Opener is history

The first Clearwater game was on tap on a warm, cloudy, rain-threatening afternoon.  But, the big news was the Ryan Howard contract situation as you can read elsewhere.

Ruben Amaro addressed the media about an hour prior to game time.  Ryan let everyone know he would meet the media post-game.

In the third inning, Ryan sent a drive out of Bright House Networks Field in dead center.  Yes, the wind was blowing out today but it still was a typical Howard monster shot.  I found the ball lying in a gravel driveway way behind the wall, resting about 15 feet from a body of water that supposedly contains an alligator or two.  I did my best not to get close to the water to see if I could spot a pair of eyes peeking above the water. If it is a rumor, I believe it!

After Ryan’s third at-bat, he left the game.  As is typical of him, he spent time walking along the third base stands signing autographs.  The media had been in the clubhouse interviewing Brett Myers.  They remained, waiting for Ryan.

When he finally finished the autographs, he said to Kevin Gregg, the media relations assistant, “Let’s get this debacle over.”

Ryan stood in front of his locker and answered media questions for nearly 15 minutes.  He was his typical self, thinking before speaking, courteous, honest and smiling from time to time.

Ryan is a special talent and the Phillies want to keep him in pinstripes for years to come, as we’ve said many times. 

Spring training’s opening day in Clearwater, a Ryan Howard monster home run and a win…..enough to bring goosebumps.

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