First Full Day of Spring Training

Note: I dedicate today’s blog to my friend David…who tells me I can’t slack on my blogging. 🙂

It’s the first day of the full team reporting to the major league spring training. The first thing was it was the first day to leave the jeans and sweatshirts behind! The weather has cleared and it is warm and beautiful!

After a talk with Ryne Sanberg,
the boys came out and stretched.

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First they started running bases. From this I saw that Utley is moving well, possibly better than he has for years. Bobby Abreu was running smoothly, though his speed was noticeably less than the rest.

Then, from where I was, I watched some drills that included both pitchers and position players.

It was much more active and intense than in the previous days. What I liked hearing was new pitcher Roberto Hernandez telling young Jesse Biddle that they throw he made was, “Amazing”.

Utley also fielded well and showed no signs of injury.

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I also managed to add two great autographs to my collection: Jonathan Papelbon and Mickey Morandini.

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Jonathan Papelbon really surprised me. In the past he rarely signed and frankly, I didn’t recognize him at first. He was so relaxed and might ineven say, happy today? It doesn’t seem to be his natural state. All the other times I’ve seen him he’s had a “look”, his mouth was tight and he looked angry at the world. Today, a man called to him and he signed for everyone there and laughed and joked with everyone as he signed.

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Morandini was also in a jovial mood, joking that, “what are you guys doing here, wouldn’t you rather be at the beach?”

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Another change from previous years is that before, they always wrapped up at noon…today, when I left at 1:15, they were still going strong.

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It was a good day…

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Phantasy Camp Meeting

This week was Phillies Phantasy Camp. I didn’t go. Well, didn’t participate. I never had the opportunity to play as a kid and starting to learn the basics doesn’t “earn” me the right to indulge myself with this level of Phantasy that I could play.

BUT, that doesn’t mean I can’t watch grown men living our their dreams. Some of those guys can play rather well. Ross and I had a good time walking from field to field at the Carpenter Complex.

I got to see some of the Phillies’ greats like Micky Morandini, Larry Andersen and

Ricky Bottalico
Ricky Bottalico
Milt Thompson
Milt Thompson

Now here’s the cool part…I got to MEET LarryAndersen! I was walking between fields when LA was also coming across. I said hi to him and he said hi back.

I offered him my hand and said, “Nice to meet you!”
He replied, “Well, I haven’t met you yet!”

So I went on to introduce myself and tell him about this site as we walked. He asked me if it was another site all full of “useless” stats. I said no, it’s more about the entire experience, not just data.

He paused, as if he was surprised, and then asked me how long I’d been doing this…I told since June.

So…May be I’ll get a look-see from one of the greats! I hope that if he reads this, he’ll know how he made this anonymous little blogger’s day!