Plenty of Texas connections for Phils
Eaton, Seanez among players who've suited up for both clubs
ARLINGTON -- Given the size of Texas, you'd expect the Phillies to have multiple connections to the Lone Star State.In the Rangers' clubhouse, it starts with former Phils pitchers Kevin Millwood and Vicente Padilla, who will start Saturday, and spreads to outfielder Marlon Byrd. Those names evoke memories of Philadelphia clubs that underachieved. The Phils have plenty more Rangers connections. Adam Eaton spent the 2006 season with the Rangers, and Rudy Seanez called Texas one of his many homes in '02.
Reliever Clay Condrey lives in Navasota, near Houston, where closer Brad Lidge and infielder Eric Bruntlett spent their careers before a November trade brought them to Philadelphia. Starter Kyle Kendrick was born in Houston.Texas bench coach Art Howe spent a few days with the Phillies, after they hired him as their third-base coach before the 2007 season. He was replaced by Steve Smith, who had spent the previous five seasons waving runners around third base for the Rangers. The lines extend to the broadcast booth. Phils radio play-by-play announcer Scott Franzke began his career in Texas and served as the pregame and postgame host for Rangers games in 1997-98. Phillies television color analyst Gary Matthews boasts that his son, Angels outfielder Gary Matthews Jr., played three years with the Rangers.
"This is fun," Byrd said about facing his former team. "These are my boys. Jimmy Rollins is my son's [Marlon's] godfather. Ryan Howard was in my wedding party. Brett [Myers] pitches today -- he was my roommate going through the Minor Leagues. It's going to be fun."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.