Fall Instructional League games are much like spring training games, they are more relaxed, coaches can end or “roll” an inning and pitchers often pitch only an inning.
Someone forgot to tell Phillies’ First Round draft pick Alec Bohm…he sent a ball almost out of Spectrum Field! He hit a blazing line drive that hit off near to top of the “F” on the sign above Frenchy’s Tiki Bar! It was a thunderous hit that even the sound was no-doubt-about it. I managed to catch this swing, landing and Bohm’s bat flip and run around the bases…
The clouds started rolling in this morning but we were able to get a full day of spring training in before the rain came.
It was an eventful day. We saw the pitchers warming up then went to the stadium to watch batting practice. Then we returned to the Carpenter Complex in time to catch the catchers take BP then do pop-up drills.
Baseball Ross and I put together a rather extensive video of today’s activities, you can watch it HERE.
The best picture of the day is when Logan Moore ran into the fence right in front of me during pop-up practice. You can see it in the video above and of course, I keep shooting when he did. This is what I got:
Below you will find some more stills from the day:
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.
It’s been a crazy couple of days. Monday night was the official presentation of the Blue Jays plan to stay in Dunedin. (You can read my post about that HERE.)
I’m not one to make public speeches and I’m terrified about speaking in public, but Monday night, I could not keep silent. I spoke up and explained why keeping the Blue Jays in Dunedin is so important to me. (If you want to see my speak, you can click HERE.)
I didn’t do anything except say what was in my heart…the applause startled me. I’ve never gotten applause before. What has happened since has been amazing. Jays President Mark Shapiro thanked me personally, members of City Council…random people I didn’t know before…this morning I even got a text message from another person that I never expected, just to say thank you.
I’m astounded and thankful.
While I usually write about the Phillies, it IS important to note that Mark Shapiro noted the Jays special relationship with the Phillies in Clearwater as part of what makes Dunedin special. So this isn’t just a “Jays” issue, it’s a spring training and Florida State League issue.
So as a fan of baseball in Pinellas County, let me just say this…
There’s sixteen days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training. I’m excited.
The best thing of living where I do is that I am almost equidistant from two MLB teams, the Phillies and the Blue Jays. I can walk three blocks to the Jays’ Stadium, however, their minor league complex is 3 miles from my home. The Phillies are five miles away.
The Phillies are a team in the midst of major confusion and rebuilding. They’ve picked up a gross ton of free agents that are older and also have the greatest number of prospects on the top 100 list at seven. It will be interesting to see how they blend the experience of the veterans with the raw talent of these up and comers.
The Blue Jays are a team who came “Oh-So-Close” to making the World Series. They haven’t made as many changes but have made strong choices and look to be cocked and loaded to take a shot at the top.
Which team will prevail? What approach will bear fruit? It’s only 9 months until we find out.
In the meantime, I’ll be at both camps to keep tabs on their progress.