Spring Training Review

With the end of spring training in sight, it is time for the yearly Review:

Impressive Players
Domonic Brown certainly was impressive during his stay in the big league camp.  He just needs to play and play and play and someday he will be here.

Both Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick certainly pitched well enough to grab the fifth spot. So, we have six starters.  Depth is always welcomed.  The season is a marathon.

Over in the minor league camp, kept hearing impressive things about a young right-handed pitcher, Jarred Cosart.  Remember that name.

Most Consistent
This honor goes to Mother Nature.  Winds from the north/northwest dominated the spring.  The winter was the coldest in St. Petersburg in 96 years.  Really great to be part of history!

Believe It Or Not
One day in mid-March, the temperature at 4:30 p.m. in Clearwater was 62 degrees.  Back in Philly, it was 68.  Figure that one out.

Frank First
Frank Coppenbarger is the Phillies travel person, equipment person, ticket person, hotel person, and whatever person.  He’s also a veteran who has been around and around and has seen about everything.

Said he had a first one day:  he couldn’t rent a car for a player because that player was too young.  Later, an older player asked to borrow his reading glasses. 

Festival Place
Games at Bright House Field are like a festival.   Sellouts were the norm.  Fan support was unbelievable. 

Everywhere you looked, there were fans wearing Phillies gear: hats, caps, jerseys, t-shirts. Driving through Clearwater Beach this month, you could spot Phillies fans taking a stroll on the beach walk

Most Popular
Performed an unscientific and unofficial poll one game of the most popular Phillies jersey fans were wearing.  Number 1: None other than #26, Chase Utley.

Also saw one #27 with the name Montanez on the back.  Needless to say that person was in the senior citizens category.  Or, he was old, like Willie.

Best Sign
J. D.’s is a restaurant in Indian Rocks Beach.  Hand made signs are displayed everywhere.

My favorite: “Our chef has a world class cooking trophy.  He won it in a poker game.”

Touching Trade
Home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi walked to the screen behind home plate at Bright House Field one afternoon and handed a baseball to a little boy, who appeared to be about 5 years old.

The boy rewarded Cuzzi with a lollypop.  Fans applauded the trade.

Biggest Ovation
We had Phillies Alumni throw out the first ball for nearly every Clearwater game.  The most popular was an Alumni battery of John Kruk tossing to Darren Daulton. 

Tourist Award
Bill Houser and his wife, Wilma, are yearly spring training visitors.  He’s a security supervisor at Citizens Bank Park.  Last Sunday when the game was rained out, Wilma headed for the Clearwater Threshers office while gentleman Bill said he would get the car from the parking lot and meet her in front of Bright House Field. Very touching gesture.

He boarded a trolley bus he thought would be take him to the parking lot.  Wrong.  The trolley was on its normal route of stopping in Clearwater along the way to Island Estates and then to Clearwater Beach.

Bill got to see the sights on a rainy afternoon.  When the last passenger exited on the beach, there sat Bill and the driver. (Wilma is still sitting in the ballpark). Lucky for Bill, the driver was a retired SEPTA bus driver from Philadelphia who was kind enough to drive him back to the ballpark. 

An hour and a-half later, Bill and Wilma were reunited, making for a happy ending. Very touching scene.

If you see Bill at Citizens Bank Park, don’t ask him for directions to the parking lot.  He might put you on a bus to Atlantic City.


1 Comment

Yeah, it was definitely chillier than the past times we’ve visited ST. No problem, though – a week away from responsibilities, watching baseball on a sunny afternoon, with palm trees in the background is always good! Wasn’t too happy about the one rainy day though. Love the story about Bill and Wilma! I can’t imagine she was a happy camper, waiting around for an hour and a half. I hope he made it up to her with a really nice dinner out!

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