Phils option 'Thor' to Minors
Popular outfielder Bohn, lefty Outman among those sent down
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The player who stood out most in Phillies camp -- how can you not when you're listed at 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds? -- packed his bags and exited the Bright House Field clubhouse on Friday.
T.J. Bohn vacated his prime locker stall in the high-rent district, next to J.C. Romero, down a few spaces from Adam Eaton and around the corner from Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Geoff Jenkins, and moved to his new crib -- along with Josh Outman, Carlos Carrasco, Greg Golson and Brandon Watson, who were all reassigned -- with the Minor Leaguers at the Carpenter Complex.
If you're asking, "Who is T.J. Bohn?" you're not alone.
Bohn, 28, goes by many nicknames, with each one bringing delight to whoever utters it.
"He's Ivan Drago," said Romero, referencing the Russian boxer from "Rocky IV." "That's what I thought the first day I saw him. He looks like he should be a tall wide receiver. He doesn't look like a baseball player to me."
Bohn also gained the moniker "Thor" from Eaton and "Zeus" from Shane Victorino. Hearing these names recited back to Bohn, Jenkins jumped in.
"And the guy from 'The Karate Kid,' Johnny," Jenkins said. "'Give him a body bag. Sweep the leg!'"
"I've heard that one quite a bit," Bohn said. "I dressed up like [Johnny] for Halloween one year. I had a good time that Halloween. Is there a better holiday? I don't think so."
Bohn relishes his nicknames, because "none of them are terrible things to be called." The long blond hair that makes the kid from St. Louis Park, Minn., look like a Southern California surfer dude grew out a couple of years ago, and Bohn let it stay.
Bohn's journey to Philadelphia has an added fun element. Claimed off waivers Sept. 24 from Atlanta, the righty arrived in Philadelphia for a physical the next day. He spent an hour in the clubhouse, was introduced around by Greg Dobbs, who he knew from Seattle, then watched that night's game from the stands.
When the Phillies clinched the National League East on Sept. 30, Bohn was tending bar at his mother and stepfather's restaurant, Mastracchio's, in Millersville, Pa., about two hours west of Philadelphia, in Lancaster County.
"I was working that day. I was like, 'I'm not really on this team, but...'" Bohn said.
Bohn poked his head in the Major Leagues for 18 games while with Seattle in 2006, batting .143 in 18 at-bats. With a set bench and Chris Snelling, another former Seattle teammate, ahead of him, Bohn had a slim chance of making Philadelphia's Opening Day roster.
He knew that, but that won't stop his drive to sit in a Major League clubhouse with his new friends again.
"If you really want to play baseball, you go where they want you," Bohn said. "They pay me money for it, so I can't complain. It was nice to be near to the MVP in a crowded section. I like how they throw everybody together. It forces everyone to get to know people."
For a month, teammates got to know Bohn.
"They put him with the royalty," Dobbs said. "He's a hard-working, Philadelphia-working-type guy, and he'll get there. He's a beast."
"He looks like a pure athlete, but also Zeus, the god of athletes," Victorino said.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.