Farewell Florida

Throughout the last month and a half, memories of spring training from current players and heroes of the past were posted here and well as what was happening behind the scenes. 

Spring training, the magical time of a baseball calendar, has ended, creating more memories in the bank. 

Toss out the spring stats, store the sunscreen lotion, unpack the spring sweaters, say good-bye to grouper burgers and reintroduce yourself to cheesesteaks.

As the late Harry Kalas would say, spring training is “outta here!”

Leftover thoughts from the Phillies 66th consecutive year in Clearwater:

Final Record
21 wins a year ago were followed by 12 this year.  Now, every NL team is 0-0.  Numbers from here on are for real.  So, don’t jump off the bandwagon.

Most Consistent
The weather.  For the second straight spring, endless days of sunshine and warm temps.  For the second straight final Bright House Field game, there was some rain.

Most Unusual Sight
Following Saturday’s 37-minute rain delay, the largest number of birds on the playing field weren’t Blue Jays but seagulls.  At one point, 10-9.  Defensively: three seagulls in front of the third baseman and seven in left center.  Batter must have been a righthanded pull hitter.   

Impressive Rookie
LH reliever Jacob Diekman raised some eyebrows but Freddy Galvis gets the nod, especially since he moved from short to second, a new position.  In 1964, Dick Allen, a rookie, made the move from the outfield to third base over at Jack Russell Stadium.

Hardest Worker
Doc Halladay always gets the nod.  But, a veteran who hadn’t played in the field for years deserves some kudos.  He spent endless hours eagerly and diligently working on his defense.  Say hello to Jim Thome.

Clubhouse Class Act
Tied.  Thome and Juan Pierre.  Both bring a ton of professionalism to a clubhouse.  These two vets really have fit in and are a class act.

Oldest Act
Media that keeps writing about Cole Hamels’ contract status.  Does he have to answer that same question after every start?

Biggest Surprise
Galvis by a nose.  Heck, he led the club with 13 RBI.  A close second was Hector Luna, a little known non-roster player, who led with three homers.  Is Hector shades of Chris Coste? 

Biggest Disappointment
Not seeing Chase Utley on the field. Of all the people most disappointed, Chase has to be #1.

Worst News
The numerous minor leaguers who were told their days with the Phillies were over. 

Best Sign
Hanging from the ceiling in JD’s Restaurant on Indian Rocks Beach:
“Wanted, sine makur.  Must bee able to spelle and bee creativ. If interestet, sea managur.”

Runner-Up Sign
Village Inn, a favorite for breakfast:  “If you want breakfast in bed, sleep in the kitchen.”

Farewell to Florida.  Now 162 games. How well will the Phillies fare? 

As always, time will tell.

Baseball America says the Phillies will defeat the Rays in the World Series.    ESPN The Magazine, has the same two teams in the WS but is predicting the Rays.  Jim Bowden, ESPN.com baseball columnist, says the Phillies won’t make the playoffs.

As always, time will tell.



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