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Notes: Activism; '21 slate; intrasquad game

@ToddZolecki
July 9, 2020

PHILADELPHIA -- The world has changed in so many ways since the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled Spring Training in March. Black Lives Matter emerged as a powerful and sustaining movement. Following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, public support for Black Lives Matter has skyrocketed. A

PHILADELPHIA -- The world has changed in so many ways since the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled Spring Training in March.

Black Lives Matter emerged as a powerful and sustaining movement. Following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, public support for Black Lives Matter has skyrocketed. A poll in the New York Times in June found that the majority of American voters support it by a 28-point margin.

Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty said Thursday that “something is in the works,” when asked if he planned to promote Black Lives Matter on the field. It is possible that Phillies players use their platforms to promote social justice, too. Phillies manager Joe Girardi said he expects to see something across baseball this season.

“It’s important that as teammates and as organizations that we understand that players have a lot of different feelings,” Girardi said. “All of this affects them in a different way, and that we’re understanding and that we try to understand other people’s points of view. I believe that there probably will be things that happen during the course of the season. I support my players wholeheartedly.

“Because everyone has different feelings when it comes to what’s going on in our country. And, you know, I’m going to feel different than the next guy and the next guy will feel different than me. So I just think that it’s important that we understand each other and that we respect each other and we respect each other’s point of view. Because isn’t that why we live in this country? I mean, that’s what I’ve always thought. So, whatever they do, I support what they do.”

Phillies announce 2021 schedule
There are some interesting twists to the Phillies’ 2021 schedule, which was released Thursday.

Opening Day is April 1, when the Phillies open a three-game series against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies’ first 13 games are against the National League East rival Braves and Mets, as they load up on division games early. Philadelphia plays its final home game against a division rival on Aug. 8, when the club hosts the Mets for three games. The Phillies play only 15 of their final 50 games against division rivals.

Other schedule highlights:

• Former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler returns with the Giants on April 19-21.
• The Phillies host the Red Sox (May 21-23), Yankees (June 12-13), Rays (Aug. 24-25) and Orioles (Sept. 20-22).
• The Interleague schedules takes the Phillies to Toronto (May 14-16), Tampa Bay (May 29-30), Boston (July 9-11) and New York (July 20-21).
• If it is feasible, the two best road trips for fans might be Dodgers-Giants from June 14-20, especially with a day off between series. How about a drive north on the Pacific Coast Highway? Another great trip might be Cubs-Red Sox from July 5-11. Wrigley Field and Fenway Park back to back? Yes, please.
• The team finishes the season with a six-game road trip through Atlanta and Miami. The final game of the regular season is Oct. 3.

Intrasquad results
Zack Wheeler allowed one run in three-plus innings in Thursday’s scrimmage. Vince Velasquez allowed one run in three innings.

“I thought Wheeler was very good today,” Girardi said. “I thought he got stronger as the game went on. I thought by the second and third innings, he was dynamite.”

Didi Gregorius made a few nice plays at shortstop. He also hit a two-run single in a 3-1 victory for the Phillies wearing their home jerseys. Josh Harrison tripled, although it looked like a home run that landed just next to the left-field foul pole and bounced back onto the field. Jean Segura singled to score a run. Roman Quinn walked, singled and scored.

Adam Morgan, Bud Norris and Blake Parker each threw a scoreless inning. Reggie McClain threw two scoreless innings. Anthony Swarzak allowed four hits and two runs in one inning.

“Reggie McClain maybe threw the best breaking ball that I’ve seen him throw,” Girardi said. “He got a lot of ground balls. He got five ground balls. He got two double plays. That’s the type of pitcher he is. Bud Norris, that’s the sharpest he’s looked if you include Spring Training 1 and 2. I thought Parker’s breaking ball was better than I’ve seen it. His curveball was really good today. He got into some trouble and got out of it with a double play.”

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook .