Highly unlikely that the Phillies will play the Yankees over at Bright House in their scheduled 1:05 PM start today. The weather map shows Clearwater near the confluence of high winds, severe thunderstorms, and tornado warnings, where the orange and yellow bands meet. The only thing one knows for sure about Florida weather is that one never knows for sure what to expect in advance. As in sports, on any given day …
I enjoyed being able to get down to the dugout yesterday and visit briefly with Cody Asche, a promising Phillies third base prospect. Miriam and I had the opportunity to watch Cody develop in the Arizona Fall League on a week-long visit combining business with pleasure last October. She took the initiative of using digital images through iPhoto and having a wonderful MacBook of sorts created that featured Asche inside and out. Much as I enjoyed presenting Billy Hamilton with his first home run ball in the AFL, an unconditional gift that has some special meaning to a player, it was pleasurable to give Cody a copy of the book that Miriam put together. It seemed that he was genuinely appreciative.
If you look closely at the Clearwater sign in right-centerfield above, you’ll see a player jogging along the outfield track while the game is in progress. This is another purity of tradition during spring games, where some of the visiting players get their sprints after the first few innings. Normally you’d think something like this would be frowned upon because it distracts the hitters at the plate and the outfields. Yet somehow the tradition persists, and it always catches my eye.
And lastly, on bastions of purity in the game, there are the two bullpens side-by-side, with the players wearing uniforms numbered in the 70s and 80s on both teams sharing their fantasies about what life in the majors might be like. So close, and yet so far.