Let’s be honest, even die hard Phillies fans were sweating this one out, no one knew if the Phillies would cough up the dough to make (in the words of the Inky’s Matt Breen) “Baseball’s Premier Catcher” JT Realmuto stay in Philly.
I know I bit my nails to the quick. I really didn’t think they could come up with enough money to give Realmuto his dream to be the highest average annual value for a catcher in the history of baseball. The “magic number” they agreed upon was $23.1 million per season over five years for a grand total of *drumroll* $155.5 MILLION DOLLARS.
For the next three years, the Phillies look to have a rather beefy team with Realmuto, Bryce Harper, Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler. They also just inked Rhys Hoskins to keep him at first…hopefully, “Rookie Season Rhys” will return and be a bigger contributor this season.
After the abysmal year that was 2020, both on and off the field, may be, just may be, there’s a light at the end of this long tunnel between championship wins. Let’s just hope it’s not the headlight of an oncoming train.
In 2012, Baseball Ross and I moved to Dunedin, Florida. This quaint town is home to the Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training facilities and a historic hotel where baseball’s most famous player, Babe Ruth, once stayed.
We were walking along Edgewater Drive when we found a sign (it’s been removed since then) that stated that Babe Ruth had stayed there. It’s ironic that the Red Sox and Yankee great had stayed just a few blocks from the Jay’s Florida Auto Exchange Stadium and five miles from the Phillies’ Spectrum Field.
You can see our video about the historic Fenway HERE.
June 24th was a day that former Threshers pitcher Matt Imhof will never forget. That day, his life was changed forever when a piece of workout equipment at the Brevard County Manatees stadium broke and he lost his eye.
I wrote a series of articles about the horrible accident HERE, HERE and HERE.
Today, nearly 7 months after the accident, Matt announced his retirement today. Read the ESPN article HERE.
It is good that he has decided that he, “wont be defined by my worst day.” It is a positive attitude like that that will make him successful in whatever he decides to do.
To quote the hit TV series, “This is Us”. “He took the sourest lemon life has to offer and turned into something resembling lemonade.”
I’ve always liked Matt, he was always kind to me and I wish him the best in everything he does. He is a quality kid and I have a feeling he will go far.
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you will know I’ve made several visits over the years to check on the progress and eventual completion of Ryan Howard’s mega-mansion that includes two pools, 2 elevators, a lazy river, a bowling alley and much, much more.
Today was a perfect day for a walk on a public beach. Yes, Howard’s house is on a public beach so you can walk by and take a look at his lazy river and pool. The house is located at 1700 Gulf Boulevard in Belleair Beach, Florida. Please note there is NO public parking on the streets of Belleair Beach and the closest PUBLIC parking lot is a half mile away. The beach access two lots down from Howard’s home is for Belleair Beach residents only by permit. Do not park there unless you want your car towed.
Half a mile north of his home is Morgan Park, located at 2650 Gulf Boulevard. This is Belleair Beach’s ONLY public parking beach access. It is right on the beach and is a PAID lot. The park is hard to find and this is the only marker.
There are bathrooms, outdoor showers and a small shelter. There are no drinking fountains. Be aware it is a very small lot.
Ross and I put together a video with many shots of the house and surrounding area. You can watch it HERE.
Hope you enjoy the video.
UPDATE: Ryan Howard has sold the home, you can read my blog about it HERE.
Well it’s finally happened. We made a vlog. It’s a first try so it may not be award winning, but hey, we all have to start somewhere!
This spring, Baseball Ross and I hope to post videos from Spring Training along with our written blogs. We hope with the addition of all the new video options we can increase our coverage.
So here’s vlog number one, my thoughts, pictures and video about the Phillies’ new baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. If you watch closely, you may see a familiar Williamsport Crosscutter! Watch HERE.
Today was an important day for the future of the Phillies Academy in the Dominican Republic. The Phillies’ new facility opened to much fanfare.
The new facility is a joint project with the Minnesota Twins. According to the press release the facility in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic is described as an “$18 million, 85,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility is housed on 45 acres. Prospects for both teams will reside and train at the academy, participate in an education program and take part in a cultural development program…Each side of the academy includes three full-sized fields, bullpen mounds, agility field, covered batting cages, dormitory space for up to 78 prospects, dining hall, weight room, training room, video coaching room and three classrooms for English language and Spanish instruction in multiple high school level topics.Additionally, the Twins and Phillies will share a kitchen facility, an auditorium consisting of 98 theater-style seats and a maintenance building.”
“Today is an exciting day for the Phillies and the Twins and for the future of our respective franchises,” said Phillies President Andy MacPhail.“This new facility allows both teams to provide on-field training and development, off-the-field cultural development and educational advancement, all of which are vital to becoming a successful baseball player in the United States.”
Many of the Phillies brass were in attendance including the Phamous Philly Phanatic who posed with former Williamsport Crosscutter and Recipient of the Williamsport Crosscutters Booster Club Fan Favorite Award, Feliberto Sanchez who is newly minted as the Assistant Pitching Coach at the Dominican Academy.
Included was a picture of the facility…
Now, what you do not see in the standard coverage is actual photographs of the facility, however, due to the kindness of my Dominican friends, I can provide them here.