Old Men and Little Boys

… battled one another once again in the brilliant sunshine of spring over little balls tossed purposefully into the stands.

Old Men

From the Phillies standpoint, the game was as ugly as the weather was beautiful.  You may recall a couple of weeks ago reading here that Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Yao-Hsun Yang plunked Phils’ third baseman Cody Asche hard enough to require an early exit from the game and missing several subsequent ones.  On Friday in Bradenton Yang was wild again, walking Mayberry and Asche on eight consecutive pitches and unceremoniously hitting the next batter.  Let’s just say there may be some bad blood now between the two squads.


In the top of the 5th inning, Jonathan Papelbon buzzed the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen with some chin music.  Pirates reliever Bryan Morris promptly hit Cody Asche in the bottom of the inning in apparent retaliation.  Both benches were promptly warned.

Michael Martinez, Phillies unsuper sub for the last couple of years, made a cameo appearance for the Pirates and reminded the crowd why we don’t miss him.  On his second swinging strikeout his bat helicoptered into the seats behind first base.  It seemed like the ushers retrieved the bat for Martinez, but no one was quite sure why having his own bat back would make a difference in his hitting.  But it’s not our problem anymore!


Today was really Phillies Arizona Fall League alumni day.  Mike Nesseth and Kyle Simon each got an inning of work in, and Cameron Rupp logged time behind the plate after Chooch departed.



Rupp 1

Rupp 2

I like to see Rupp exchanging notes about Nesseth and Simon with McClure.  In prior years you’d see Manuel and Dubee lounging in their beach chairs, relatively unresponsive and uncommunicative during the games.  The crew of Sandberg, Bowa, and McClure is up and down and interactive.  True, the Phils don’t have much to show for it thus far, but if anyone can squeeze more toothpaste out of a crusty tube, it may just be these guys.


McClure seems like a decent enough family man, but he has never served as pitching coach for a major league club with a winning record.  The way things have appeared thus far, it appears his streak will remain intact.

Was nice to see Greg “The Bull” Luzinski line up along the base path for the pre-game anthem, and to catch a glimpse of Mike Schmidt in the TV announcers’ booth doing his Sunday afternoon gig.  Some years nostalgia is all we have.


Miriam flies back to NJ in the AM a day ahead of me and I will join her for a Brooklyn wedding on Tuesday.  Though I will see the sea of green tomorrow, she will not and we therefore donned the St. Patty’s colors on Purim, all quite kosher on this protracted ecumenical weekend.


About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
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6 Responses to Old Men and Little Boys

  1. Marc Rachmuth says:

    Hey, Leonard: I’m really glad you post; I’ve never been to a spring camp, so it is nice to see your postings. I know that you are a loyal Phillies fan, maybe even a “rabid” fan. However, just speaking for myself: I’m just happy that the season is starting soon. It will be nice to see the boys in red and white/grey on the field. It also would be nice to see them win. But, why so much being a downer before the season has begun. Lighten up, sit back and enjoy the games, and consider the wins a bonus. Hey; I’ve got to tell you: I’m from the post Whiz Kids period, and I went through the heart break of the collapse of ’64. So, for me, it’s good to see the season beginning; I’m looking forward to listening to the games on the radio; I’ll be cheering them on; and, like I said earlier in this comment, the wins are going to be a bonus. Hang in there; don’t hang your head. Enjoy! All good things….

  2. Oh, intuitively I know you’re right, Marc. But as a long-standing Philadelphia sports fan I’ve learned to insulate myself a bit and that’s precisely why I’m lowering expectations for the coming season. I’m sharing the first-hand observation that this team is likely to be as bad as we sense they would be when management did very little to offset the aging corps that brought the glory years surrounding and including 2008. You and I are about the same age. We had one hit wonder years in 1964 and 1993, and a glory period in late ’70s and early ’80s. Would love to see the Phils with an extended glory period again soon, but won’t hold my breath. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  3. doctuhdon says:

    excellent point about Sandberg, Bowa, and McClure being more interactive and more oriented to hands-on teaching than we had experienced with Manuel et al. The future of this team is in the hands of the younger players (e.g., Brown, Asche, Galvis, Revere, Ruf, Diekman, Rosenberg) and they need all the edumacation they can get !

  4. One other related note, Marc – on the origins of needing to insulate one’s heart with the Phils. Did you see the article by Frank Fitzpatrick? Excellent read;

    • Marc Rachmuth says:

      Thanks for the article, Leonard. ’64 remains with me, like ’60 for the Eagles. I moved West in ’61, and because the Phillies in ’64 were so unexpected and so amazing, it remains with me as both a joy and a disappointment. I can’t give up the memory, and I really don’t want to. I learned to “insulate the disappointment” early on, and that is why I enjoy the wonder of any good season for the Phillies or the Eagles. I don’t expect them to do well; so, when they do, it feels good. Anyway, it’s time to get the season going. Go Phillies!!

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