The weather isn’t promising for this afternoon’s game between the Phils and the Jays in Dunedin. Showers forecast all around the area today may delay Cliff Lee’s first Spring start. Cliff seems to struggle on the mound this time of year, but he actually uses the spring as a time to experiment with different things, tweaking his various grips on the ball, arm motion, the exact angle at which he arches his back, and so forth. It’s part of fine-tuning the art of pitching that he picked up from his old Mariners and Phillies teammate, the Ancient Mariner himself, Jamie Moyer. Am almost finished with Moyer’s masterful biography, Just Tell Me I Can’t.
It was only a short ride over to the Starbucks on Ft. Harrison avenue early this morning. Were it not such an overcast day-break I would have walked. The girls behind the counter welcomed me back for Spring, chiding me about the weather that I brought down from the North. More than an hour flew by so immersed was I in Jamie Moyer’s book. Owing to Spring Training now starting in February, we’re in a hotel for a few days until our March condo is available.
As only Spring Training luck would have it I just went down in the elevator at the Marriott Residence Inn in Downtown Clearwater and, as the door opened on the third floor, guess who was in the elevator? That’s right! The newest co-member of the Phillies broadcast team, Mr. Moyer himself. Wow — the guy is still in incredible shape — no real surprise since he never declared that he was officially retired from baseball.
We exchanged pleasantries, and I told Jamie I was finishing his book and how much I was enjoying it. My style is not to introduce myself to ballplayers out of context, which makes it easier for me to be a fan rather than someone looking for anything in return. I wished him well in this next phase of his baseball career, and the new challenge in broadcasting.