Ben Revere speaks highly of GM Terry Ryan in return to Fort Myers
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A familiar scenario played out in the first inning at Hammond Stadium on Wednesday.
Leading off the game, centerfielder Ben Revere delivered a sharp single to right field, stole second base shortly after, then scored on a single to right field to give his team an early 1-0 lead.
The only difference was Revere donned a Philadelphia Phillies uniform, and his papercut offensive attack came against the Minnesota Twins.
The Phillies will probably see a lot of that in the years to come.
Revere received loud ovations during lineup introductions in his return to Fort Myers, and again when he came to the plate to lead off the game. He finished 2-for-4 with two singles, a strikeout, a reach on error and two runs scored.
Revere, who will likely hit in one of the top two spots in the order when the regular season starts, was traded to Philadelphia in December for a pair of young starters, Vance Worley and Trevor May. During batting practice on Wednesday, he spent time catching up with his former teammates.
"I just want to say, to the Minnesota Twins, up and down from the front office to the palyers, I just want a chance to say thank you," said Revere, who hit .278/.319/.323 with 74 stolen bases and countless spectacular catches in 254 games with the Twins. "The reason why I'm here is (them) working with me from 2007 until now, making me a better player. Getting a chance to go through that organization was a blessing."
Revere spoke highly of his new organization, which will have tough battles in the NL East against the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves. He added that Twins fans on Twitter "keep crying, telling me to come back."
"I knew they were going to trade one of the two of us," Revere said. "When Denard (Span) got traded, I was like, 'OK,' and (teammates) started calling me, congratulating me on being the new starting centerfielder. ... Then I got the call and everything, and I was kind of a little shocked. I kind of prepared myself for it a little bit. ...
"But I talked to TR (GM Terry Ryan), and he said, 'We need pitching, and the only way to get that is we've got to trade two of our best guys.'"
Revere said he and Ryan talked for "at least 30 minutes" after the trade was complete.
"Terry kind of teared up a little bit -- almost made me tear up. He's just helped me out a lot, coming up through the minor leagues and up to the big leagues... I was not upset whatsoever. It was all about business. I just told him thank you for the opportunities."
The Twins drafted Revere 27th overall in 2007 -- a pick that was questioned by many due to Revere's small stature and complete lack of power and throwing arm.
"Especially a guy my size," Revere said. "When you see the 6-3s, the 6-4s, the power guys, 30 bombs in high school and stuff, hitting home runs. And he sees a little guy coming in, and it's like, 'What are the Twins doing?' I remember from the beginning that I just talked to my dad, and he goes, 'A lot of people are going to doubt you right now, and you've got to prove them wrong.'
"Terry Ryan, he was a big Ben Revere fan from the start. I told him I wasn't going to let him down whatsoever. He's been on my case since the minor leagues, every single day, and even into the big leagues."
The Twins welcome the Phillies, and Revere, to Target Field in June.