Hurricane Hermine’s bands of rain moved onshore here this morning. While it was obvious that’s the Threshers game against the Dunedin Blue Jays in Dunedin would be cancelled, our baseball son was still required to report to Brighthouse field.
It wasn’t too hard of a trip but Old Coachman was closed from the Complex to NE Coachman. There was a few heavy bands of rain and a few periods without rain.
I also took video driving through the area…you can watch it HERE.
Here are a few pictures of the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium where the game was to take place tonight…
Earlier today, the final game of the GCL Phillies was cancelled and it locked them in as the first place team so (weather permitting) the play off game would be held tomorrow. I sincerely doubt it will be played.
So it’s a very wet night.they have added the Clearwater area to the Tropical Storm warning area and we are also under a tornado warning tonight. Baseball Ross and I live outside the 100 year flood plain so we should be safe.
June 1st is the start of the “official” hurricane season. This year, it took only 6 days for the first serious storm to hit the Clearwater area. Tropical Storm Colin never got to hurricane status but there were a few serious wind gusts that topped 50mph and rain varied from “only” 5 inches to almost 9 inches in Pinellas county.
Due to the state of emergency that was declared by the governor and the horrible weather, the Threshers cancelled Monday’s game. Dropping our houseguests at the field this morning revealed the extent of the damage to the Carpenter Complex. I took a “behind the scenes” video from the private drive along the back side of Brighthouse Field looking towards Schmidt and the more severely flooded Ashburn field.You can see the video HERE.
I also took a few stills which I’ve included below:
Let’s hope this is the last of the flooding and damage pictures for this hurricane season.
While there is no “one way” to do spring training, here are a few helpful hints to make enjoying Phillies Spring Training easy:
Wear comfortable shoes. If you park at Lot A next to the Carpenter Complex, it’s grass. To walk into Carpenter and then out and around to Brighthouse is around half a mile each way. If you walk around between the fields at Carpenter then Brighthouse, you can easily walk over two miles.
Wear sunscreen! There is very little shade.
Before actual games start, everything is FREE! Parking, all practices at Carpenter and batting practice at Brighthouse everything is FREE! Once games start, the practice sessions/minor league training at Carpenter are still free but on game days you must pay for parking. Be aware that Lot A will fill up early on game days and the next closest lot is at Coachman Discgolf. Parking is cheaper but it’s about half a mile up Coachman. The other alternative is DiMaggio Field at Drew and Coachman. It’s closer to Brighthouse but farther from Carpenter.
Before MLB games start, training at Carpenter starts somewhere between 10-1030 with stretching, then drills and so on. Brighthouse opens at 10:30 for batting practice. Most days MLB camp ends somewhere around noon. After that, some minor league players may work out.
You can bring water/drinks to Carpenter. In Florida’s sun it’s important to stay hydrated. Right now, there is a hotdog and soda stand at Carpenter, however, in years past, once minor league camp starts the stand would close leaving the only refreshment as water fountains and a single soda machine.
During batting practice at Brighthouse, Diamond Outfitters Souvenir Store is open as well as restroom facilities, however, no concessions are open.
Just remember, players are working so just because they are walking between fields or changing activities it doesn’t mean they can stop to sign autographs. Please be understanding if they politely decline or ask you to wait until practice is over.
If you are seeking autographs, there are two spots near the parking lot (one on each side) where you can try to get them. (Do not wait at the exit by Coachman, security will ask you to leave.)
So that’s our “how-to” guide for this year, please comment if you can think of any additional hints.
Freddy Galvis is the man of the hour. With the Jimmy Rollins trade, Galvis has been the one to watch…and it seems that everyone IS watching. For Galvis, he seems to be putting on a how-to clinic and showing he deserves the starting role.
Below, hitting instructor Mike Schmidt offers pointers as Galvis enters the batting cage.
When I say everyone has their eyes on Galvis, I mean everyone in the Phillies’ front office as shown below where they are watching Galvis during infield drills.
Like the star of the show, Galvis even signed autographs. You see, last spring a friend of mine came a cross a bat of Galvis’ that had been discarded since it was broken. My friend knew what a baseball fan I am so he rescued it and I returned home from a Spring Training game last season to find it gleaming in the late afternoon sun on my front porch. So today, I took my very first game used bat to the field with the goal of getting it signed.
After Galvis finished batting, I asked if he could sign before he went to the outfield…he said he’d get me when he was finished, however, he was called to the half field to practice in front of the brass so he could not return.
Later, Baseball Ross saw him over at the Carpenter Complex taking bunting practice, again in front of the brass, so I trotted over there. When he was done, he saw me and came over. I have to say this is one of the most meticulous autographs I’ve ever gotten and I am so appreciative that he did such a great job.
To put the proverbial cherry on my “sundae”, I happened to run into a friend who “restores” broken bats. My friend can take a broken bat (even one that’s unstable like mine) and work his magic to make it look almost like new. He offered to work on the crack on my bat so I won’t have to worry about it splitting in the future. There’s not many people in this world I’d trust one of my prized possessions to, but this guy’s the best. So in a few days I’ll have a really nice piece for my collection.
I’m so glad I have the opportunity to spend every day in the sun at Spring Training. It’s one of the best things I know.
Finally, a “Chamber of Commerce” kind of day! After two days that were more like spring in Philadelphia rather than the beginning of Spring Training in Florida, the sun was shining and it was warm enough for shorts. Now this is the life!
Baseball Ross and I got to the Carpenter Complex a little after 10. Since I had not had a chance to watch batting practice yet, we headed directly to Brighthouse. Batting practice is more laid back and the players seem to enjoy themselves more than during other drills. It’s the best place to get autographs as well.
You get to see things like this:
Aaron Altherr shagged flies in the outfield.
You also get a chance to see players in a more relaxed atmosphere.
Or may be they are thinking about the future.
After batting practice, the infielders head over to the half field next to Brighthouse to participate in infield drills and consult with coaches.
It was a great day and I was lucky enough to get Darin Ruf’s autograph!
This is what I love about Spring Training and I can’t wait to go back tomorrow.
As a spectator, watching the pitching and catching drills is not the most exciting thing to watch. There’s very little actual ball throwing. There is a lot of pantomiming of throwing a ball then catching a ball hit by a coach so that you can practice throwing a hit ball to a base.
You might catch a peek to the “seven mounds” area behind the locker room building where there are seven pitching mounds. Here, they throw an abbreviated session before returning to more drills.
Once the pitchers are done, they change and run along the warning track for a while.
That’s where I THINK I saw Joe Savery this morning. I believe he is the 2nd from the left in the plain red shirt.
From there, Baseball Ross and I wandered over to Bright House to watch the position players take batting practice while awaiting being called in to the locker room for their physicals.
I got to see one of my favorites, Kelly Dugan take BP today.
It seemed like an average day, but was I surprised when I heard that the Oakland A’s picked up Joe Savery. I wish Joe all the best as Ross and I have been watching him progress for a long time.
Twice this week, people have asked me about how to get tickets to spring training and how much they cost…there’s layers to the answer…but practice is FREE and you need no tickets.
That being said, that is for PRACTICE. From the time that pitchers and catchers report until the intra-squad game, spring training is free. There are no tickets, even when you get to sit inside Bright House to watch batting practice. This applies to BP and the drills at the Carpenter Complex (just north and next to Bright House). There is also no charge for parking either. The best place to park is in lot A.
HOWEVER, once spring training
games start, things are a little more tricky. Once the MLB team starts having games, the MiLB teams start working out at Carpenter. Practice at Carpenter is free but they will charge for parking any day that the Phillies have a home game. I’d also recommend arriving EARLY on these days if you want to watch either the MiLB work outs or watch MLB players take BP at Carpenter before the game. (There is no charge for parking if MLB is playing out of town.) Also of note, on game days, lot A fills up quickly.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask any if the security staff, they are some really great guys.
Now, once the MLB Phillies start playing games against other teams, you DO have to buy a ticket to enter Bright House Field and you also have to pay for parking. On game day there are several lots to pick from and all have a charge for parking.
I hope this helps answer some of the most often asked questions.