The big clock in left field said it was two minutes after three.
On the green Citizens Bank Park playing field this afternoon, four Milwaukee Brewers were playing catch in left field. Patrolling the outfield were Gary Varsho, Marc Bombard, Bill Dancy, Ramon Henderson, Mick Billmeyer and BP pitcher Steve Toler. Chris Coste was the catcher.
The batting cage audience included Charlie Manuel, Milt Thompson, Rich Dubee, Pat Gillick, Ruben Amaro Jr., John Vukovich and trainer Jeff Cooper.
A simulated game featuring two Phillies on the disabled list, Aaron Rowand and Mike Lieberthal.
They took turns hitting off Tim McClaskey, a Reading Phillies right-hander who came to Philly for the occasion. Rowand and Lieberthal would get their at-bats and then McClaskey would sit in the dugout. Dubee took over on the mound before McClaskey would return for the second inning. A two-inning game would be it. The clock read 3:25.
Both Rowand and Lieby went deep in their final at-bat, the balls landing in almost the exact same spot in the empty blue left field seats.
Lieby, who was hit on his left knee by a pitch on May 5, then tested his running under the watchful eyes of Varsho, Dancy and Cooper. Discomfort when running had kept him on the DL.
Gillick, Amaro, Manuel and Cooper huddled to the right of the batting cage for a few minutes.
Rowand would return to the active roster tomorrow when he is eligible and be back in the lineup. Lieby would head to Reading tomorrow for a rehab game or two and then be activated.
Rowand stuck around for more BP at 3:35, joining Abraham Nunez, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley, who was wearing the blue Jimmy Rollins Knit Beanie Hat the Phillies gave to fans 15 and over last month. McDonald’s was the sponsor (had to get a commercial in, you know).
Tonight all fans will receive a Chase Utley Bobble Figurine, courtesy of Keystates Chrysler Jeep (commercial #2). Each of the four gates at Citizens Bank Park had stacks of bobbles ready, a total of 45,000 bobbles on 102 skids.
What is the Phillies record for most bobbles? 65,000 each for Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton.