Baseball really is a family affair here in our house. Not only do I and my husband, Baseball Ross blog, but our dogs are part of the family business.
Some of you may be familiar with our youngest, Veronica. She was featured last summer on the Williamsport Croscutters “Pet Night” jersey.
Veronica (and Maggie if the weather is cool enough, she’s 15 1/2) love to go to bark in the Park. I guess you could say they are “rabid” fans. Usually, they will actually watch the game until about the 8th inning where they tend to nap.
They’ve been to Reading as well. Here’s Maggie in her younger days.
Veronica will even watch baseball on TV.
Today, Ross had two “assistants” while working on his blog. I mean, Veronica and Maggie have as much experience watching baseball as some bloggers, they have a vast knowledge base.
Then the “Senior Editor” had to review his work.
Let’s hope they approve, or Ross may need to bribe them with a couple of Milkbones.
This has been a tough spring. My foot injury kept me from going to any Phillies games until today, the last game. On the plus side, the ticket was FREE, so there’s that.
I have to be honest, I really didn’t feel like I was missing much, I love the minor league teams. Those guys are playing every game as it could be their last. Especially after the last round of cuts, it’s obvious that it COULD be their last. They play every game, every play. For many it’s not a job, it’s a passion. There’s something beautiful in that, something simple.
I did enjoy seeing the Phanatic:
I got to see Roman Quinn and Angelo Mora get the end of spring training awards:
Jeremy Hellickson pitched:
Peter Bourjos led off:
Then, in order:
As it was 0-0 when we needed to leave. I was feeling like it was ok, that I wasn’t going to miss anything, I mean nothing happened the first time through the line up.
Baseball Ross and I wanted to stop by Carpenter to see some of the minor leaguers, there’s still a few I need to get pictures of…so we started walking. (Well he walked and I hobbled.) By the time we got over there, the Phillies were losing to the Astros 3-0. We sighed and settled in to watching the young ones….
Next thing I knew my phone started going nuts and the Phillies came back to win, 8-4. I guess this is a lesson…I leave, the Phillies win. You’re welcome Phillies fans!
This is the part I hate about spring training, the cuts. It’s especially tough when you know the guys like Baseball Ross and I do. Some of this week’s cuts, come close to home, as we have known some of these guys for years and one is one of our “baseball sons”.
The first was pitcher Lino Martinez.
Then my friend, catcher Jesus Posso
Then short stop Dylan Bosheers
Also Scott Tomasetti, catcher
Pitcher Andrew Godail
Former Stanford quarterback, pitcher Evan Crower
And finally, the one that tears me up and breaks my heart, my first baseball “son” and last years’ Williamsport Crosscutters Booster Club Fan Favorite:
Feliberto wasn’t just any player, he was/is/will always be one of my favorites. We met him four years ago when he began his career with the Gulf Coast League Phillies and I am grateful to have had the last four years where he has called us his “American Parents”.
I always joked that he was meant to be my “son” as we have the same crazy sense of humor and the two of us could understand each other without even talking…much to Ross’ chagrin. Feliberto and I could play jokes on Ross and before he knew what was going on, Feliberto and I would be laughing hysterically.
While I didn’t mention him by name, he is the one that caused my “crazy trip to the Tampa Airport post” (you can read that fiasco HERE) When I got him back to go to hotel that night, he wouldn’t let me leave until he gave me the gift he had made for Ross and I and it is one of my most cherished possessions.
It says “Special for my parents, I love you Mom and Dad”.
That year, he had hurt his knee at Thanksgiving and was flown first to Philly for surgery then here to Clearwater for rehab-which is why I had picked him up at the airport.
While rehabbing, he was here for a month, returning to the Dominican just two days before Christmas. The day before he left, he was allowed to leave the hotel for the afternoon and we had an “American” Christmas.
Baseball Ross asked me to add:
“In Sanchez’ last two games he pitched five innings and struck out NINE…yet he was never given a chance to move up to Lakewood.”
Even now, I get a little choked up seeing the plaque because it means that much to me. It hangs right by my chair in the livingroom and even though he’s back in the Dominican, he’s never far from my heart. The only thing that’s changed over the years is that I’ve dropped the term “baseball”, he is my son. Hopefully, one day soon we can get together again.
It started out as a muggy afternoon and by the time the games were over, it was breezy and starting to sprinkle. I was kept busy by having the majority of my pitcher friends all pitching in the same game. There were two major leaguers, Carlos Ruiz and Charlie Morton on the other field. I was also lucky enough to meet two fans and the father of a player who loves the pictures of his son that Ross and I have posted. It’s things like that that make what we do so fun.
Here are the two major leaguers:
And the rest of the guys:
I was excited to get this shot, as Encarnacion hit a homer on this swing.
Now that my foot is healing, I am able to get to spring training almost every day. I feel like I am playing “catch-up” after missing so many days. There are so many players that I haven’t had a chance to see, let alone photograph.
The highlight of yesterday was being able to catch Carlos Alonso’s home run:
Ryan Howard was playing and it seemed like he was struggling at the plate, striking out all three times I saw him bat, though Baseball Ross thinks he saw him hit a double later.
This weekend has been the most tense weekend of spring training, it’s the weekend when the decisions are made as to which team each player is assigned or if they are released.
As evidenced by the picture above, Phillies front office personnel have been watching intently. The players have been swinging for the fences-we have seen AT LEAST eight home runs this weekend alone.
After speaking with the players, they all say, “soon” and “by the end of the week”.
While there another workgroup lists/rosters be released before then? Probably not. Usually th way we find out is to come the day they break camp and watch the players load their equipment into trucks labeled with the destination on it. For accuracy, we are stuck waiting for the teams to update the rosters on the websites.
As someone lucky enough to get to know these kids, it’s a hard week. It’s such a roller coaster, some guys move up, some stay at the same level and some sadly are released. It’s also hard to see them go, as we don’t know if we will get to see them until next year.
For me, the best part is to see those guys who are moving up-they always have a look of promise on their faces. That is what I wait for all month. The look of accomplishment that makes it all worth while.
It may be the Highest of Holy days on the Christian calendar, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be baseball today. It makes me think of the opening scene from that great baseball movie, “Bull Durham”:
I believe in the Church of Baseball. I’ve tried all the major religions and most of the minor ones. I’ve worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I learned that, I gave Jesus a chance. [sigh] But it just didn’t work out between us. The Lord laid too much guilt on me. I prefer metaphysics to theology.
So in a little while, Baseball Ross and I will head out to the Carpenter Complex for a little “church”.
Today was one of those days where there was so much going on on three of the four fields at the Carpenter Complex that I could have used a twin or even a triplet to help me try to cover all the action. I’m still stuck using my knee scooter, which has actually turned out to be a help, I can zip around faster than I can walk and when I pick a spot to set up, I can sit on the cushioned seat right against the fence without obstructing anyone’s view.
There was a bit of a kerfuffle trying to get into the parking lot so we were delayed a bit, but as I walked up to Roberts Field in the back, I was pleased to see Cody Asche back at the plate. I was even more pleased to see him smack the ball so hard that it landed at the base of the hill to US 19! It was definitely one of the longest hits I’ve ever seen on that field. You can see pictures of the hit HERE.
Mitch Walding also had a great day, with two home runs, one that I have a picture of and one that Baseball Ross has on video. You can see it HERE.
Dylan Cozens also hit two home runs, I managed to get a picture of one of them.
Here’s some pictures from the rest of the day, my only regret is that I got to Schmidt field in time to see David Buchanan’s last pitch and didn’t have time to get my camera up to get a shot.
The most unique thing I saw today was a true submariner, Ben Rowen of the Jays. I think he has the lowest release point of any submariner I’ve ever seen.
It was a great day for baseball and I can’t wait to do it again tomorrow.