So today really wasn’t opening day. No fly-overs, although more than a few comb-overs were spotted in the stands. Save that for Tuesday with the Yankees coming to Bright House, and given the number of Yankee hats and tees we saw on the flight to Tampa there’s sure to be a full house. I did notice a few improvements at Bright House today. Take the souvenir beer cups, for instance.
The scoreboard looks even better this year, with greater ease of reading the 81 degree temperature and more info crammed onto that cute little space. Hey, we may not be able to put a decent product out there on the field, but we’ll look good on screen!
And get a load of this: No more waiting in line in the Men’s Room! That’s right – the innovative Phils are experimenting with the Major League’s first call-ahead urinal reservation system. Worked like a charm today.
Good to see familiar faces at the game today, giving the day if not the game some meaning. David Montgomery, Phillies’ Exec in Transition, who is battling cancer, re-connecting with fans which has to give him a boost. And Sammy and Bo of course.
Though only an exhibition game, Manager Sandberg is already going out of his way to connect more with his players. Here he checks in with with Tommy Joseph, who started behind the plate at Bright House for the first time since his string of concussions in the minor leagues. If he can return to form, the Phils may have some hope when Señor Octobre finally hangs up the chest protector.
Other than Ruf, the only Phils position player even in the dugout today was Chase Utley, though Miriam thinks it was a non-roster invitee who borrowed Utley’s jersey.
And though a meaningless game today, Dan McD was spotted on the roof of the Phils dugout rolling out Let’s-Make-A-Deal though even he was rusty, and was cut off by the PA announcer starting the inning before he could ask the “crowd” to make enough noise so that his hand-picked contestant could take home the Chase Utley autographed ball anyway.
All in all a nice first day at the Park, even though we cut the stay short because Miriam is a bit under the weather and I’m just now getting above it. But for those who stayed to the end, and I’m sure that was the bulk of the U. of Tampa cheering squad and their players, it was a victory they will savor for a long time.