Hard to believe this is the last day of Spring Training in Clearwater. The only intrigue left is what kind of outing Doc Halladay will have against his old club, the T’ronto Blue Jays, as he attempts to establish what the Phils can expect from him heading into the season. I love the pre-game spin control, anticipating that Doc might get roughed up today. Here’s my favorite: “Well, it isn’t really like a regular season game because he won’t be doing his regular season meticulous prep by studying video of hitters and knowing what he can throw and what he can’t throw”. Yo Sherlock — if Doc can’t get minor leaguers out in a Carpenter Complex game, you really think studying pre-game video in April is going to flick a switch?
There will be two side stories, one of which is who will catch Doc today. The argument could be made that it would be Chooch, with whom Doc has had a special relationship. OTOH it could be Kratz, who’s going to be Doc’s battery mate the first month. Very unlike than in a game this pivotal for Doc it would be Quintero, our backup to our backup. The second side story is who shows up in the dugout to back up Doc on the field. Since yesterday was a travel day to Lakeland, which saw the Phils even their Spring Training record at 15-15 by beating the Tigers, the lineup was filled with third and fourth tier players. At the tail end of ST you don’t even see the high number guys in the 70s and 80s anymore. You see the regular numbered minor league guys whose uniform tops will be on sale on the Bright House Racks at the Mad Hatter.
Alice was as fond of tea with the March Hare and Mad Hatter as I am of the month of March here, and the 2013 hats on sale at The Mad Hatter. Well I mean the year 2013; there weren’t that many different hats on display, though by my count there were over 50 different style between the Hatter store, the tent shop, and the main fan’s trap. Here’s a sample, all of which become collector’s items after today.