duties last April, and point person for certain e-mails sent to the Phillies.
2. Aside from 2008, which season has been your favorite?
Obviously 1980 was special as I sort of grew up with those players. 1993 was also very special, a unique and challenging group with which to work.
3. Your favorite player from each decade (70's, 80's, 90's, 00's)?
It is difficult to pinpoint one player. Among my favorites: Jim Bunning, Dick Allen, the ‘80 team, Darren Daulton, Mitch Williams, Jim Thome, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, J-Roll, Shane Victorino, Jamie Moyer.
4. What's the greatest thing about spring training?
It doesn’t seem like work. PR hours: 8-10 hours a day, 7 days a week, 6-7 weeks but it never seemed like work. The weather is great, the team is 0-0, the media is happy, players are relaxed, pressure-cooker hasn’t been turned on.
5. Compare Larry Bowa, Terry Francona, and Charlie Manuel's personalities.
Larry is hyper, a full-throttle approach but that’s why he became such a great player. Terry is a personable gentleman, very respectful. Charlie is a down-to-earth person, a fatherly figure who can air you out. Knows what he is doing and doesn’t miss a thing.
6. Like Joe Paterno a Nittany Lion, do you plan on being a Phillie for life?
That’s really up to the Lord, number 1, and how much and how long I can contribute, number 2, and how long the club will put up with me, number 3.
7. Just how cool was "Campaign Cheer"?
It was cool and you guys need to be congratulated. At a time when everyone wanted to declare war, you came up with something positive.
8. Thing you look forward to most in the upcoming season.
The challenge of becoming the first back-to-back NL champion since the 1975-76 Reds.
9. Describe the Diamond Club, and can you hook us up with a pair of tickets?
Neat place, great food, great atmosphere and the seats are terrific. Tickets? Heck, even I don’t have access.
10. Best feature of Citizen's Bank Park?
Ashburn Alley. Reminds me of the boardwalk at the beach.
11. What other sports do you follow?
76ers, Flyers, Eagles, ACC basketball. Love Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest student-athlete programs.
12. Biggest perk of your job?
Getting paid to watch a baseball game.
13. You have an MLB blog called "Phillies Insider", just how much of an insider are you?
Well, I’m still privy to what’s going on, but not to the degree as in the past. My idea of the blog is to write something different, an angle that other media won’t have. I won’t break news and I won’t be controversial. That’s for others. The blog isn’t an original idea; got the idea from the White Sox and Dodgers, the first two clubs to post.
14. Have you seen a mock-up of the World Series ring, and do you get one?
I haven’t seen it and yes, I will be getting one. My collection will include the 1980 World Champions, 1983 and 1993 NL champions, 1976 All-Star game, and, the most important ring…the one given to me by Julie 45 years ago.