Today was the first day that the entire major league team was due to report. Things are quite different under the Kapler regime are very different. Whereas they had previously started at 9 and went to about noon, now it starts “around” 11 and goes after 2.
Today, my friend Jose Taveras pitched live batting practice for the major league time since making the 40 man roster.
I was able to catch most of the big names as well:
Today was SOS-Same Old Situation, more of the same PFPs (pitcher fielding practice), catcher drills, bunting practice for the pitchers and batting practice for the catchers.
There was a fairly sizable crowd today. They still haven’t opened up Spectrum Field to the public to watch batting practice for the position players. Baseball Ross is such a dedicated blogger, he had his camera up against the gates to get a few shots.
So I stayed at the Carpenter Complex to get a few shots of my own:
Spring training is at its end. Today the teams that are going North packed their bags and headed for the airport. Baseball Ross and I got there just in time to see some of our Lakewood BlueClaws friends as they loaded the equipment truck.
Meanwhile, the Threshers and Extended Spring Training teams were preparing for another intra-squad game. The weather was very sketchy. It’s never a good sign at 10 a.m. when they have to turn the lights on on the field just to play. (Note: I had to lighten these pictures quite a bit just so that they were useable.)
The key for today was to get two of the Phillies major league pitchers some work before the rains came in.
Jared Eickhoff pitched the top of the first.
Vincent Velazquez came in in the bottom of the first and gave up a home run to Kyle Martin. After that, just as he got the third out, lightning flashed nearby and they called the game.
Baseball Ross and I started for the car and saw the buses lined up and waiting for the equipment truck to move so that they could pull down the driveway so the players could load.
And there you have it, the end of another Phillies spring training.
I do want to mention my favorite part of spring training, Don. Don is the host at the Carpenter Complex. He keeps an eye on everything going on and is a genuinely great guy. The players love him and so do the fans. Don has been at his post as long as I can remember and I have to say as much as I look forward to spring training every year, I look forward to seeing Don even more. He always has a good word to say and I don’t think I have ever seen him without a smile on his face. He is the highlight of spring training for me. Spring training would never be “right” without Don. Ross and I feel lucky to call Don our friend.