The athletes we watch at the major league level of baseball have our admiration because they are so skilled at what they do. So much in fact that sometimes we lose sight of the human factors in performance, one being the support system behind the players. As Yogi Berra was find of reminding us, 90% of the game in half mental.
I mentioned last Spring in this blog that we were sitting down to eat lunch at a picnic table in Bradenton when a lovely couple mentioned to us that they were from Delaware and were longtime Phillies fans, but were now rooting for their grandson – Brett Oberholtzer – who is a pitching prospect for the Astros. They knew that it would be a long shot for him to make it to the Bigs, but they obviously took alot of pride in his making it to the level were he was last year.
I was reminded of that as I sat down to my computer after arriving back to New Jersey today, in time to watch the last few innings of the Phillies-Astros game. Brett came on to pitch the 9th inning for the Astros and did a nice job, though the Phillies put together a nice offensive show to win 7-1 up in Kissimmee (that’s up in Florida in relation to Clearwater).
Oberholtzer is a vestige of what remains in the deal they made with the Braves sending the ex-Phil Michael Bourn to Atlanta in exchange for prospects. Bourn now has a nice four year deal with the Cleveland Indians, and Oberholzter is the only player left in the deal for the Astros who has any realistic shot of being effective at the major league level. He’ll reportedly start the year in AAA, and as I watched him on TV I thought about his family back in Delaware. Actually it wouldn’t surprise me if his grandparents were at the game in Osceola County Stadium earlier today, mentioning to Phillies fans that their grandson was on the mound for the Astros.