Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thursday, March 4th: Yankees vs Phillies in Clearwater

Ah, Clearwater, Florida. Home of the Philadelphia Phillies. Not only is this ballpark close to Tampa (about 25 minutes or so), but it is probably one of the nicest minor league stadiums I have visited. The berm in center field, tiki bar in right field, and the huge scoreboard makes for a tremendous environment to watch a baseball game. There isn't a bad seat in the house (with the exception of sitting on the first base side in the afternoon, as that is where the sun sets which makes for a chilly experience) and the cheap berm seats are even worth buying. The stadium, known as Bright House Field, was built in 2004 and can hold around 8,500 fans.

While the weather was still on the chilly side, the match-up for the game was one I was looking forward too. While it is ONLY spring training, having two starters named CC Sabathia and Roy Halladay was an exciting one; especially considering I am a huge fan of the great Roy Halladay. This was his first "start" ever as a Philly and I was able to stand about a foot from him as he was warming up in the bullpen. It was fun nonetheless, regardless of the fact he was only in the game for two innings.
Below are some pictures from the game:
  • MLB Network was in the area once again, this time to film the Phillies in action for their 30 teams in 30 days. Here is Peter Gammons chattin it up
  • While Halladay was warming up, I was right next to him by the fence and decided to declare to him that he needed to return back to the Jays. He looked at me and smiled. Everyone around me found it funny and started laughing. Sad thing is that the Jays are really going to hurt not having him pitch every 5 days, and also the lack of his presence in the clubhouse.

  • The Philly Phanatic was out of control. Doing the worm on top of the dugout. It was entertaining actually, and I typically am not a huge fan of all the animals dancing on the field.
  • CC Sabathia warming up
  • Cody Ransom is back! Except he's a Philly now and has somehow decided hes a power hitter. So far 3 HR's in Spring Training.
  • Yanks in the dugout. The zoom on this camera is amazing.

Jesus Montero at bat... Was interesting because Austin Romine was substituted directly after Montero. I assume one of them was placed as a DH.
  • Mark Melancon warming up. He's looked good so far this spring
Additional Pictures

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Time for Spring Training!

Well here I am, in the beautiful Tampa, Florida for a week of fun and baseball. I wish i could say I arrived to the warmth of Florida, but that wouldn't entirely be the truth. Among stepping outside of the airport on Wednesday, i was hit with the cold weather and high winds. The actual temperature at noon was in the 40's, but with the wind chill, it had to be in the mid to high 30's. So much for escaping the cold New York weather. Regardless, its time to make the best of the trip and be thankful that I am in Florida and am lucky to be around baseball 24/7.

As for Wednesday, it was exciting being it was the first spring training game of the season. The Yankees introduced each of their players along with the coaches and special instructors. Even Bernie Williams made an appearance, which always makes for a nice time to reminisce down memory lane.Since my flight landed at 11am, I had to rush from the airport to the stadium. There was no time for batting practice and certainly not enough time to try for autographs. From what I heard, Reggie Jackson, Mariano, and Tino signed for a while. I was able to get a Rivera autograph last year, and while he takes an hour to sign each ball, his handwriting is meticulous and one you can actually decipher (the polar opposite of my Giambi and Matsui ball).

Not much to really report from today. The weather was sooo cold that nearly everyone left the game easily, despite the fact it was a tied game. Me being the nut I am decided to stick around in the cold; a decision that seemed to work out well as the Yankees came back to win it in the bottom of the 9th inning.

Here are some photos from the game:
  • MLB Network was here for the game, filming their 30 clubs in 30 days. Some random guy gave me a photo of Hazel Mae. My life is now complete (sarcasm)
  • The Yankees announced all of the players and the support staff. Among them was Tino, Yogi, Reggie, and even Bernie was on hand today to see some of the guys.
Other photos:

Old ST photos that I just found on my laptop: