That’s it. Phils final appearance this Spring in Dunedin and a two inning gem from surprise non-roster invitee David Buchannan, followed by fellow non-roster invitee Mario Hollands. Here is Buchannan doing his stretching and progressive long-tossing prior to the game, along with his battery mate Cameron Rupp.
Dunedin is such a quaint park that Phillies fans line up for autographs or just to yell some encouragement to the players down the left field line where they come out to warm up prior to the game. Cody Asche was the first player out of the clubhouse today and he was gracious as ever in stopping to sign and say hi.
Here’s another example of a gracious signer, Phillipe Aumont, a beleaguered relief pitcher for the Phils. Interestingly his “It’s only spring training” teammate Jimmy Rollins goes out of his way to tell Aumont that he shouldn’t be signing anything prior to the game. Jimmy doesn’t sign at any time, having grown far too big for his britches.
It was a pretty laid back afternoon today before the rains came calling a halt to the contest in the 8th inning and awarding the Phils with a 6-3 victory. Even the fans in Section 206 behaved, and Dallas Green dispensed with his hunting hat.
Really the only thing shattering the tranquility of Florida Auto Exchange Stadium was a female Phils fan in front of us who made hearing aids howl at an other worldly frequency. All I can say is thank goodness she was a row in front of us and not the row behind. You can see her here in this photo I captured from the Phils’ website, in the green hat over Ryan Howard’s left shoulder, in the act of her piercing whistle.
Greenie was explaining to anyone giving her a disapproving glance that she had seven beers in the parking lot before coming in, and had a bottle of Bacardi to finish before flying back to Philly tomorrow. Truly a shame to see out-of-control fans like this. On a more positive note, the stadium does have a very clever beer dispenser doo-hickey that fills the cup from the bottom-up and overcomes that messy tilting spillover problem. The cup’s bottom has a round pop-up tab that lets the beer in and forms a seal. What will they think of next!