The Pandemic Pod Ticket Buying Experience-Phillies Edition

As you are well aware, the pandemic has changed everything about public events. Gone, at least for now, are the days of sitting squished up against someone dripping with sweat and greasy with sunblock. Now we have what MLB has called “Pod Seating”. Pod seating which is when tickets are sold in “pods” or groups of seats with additional empty seats around them to allow for social distancing. With the reduced capacity and pod seating, the Phillies indicated there would be 2,200 seats available of the approximately 10,000 who can attend on a busy game day.

The problem, for us, anyway is that it seemed that there were far too many large 4-person pods and not a lot of 2 person pods. The we logged in to buy tickets, we were able to get a 2-person pod for only one of the 4 games we purchased tickets for. The other games we had to buy a 4-person pod. In fact, after only purchasing tickets for the first game, all other 2 and 3-person pods for all the games were already gone.

How does it matter? Well yes, technically they sold the seat, but with that being said, only concessions and merchandise will be sold for 2 people. They may have sold tickets for 2,200 people, but actual attendance will be much less. How do I know? After posting about our experience on Twitter, people commented and messaged me that they had done the same thing because that was the only way to see a game in person.

How do we feel? We did pay twice what we would have for tickets BUT and for us this is a big BUT, this will allow us extra space from other people. It’s important because even though Baseball Ross is vaccinated, I am not. We celebrated the full effectiveness of his vaccine on Thursday.

It’s new and uncharted waters. No one really knew what to expect, how many tickets would be sold and frankly, the Phillies have no idea how many people bought 4 when they will only actually use two.

For me, being at risk for Covid with asthma and the fact that I don’t like being stuck next to strangers, I’m ok with it. But will the Phillies bottom line be ok with it? Only time will tell.

Access to Phillies Spring Training

As we all know, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world and how we access it. I understand this but it doesn’t explain what happened yesterday at the Carpenter Complex, the Spring Training facility of the Phillies.

Yesterday, we drove by and while we understand that there was no access to the actual complex, we wondered if we would be allowed to observe from outside the fence. As we drove by we saw that there was no sign at the parking lot that said, “Closed” or “Players and Staff Only” so we pulled into the parking lot. The Clearwater Police officer who was stationed there was leaving for the day and paid us no mind and neither did the guard in the guard shack even though he saw us pull in the lot and drive by him. We drove over to one of the open spots and parked.

I put on my mask, took my camera and walked over. Mind you, the guard is in the shack and when I get over near the fence I deliberately look for a sign or mark or something that would tell me how far patrons are allowed to go. There are none. NOTHING. NADA. There is no way to know where the line is.

The players were on the absolute opposite side of the field, over 300 feet away so I went to line my camera up to take the first shot and suddenly the guard is flying out of the guardhouse screaming, “YOU! STOP!” I moved back to where the sidewalk is and motioned, “Is this ok?” He keeps running screaming like a deranged banshee, “YOU CAN’T GO THERE! STOP! MOVE BACK!” I felt like I was at the fence at a prison and the guard was afraid I was trying to get contraband over the fence to a prisoner inside.

I move back onto the paved lot and he finally got there. “YOU CAN’T BE OFF THE PAVEMENT! YOU CANT GO IN THE GRASS OR TOUCH THE FENCE!” Mind you, he’s like 4 feet from me and I in no way offered any resistance and am totally compliant with his instructions. “YOU CAN’T GO THERE!”

I replied, “I’m sorry, there were no signs, there’s no markings I didn’t know.”

He continued yelling, “YOU CAN’T GO OFF THE PAVEMENT!”

Again, I calmly replied, “I’m sorry, I didn’t know. How was I to know where I was allowed if there are no signs or marks?” At this point I am at that stage where I don’t know whether to get mad because I HAVE followed his instructions and he’s still yelling or start crying because I’m the kind of person who follows the rules when they are known.

He must have realized and then said, a bit softer, “I don’t mean to yell, but you can’t go there.”

I simply stated, “Since there was no sign, I didn’t know, now I do. I will not leave the pavement. More importantly, I’m leaving. I don’t need to be yelled at when I didn’t know the rules.”

I’ve been coming here since 2007. I’ve never knowingly broken any rule and never given any attitude or tried to cause any problems. I really don’t understand why there were no signs nor anyone either at the gate or near the fence to tell you what is and isn’t allowed. If they wanted to totally close the complex like the Blue Jays did with theirs, I’m fine with that as well. The Phillies should just close the parking lot. For them not to give you an idea of the boundaries are, then berate you like you were trying to break into a prison is really not a good look and it really leaves me cold. Also of note, at no time were any players closer than 300 feet. So I doubt that with the sun, distance and the fact I was wearing a mask that I was such an imminent threat that yelling like that was warranted.

So if you go to the complex beware! Don’t leave the pavement. Sign or no sign. 2021

Or, you can be like me and not go back. Not this year and to be honest, I just don’t know if I’ll bother going back to the Carpenter Complex next year. Not when you are treated like that, when you have no idea what the perimeters are. Nope.

BRYCE HARPER Is in Clearwater!

I just saw BryceForceOne fly over my home in Dunedin! I have the close-up of Middleton’s plane complete with Phillies logo as well as the flight tracker data as proof!

ETA: Ross had just left to walk our dog when the plane was due to fly over. If you know him, you know he’s rather stoic…imagine my surprise when I heard him yelling from about 3 houses down, “YOU SEE IT? IT’S THE PHILLIES’ PLANE! YOU SEE IT!”

That was worth $330 million right there.

First Day of Phillies Minor League Scrimmages and a Game VS Villanova.

For Clearwater, the day started off chilly, it was 56 when Baseball Ross and I got up and it was only 59 and windy when we got to the Carpenter Complex.

Even though it was “freezing” by this Florida Girl’s definition, we stayed all day and I was rewarded. I took two of the best photos I’ve ever taken. I’ve never had any training, so when it all comes together, it’s the best feeling in the world.

I took these two pictures of pitcher Jeff Singer. If you’re familiar with the Carpenter complex, you’ll know that the bullpen between Schmidt and Ashburn fields has a mesh screen over the fencing that is impossible to shoot through. Today I noticed that the fasteners holding the bottom of the screen were missing, so that if I timed the shot and the pitch just right, I could take the shot right behind the catcher as the screen would be blown up in the air by the wind. The shots, as I said before, are two of the best I’ve ever taken.

Jeff Singer

Jeff Singer

 

Earlier in the day, the major league players who did not make the trip to Tampa took batting practice:

Rhys Hoskins

Maikel Franco watches Odubel Herrera bat

Maikel Franco

 

Here are some shots from the rest of the day:

Enyel De Los Santos

Carlos De La Cruz

Colby Fitch slides into home

Adam Haseley

Jhailyn Ortiz

Franklyn Kilome

Brandon Leibrandt

Jose Taveras

Tyler Henson

Wilson Garcia

 

Here is the line up for the game VS Villanova. I did not stay for the game as some of my friends were playing in the other games and I promised to get pictures for them.

 

Gabe Kapler Speaks to Fans After Practice

Gabe Kapler

This afternoon, Baseball Ross and I were able to see new Phillies Manager, Gabe Kapler speak to the fans after practice. Kapler came over after speaking to the media at Spectrum field.

He was friendly and seemed to enjoy interacting with the crowd that was assembled. He answered questions as well as took selfies and signed autographs.

Betsy and Gabe Kapler

His attitude was much different than the way he is portrayed in the media and frankly, I think  like the guy.  He was asked “Tell us the truth, what do you think?” and Kapler replied:

“Well, right now I felt absolutely felt nothing but support. So I feel supported, is probably the easiest way to put it. And also know that the fans expect us to be accountable, they expect us to bust our balls out there and to give everything we have. And that’s easy. It doesn’t require any effort. And just like the city of Boston where I played for a couple of years, you care about intensity and fight and determination and grit. And then obviously you expect us to win. We understand those expectations and expect to beat them.”

Sounds like a good plan to me. I recorded the interaction and you can watch it HERE.

I must admit, I may have just put one foot on the Kapler bandwagon. He took time with everyone there and seems to have a good grip on what the team needs to do. His methods are different, practice starts at 11 instead of 9, the atmosphere is more relaxed. Only time will tell if his changes will pan out. I’m kind of excited to see if it meet our “expectations” and if they “beat them.”

List of “Unaccounted For” Phillies Minor League Players

As a blogger and Phillies fan, this has been one of the most difficult years. There has been very little information released by the team as to whom they have released. They have not been forthcoming with any of this information. 

In fact, the final rosters were not even made available to the general public. I luckily have a number of eyes on the inside who provided a copy of the roster I posted earlier. 

Baseball Ross and I have spent the last hour or so pouring over all the rosters that have been released this year and compared it to the final assignments to come up with a list of players that are “Missing in Action”. I hesitate to say released as there is no official word and for all we know the player could have been sent back to the Dominican academy or retired and it’s not fair to say “released”. So here is the list of players that are no longer on any of the rosters.

Pitchers:

  • Jesse Beal RHP
  • Kale Fultz RHP
  • Scott Harris LHP
  • Scott Hoffman RHP
  • Carlos Indriago RHP
  • Ulises Joaquin RHP
  • Jordan Kurakawa RHP
  • Will Morris RHP
  • Jose Nin RHP
  • Geury Ortiz RHP 
  • Oskerelly Sanchez LHP
  • David Whitehead RHP

Position Players:

  • Luis Espiritu INF
  • Daniel Garner C
  • Christian Marrero OF
  • Luke Maglich OF
  • Evan Rogers INF

THE PHILLIES MINOR LEAGUE ROSTERS HAVE BEEN POSTED!

Thanks to a dear friend, I have a copy of the newly posted final rosters! I have not had time to go over them and see who was released.

So here you go:

Note:

* denotes a left-handed player

# denotes a switch hitter/pitcher

Minor League Workgroup List Updated

Yesterday, the new and updated Phillies minor league workgroup list was released. The most major change is that there are now players in the fifth column. This is a combination of players being sent down as well as some players that are on the DL now being included in the list. 

While there are rumors of five players being released, there has been no “official” confirmation so I have not mentioned those whom we suspect have been released. 

Please remember that until the final players are sent down from major league camp, the lists are rather fluid.


It is also worth noting that the players in the fifth column that are indented are players that are currently rehabbing/on the DL.