Guess I just got lucky, went to the first minor league game of the season and managed to catch both Odubel Herrera and Cesar Hernandez making rehab appearances. I saw Odubel made 3 at bats and Hernandez 2 (they may have batted more, but as I was covering 2 games-They may have batted more.) Neither played the field.
Many times in minor league spring games, rehabbing major leaguers will bat at the top of every inning until they get their work done.
I managed to get my hands on a much-coveted ticket to today’s game where Bryce Harper will Make his Phillies debut. It’s a sell-out!
I got in as soon as the gates opened and managed to get to see Harper take 2 at bats before heading into the locker room.
Afterwards they lead him out through the Hooters Diamond Dugout to avoid the crowd.
He did come to sign for those of us standing there…I didn’t ask since I got one Thursday..but I did say to him, “Hey, Bryce thanks for the autograph on Thursday, I really appreciate it!” He stopped, looked to see who said that, met my eyes and said, “you’re welcome, glad to.”
He’s defiantly not “who they said he is”. He’s thoughtful and appreciative to his fans. So much better than I could have expected.
I am happy to finally be able to post the 2019 Phillies Minor League Roster. Unlike previous years, there is no division by “workgroup”. Historically, each workgroup would signify what team each player could end up on. Since Kapler has become manager, there are no longer workgroups and just the one issue of the list. Any releases will be hard to track.
“He’s arrogant!” “He’s such a jerk, flipping his hair!” Don’t forget the famous quote, “That’s a clown question.”
That’s the sort of impression you get from the media about Bryce Harper. To be honest, I wasn’t that thrilled at the prospect of getting Harper, I mean who needs that kind of attitude? I was happy for what he could do for us, but that attitude? What I’ve witnessed over the last few days seems very much different from what I thought Bryce Harper was like.
Today, was something 180° from the “image” the image media foists on him. The Harper I saw was soft-spoken, thoughtful and giving of his time.
Harper took live BP off of several minor league pitchers on Roberts field. Video of Harper vs Trevor Bettincourt is HERE. Harper vs Addison Russ is HERE. After each pitcher finished his set, Harper went over, shook their hand and told them what they did well or if there was something that could be improved. He was generous with his knowledge and time.
This doesn’t sound like the guy the media told us he was…does it? He seems so invested in making everyone around him better. That’s not the “selfish jerk” image that was given to him. It’s ANYTHING BUT. I always try to believe the best in everyone which is why I went into the whole Harper thing this week with an open mind. At the press conference to introduce him to the team he said everything you’d want your new franchise player to say. Then to see him today, spending time and sharing knowledge with these young, up and coming pitchers…that’s class. It’s pure class.
After practice, there were may be 15 people there waiting for autographs, myself included. He came and signed for everyone. I told him, “Thank you for coming to Philadelphia, we are glad to have you here.” He looked at the ball he signed for me and said, “Same.” A simple, one word answer that was soft and unassuming. He simply is glad to be here. What more do you need?
I think my favorite story of the day, however, is this one. Standing next to me was this man. he was there with his baby. A year ago his wife gave Harper the sonogram to show her husband and that’s how she told him they were expecting! He had the picture from last year on a poster…
It was the greatest thing I’ve seen in a long time. Before you ask, Harper did sign the little guy’s jersey for his bedroom wall. Just one more bit of proof that Harper is NOT what they want you to think he is, he actually is what we need him to be, a decent soft spoken leader that is kind and respectful to the fans that love him. Welcome to Philly, Bryce, welcome to Philly.
Well, we got to the Carpenter Complex and hoped to see Bruce Harper taking BP with the minor leaguers or in the stadium again today. Sadly, the field conditions were poor due to a strong thunderstorm overnight so all practice was limited.
Story was that Harper walked over from the stadium, ate breakfast at Carpenter with the minor leaguers and worked out back at Spectrum Field.
He did not appear again until he left, though with my long lens I managed to snag a picture:
Baseball Ross and I then headed to the ticket office and snagged some of the last tickets for Harper’s debut as a Phillie on Saturday!
Then I got the last Harper shirtzey in my size!
So while I didn’t get the autograph I wanted to see BP, I did get a shirtzey and tickets to the debut…so all in all it was a good day!