First Day of Spring Training 2017

I woke up this morning excited as if it was Christmas morning, but it wasn’t Christmas morning, it was the first day of Spring Training.

Baseball Ross and I did a vlog to give you an over view of the day including photos and videos. You can watch it HERE.

Below you will find some of the pictures I took today:

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The new Richie Ashburn Mural at the Carpenter Complex
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The new Steve Carlton Mural at the Carpenter Complex
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The new Mike Schmidt mural at the Carpenter Complex
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The new Robin Robertsmural at the Carpenter Complex
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Rhys Hoskins
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Cord Sandberg
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Mitch Walding
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While the large stadium signs have yet to change, some of the smaller signs show the rebranding of Brighthouse to Spectrum Field.
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While the large stadium signs have yet to change, some of the smaller signs show the rebranding of Brighthouse to Spectrum Field.
Bryan Holaday, Cameron Rupp and Chase Numata
Bryan Holaday, Cameron Rupp and Chase Numata
Drew Anderson
Drew Anderson
Elniery Garcia
Elniery Garcia
Alberto Tirado
Alberto Tirado
Hector Neris
Hector Neris
Clay Buchholz
Clay Buchholz
Ben Lively
Ben Lively
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Scenes from Phillies Minor League Spring Training-March 27, 2016

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:

Carlos Alonso
Carlos Alonso
Carlos Alonso
Carlos Alonso

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.

Ryan Howard
Ryan Howard

Drew Stankiewicz also hit a home run.

Drew Stankiewicz
Drew Stankiewicz

Here are some other shots from the day.

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Jacob Waguespack
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Sam Hiciano
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Matt Hockenberry
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Cornelius Randolph
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Venn Biter
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Grenny Cumana
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Alejandro Arteaga
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Grenny Cumana
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Jan Hernandez
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Brock Stassi
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Matt Imhof
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Jake Thompson
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Carlos Tocci
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Chase Numata
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Damek Tomscha
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Tyler Goeddel
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Matt Imhof
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Jorge Alfaro
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Andrew Knapp

2016 Minor League Work Group List Released

 The minor league workgroup was released and here it is, hot off the presses: 

If you have questions about the list, I’ve answered the most common ones HERE.

It is the Spring of my Discontent

To paraphrase Steinbeck (and badly at that), it is the spring of my discontent. I love baseball, I do, but I’m so frustrated with it, so discontent.

There’s so many reasons…almost too many to count, but I’ll try.

1. The injury bug bit early, often and viciously. Roman Quinn, Jiwan James, Cole Hamels, Ethan Martin, Cameron Rupp, Kelly Dugan, Tommy Joseph, Mitch Walding, Adam Morgan, Hugo Arrocha, Josh Warner, Steven Inch, Nic Hanson, Chase Numata, Cory Bass, Darin Ruf, Rivar Angulo, Delvy Francisco, Mike Adams, Chris Bootcheck, Yoel Mecias, Anthony Phillips, Colin Klevin, Hoby Milner, Ryan Demmin, Aaron Altherr, Larry Greene, Zach Green, Brandon Short, Drew Anderson, Freddy Galvis, Andres Blanco and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. These are the guys I can think of right off the top of my head! While some of them have returned or are scheduled to return, there are still others that have no timeframe for return.

2. It’s barely a month into the season and Tyson Gillies was suspended for three games for destroying a bat rack in the clubhouse. To me this is a symptom of a larger problem, both with Gillies and the entire system. Gillies is developing a reputation as a guy with anger management issues. Another example happened just two weeks ago here in Florida. Kevin Walter was unhappy with the way things were going during a game in Tampa. He left the field, stormed into the locker room behind the dugout and from where I was sitting I could hear him swearing and a loud thump as if something was either thrown or a table tipped over. Just after that another Thresher player came out of the locker room with a worried look on his face. He stopped another player from going into the locker room saying “You DON’T want to go in there!”

It also is a symptom of how players (and fans) are frustrated with the lack of production and success in the organization. (Read on to number 3 for an example.)

3. The lack of wins. The records speak for themselves:

Phillies 13-12
Iron Pigs 11-13
Fightins 11-10
Threshers 5-19
Lakewood 7-16

Of the five teams currently playing in the organization, only TWO are above .500 and both of those teams are only ONE GAME over.

4. Misusing players. I have a prime example of this and it’s the one that had me totally stymied. Last season, there was only ONE Gold Glove winner in the entire Phillies system, Carlos Alonso. Carlos played 2nd for the Threshers and only made TWO errors all YEAR. ALL YEAR. He was promoted to Reading (and rightly so) and where did they have this Gold Glove winning second baseman play? Third and THE OUTFIELD! Really?!? REALLY?!? I’d have loved to sit in on the coaches meeting where they thought up that gem.

5. Bad umpiring. Last night was the end-all, be-all of bad calls. If you read my Twitter feed last night, you could tell how I was seething. The Threshers had been losing (again) and had battled back and had the winning run was at the plate. Pete Lavin had homered earlier in the game to spark the comeback and had come close to a second homer after that. Lavin came to the plate and Bright House Field was buzzing with anticipation. One foul, two fouls, three fouls, four fouls, it was easy to see that Lavin was pushing hard to be the hero. On the final call he checked his swing and from where Ross and I were sitting (and I later confirmed with another season ticket holder with another point of view) we did NOT see him break his wrists and the bat head did not cross the plate. The home plate ump called him out and didn’t even call the base ump to confirm! The game was over! Lavin was livid. If you know Pete, you know he rarely says anything to an ump, he’s fairly laid back. Last night, Lavin walked after the ump to discuss the call. The ump just walked away.

At that point, Nelson Prada got involved. When he started he seemed more in disbelief that the home plate ump didn’t even check with the base ump. I was just turning to leave when I heard Prada go ballistic! (While I am “censoring” this he used the full words) “That’s F*ing BS! That’s a F*ing BS call!”

I have to say, I was right there with Prada. While I’ve been known to occasionally heckle an ump and sitting behind home is great for that, I do not swear. There’s kids and it’s just not “proper”. Last night was the closest I’ve ever come to losing my cool and joining Prada with F-bombing the ump. My blood boiled! To end a game on a bogus call and not even check with the base ump when the winning run was at the plate was just bogus. I was so frustrated and angry. It took me a good hour after the game to cool off. I don’t think I’ve ever been that angry at a game.

I must admit I’m still sort of angry, angry and discontent enough that if Ethan Stewart and Colin Kelvin (returning from the DL) were not pitching today and tomorrow, I wouldn’t go.

If you want to see me try to decide if I’ll go tonight, watch this video, it’s pretty accurate as to how I’m feeling…

Starting Thursday, the Threshers are on the road, so I’ll get a break then, but man, I’ll be dragging myself in tonight. It’ll almost be like trying to drag myself into work on a “Monday morning”.

Let’s hope that Stewart and Kleven use this misfortune as a jumping off point so that we do not end the first month of the season with only 5 wins. If they do, we would be on pace to go 25-115 (assuming they’d continue with winning 5 games a month).

Final Workout Group Posting

Here it is…

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