Phillies handily beat the Minnesota Twins 5-1 this afternoon as we began the last week of Florida spring training. The Phils’ winning percentage of .318 still leaves them with the worst in baseball to date (here are the current standings) but hey – a win is a win! All the Phils’ regulars played today, and I was a bit surprised to see that the first one pulled from the lineup was Cody Asche. With the flu bug flying around, hope the kid is alright. Despite my attempts to slow down time by crossing each day off the schedule as it came, the month has once again flown by!
It’s been entertaining to have the Philly Phanatic here all spring, and I have a feeling that David Montgomery (who has been uncharacteristically absent from games for the past week) wanted a fan favorite in the park whose performance was consistent and reliable. Today the Phanatic clowned around with a Twins’ player prior to the game, and it’s always a treat to see this great improv mime in action.
Kyle Kendrick pitched a crisp game for the Fightins today, aided by a couple of nice throws by Chooch to erase runners at key junctures.
I enjoyed seeing new pitching coach Bob McClure motion Kendrick over to sit with him after the first inning to review how things were going. Not to pound on our former coach, but I can’t recall the last time I saw Mr. Dubee do that.
Cody Asche had a misadventure on a wind-aided infield popup that kept drifting toward the right side of the diamond, but otherwise showed his usual engagement with the game – charging bunts, charging around the base paths, and moving runners over.
Speaking of moving runners over, Phils’ reliever B.J. Rosenberg showed very nice form at the plate executing his bunt. No one is quite sure why Brian James goes by B.J., but after seeing him in action I’m going to think of “Bunt Jockey” when I hear his initials.
It should be noted that even though Mr. Rosenberg knows how to shorten up on the stick, he is not a Jew. You don’t need Adam Sandler’s song to tell you that, but it’s always fun to listen to.
No, you’d be able to figure that out just by seeing that this Rosenberg isn’t good with numbers. Look closely and you’ll see that he’s wearing a #29 batting helmet with a #39 jersey.
Well that’s quite enough about the game. Let’s look at a few important goings-on in the stands. The cute-of-the-day award goes to this little fan, outfitted head to toe with his Phanatic bucket hat, Phils T and socks, and baseball diaper and pacy.
The foul ball opportunity muff of the day has to go to our buddy Maz, who violated the two-hands rule by trying to nab a ricochet while talking on the phone. He was left only to admire the ball as the fellow next to him gave it away as a souvenir to mesmerized kids in front of him. Gives new meaning to “catch you later” on those phone conversations, Maz.
The oddity of the day goes to the mascot brigade. I get most of these characters, but who’s the guy with the ostrich between his legs?
I’m not sure what to make of this. Rumor has it that the ostrich mascot (didn’t catch his “real” name) has something to do with the Reading Fightin Phils, our double A minor league club. I see that they used live ostriches as mascots last year, but perhaps that didn’t work out well.
Ah – never mind. I found it online. It’s Matt Jackson the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor! Looks like he’s a low budget version of the Phanatic shooting hot dogs into the crowd. For a moment there I was thinking he was a Viagra vendor.
Ah … the charm of minor league baseball. The charm of Bright House Section 114 is our favorite home-made floppy hat lady styled up with her blue trimmed beach hat and matching top with blue accents today.
At game’s end, two lovely ladies, “G” and “S”, posed for a photo shoot.
And on the way out, fans modeled their Pete & Shorty’s back-scratcher give-away.