The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Pinellas County

Ok, I may not be Mark Twain, but today’s story of the Phillies baseball game does involve a jumping frog.

Baseball Ross, our visiting friend, B and I managed to snag seats in the front row along the third base side. It was a beautiful sunny day, one of the best in a long while. It was at the beginning of the fourth inning when the Hooters Girl turned and said, “Look! It’s a little frog!”

Everyone turned to look and indeed, there was a little yellow frog poking his head out from between the padding and the concrete retaining wall. When it realized we all were staring at it, it ducked back under the padding. The Hooters girl then poked the padding and that’s when it happened!

The frog jumped and easily leapt a good two feet…right onto B’s hand! She screamed and threw her hands up! I screamed thinking she had done that because a ball was coming with us! The frog then leapt and ended up under the front row. Several people screamed that they didn’t like frogs, but the gentleman on B’s other side and I became very concerned that someone would step on the little guy.

So we tried go get to where we could corral him. Eventually, the gentleman managed to grab him and toss him back on the field…the Hooters girl was not happy with that! She took the opportunity to take a bathroom break and leave the field.

The poor little guy looked traumatized by the ordeal.

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It was then that Mike the security guy came by and I gave him my cup and Mike got another guard to capture the frog dubbed, “Ryan Hopper” back to the wetlands outside the stadium.

We also learned today that sitting next to the Hooters Girl (when she’s not hiding from a frog) can get you on TV.

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Can you see us?

Soon after the “Celebrated Jumping Frog” Ryan Hopper was returned to the swamp, we realized we were up 9-3, we decided that since it was B’s final night here in Clearwater we’d take her to the beach and every Phillies fan’s “Mecca” the “Taj Mahal” known as Ryan Howard’s house.

Started over two years ago, Casa de Howard isn’t even nearly done.

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From the street, it’s vast, three times the size of the surrounding properties.

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The house is situated on a PUBLIC beach, only a few blocks from a public beach access lot.

The house is a monstrosity and the rumors of a “lazy river” running THROUGH the house are true.

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You can’t quite see it, but there are concrete bridges crossing the river.

It really was larger than any house I’ve ever seen and from Ross and I just finishing having our little house built last year, let me assure you that Howard’s place isn’t even close to being done.

May be by the time B returns on her next visit, Howard’s house will be completed…..or if it’s like everything else when it comes to construction, may be not.

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Could it be Victorino?????

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reporting that there is a greater chance of the Phils being able to move Shane Victorino, with the Reds, Dodgers and Yankees reportedly showing interest.

What will Rabid Ruben do today? What mayhem will he cause and how will it affect the Phils…

I think he knows that with his past performance that his job is on the line…I think he’s grasping at straws.

So the question is…what will his desperation cause him to do?

Chase Utley dressed and on the field at extended spring training

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Pulled up to extended Spring Training today and got here just in time to see Utley bat. Afterwards he went to sit and I noticed Jim Thome (in shorts and a T-shirt) watching his friend.

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Utley is running the bases. He is looking good, no hitch in his run…doesn’t seem to be in pain
You can watch him run here

Chase Utley running

*edited to correct link to Chase running on youtube

Drew Naylor pitches in extended spring training

We are a few weeks into the extended spring training and we still haven’t manage to get our hands on a schedule. It’s hit or miss as to whether we will come by the Carpenter Complex and get to catch a game.

Today, we were lucky, VERY lucky.

We got to see Aussie Drew Naylor pitch today in a rehab appearance. Drew is a good guy and sadly, after looking good at the beginning of spring training last year, he injured his elbow and had to have the dreaded “Tommy John” surgery. We saw him at the Complex right after the surgery and felt bad for the guy. It had to have been miserable. It’s nothing you ever want to undergo and it is always a long road back.

Drew Naylor

From what Ross and I could guess, it seemed that Drew was not only working on a pitch count of approximately 20-25 pitches, it also seemed that he was loosening up his arm by pitching fast balls.

Drew Naylor Pitching

Frankly, we were surprised to see him so we may have missed a few pitches at first….but boy was it good to see him back on the bump.

I hope he continues to progress and returns to regular play soon.

De Fratus, De Layed

Today was the day pitcher Justin De Fratus was to return to the mound to continue his rehab.

Unfortunately, it appears that it will not happen today. For the first time in weeks we have had a substantial rain shower. Additionally, the National Weather Service was calling for heavy showers and the potential for thunder storms.

Despite the rain, Ross and I made our way to the Carpenter Complex. It seemed that no one was around and the bus for the visiting team was not there.

I’ll keep my ears open to see when he might get his next chance.

Final Tune-Ups for Lakewood and Clearwater

It really wasn’t publicized and by the size of the crowd, or lack thereof, that was obvious. I found out from a friend on Facebook of all places…The price for the last tune up before Lakewood leaves for Greenville South Carolina was right too…FREE.

There was roughly a hundred people at Brighthouse and we were lucky, the weather was wonderful; so cool, no humidity. These were the die-hards, season ticket holders, family and pitchers charting for the night. It’s the kind of night I love to watch baseball. You can really get lost in the game. The people there are really into the game, there’s no crying baby in front of you, no kid kicking the back of your seat, just people who love the game.

We met some dear friends and settled in.

My only complaint and one I’ve now complained not once, but twice to the Threshers is that there STILL isn’t a roster printed. So on top of the Threshers not having names on their jerseys, there was no list to coordinate the numbers with the names. So after a couple of innings, we gave up guessing who each player might be. The BlueClaws players were still wearing their Phillies spring training jerseys which had their names on them so that worked. By late today, I was told by the Threshers that there should be an official roster announced by tomorrow. Yeah, within 24 hours of the first pitch of the season and we still won’t know who’s on the team! Sheesh!

Now the first pitcher for the Threshers, him I knew, Mike Stutes was pitching to rehab his sore shoulder.

Mike Stutes pitching with the Threshers in a rehab appearance

Stutes pitched a strong inning…a four out inning. Yep, they kept him on for an additional batter so that he got enough pitches in. He looked good.

My friends who are season ticket holders went to chat with some of their other friends and soon called me over. The father of Bryan Morgado was sitting with them. Bryan, who will be starting the year with Lakewood, was scheduled to pitch. Morgado looked sharp. He had command. He pitched between 92-94 mph and looked like the top left handed reliever of the future.

Bryan Morgado winds up

Percival Garner pitched four strong shutout innings for Clearwater as well.

Cameron Rupp for the Threshers and Kyrell Hudson for the BlueClaws each had long homers. Aaron Altherr had two hits for Lakewood.

It was a fun night and while the final score really doesn’t matter, in fact, they played an extra inning to get a pitcher his work, the final was 7-1.

So that’s tonight’s wrap up. I’ve got a lot going on this week and hope to keep you updated….

 

Ok, so my “time off” is short…

LOL…I just posted in my blog review of Eric Pettis’ book, Just A Minor Perspective: Through The Eyes of a Minor League Rookie, that I was trying to find something to do waiting for the season to start…

FOUND IT! Tonight there is a game between the Threshers and the Phillies who are still here for extended spring training….may be now, we’ll figure who is actually on the Threshers’ roster!

Guess there’s no rest for the wicked.