Phillies' stars confirm having the best 'clubhouse vibe' ahead of Opening Day

The Phillies' clubhouse culture is a big part of the team's recent success on the field.
Los Angeles Angels v Philadelphia Phillies
Los Angeles Angels v Philadelphia Phillies / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

Philadelphia Phillies fans know that they are lucky to watch one of the most exciting and entertaining teams in Major League Baseball. It helps when the team is good (they are) and has players who have some personality to go along with it (they do). That makes it all the more gratifying when people outside Philly's little sports bubble take notice of how special a group this team really is.

If you have been watching the Phillies closely over this three-year competitive run, you've probably noticed how close this special group of ballplayers really is. From the young guys affectionately known as "the daycare," Alec Bohm, Brandon Marsh, and Bryson Stott sabotaging post-game interviews with gum-tossing and water-drenching hijinks, to all-out fierce play on the field, such as Bryce Harper staring down an opponent after being disrespected.

This is a fun bunch indeed.

Three members of the 2024 Phillies were recent guests on the Baseball Isn't Boring podcast hosted by baseball writer Rob Bradford. At the outset of the podcast, Bradford crowned the team with having the best clubhouse in baseball. So what do Brandon Marsh, Whit Merrifield, and Bryson Stott think helps further the perception that the Phillies' clubhouse is the best?

What makes the vibe in the Phillies clubhouse so different?

Brandon Marsh is about to begin his fourth full season as a Major League Baseball player, and his second as a member of the Phillies. Marsh has been lucky so far in his brief career to play on teams like the Los Angeles Angels, which featured All-Stars like Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, and now the Phillies with Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, and J.T. Realmuto.

Asked by Bradford what makes this Phillies clubhouse different, Marsh says it starts with a respect that has developed among the veterans and the younger players on the roster.

"I think this team is a really good balance of veteran leadership and young dudes that kind of bring some youth out of those guys [veterans]," said Marsh. "It's just a good mixture, and everyone loves each other here. We're all united, we're all fighting for the same goal, so it's a pretty cool feeling."

"I truly think that there's nothing like it," continued Marsh. "Just the city of Philadelphia, and just our locker room, the unity we have. It's different. It makes it fun to come to the park every day."

Phillies' clubhouse culture brought Whit Merrifield to Philly

Newcomer Whit Merrifield was asked by Bradford the importance of having a good clubhouse, and the veteran of eight seasons knows the difference between a good locker room and one that's toxic. The reputation of the Phillies clubhouse dynamic was a selling point for Merrifield when he was navigating free agency this offseason.

"Yeah, it's not a cliché, it's a huge thing [having a good clubhouse]," said Merrifield. "If you have a bad clubhouse, it's just not going to work. [If] you have a couple of guys that are bringing the clubhouse down, we call them clubhouse cancers. There's none of that here. It's well known around the league that this is one of, if not the best clubhouse environments in baseball, and a big part of success."

Merrifield has been a great fit for the Phillies since he signed a one-year, $7 million contract in February. The three-time All-Star is thrilled he had the opportunity to join a team that has an established culture.

"I'm just fortunate that Philly came calling, and [I] couldn't be happier," added Merrfield.

Rookies and veterans are treated as equals

Bryson Stott knows what it's like to be the young guy on a veteran team. Unlike many teams, the Phillies veterans view themselves as equals with rookies and other young ballplayers, and that goes a long way in helping team chemistry thrive.

"I think the biggest thing is the veterans don't think they're above anybody," said Stott. "I mean you obviously know who they are and you respect them and the ten, eleven, twelve years in the big leagues. But they treat rookies how they treat other veterans, and I think that's big in a clubhouse."

"People [players] treat Bryce [Harper] the same way he treats [Johan] Rojas, and I think that's why our clubhouse is so tight and so good."

Much of this current Phillies team has played together for the past three seasons. The clubhouse vibes seem to have carried over into the new season, and hopefully, this will be the year the Phillies will head back to the World Series with an eye toward bringing a championship back to Philadelphia. This squad is plenty likable, but do they have what it takes to get over the hump finally?