Spring Diary: Watching The Phils

For those that couldn't catch the first televised game of the season for the Phillies, you're in luck because I sat down and kept a diary as I watched the match up against the Yankees down in Tampa. Keep in mind though that this is Spring Training for me too, so if this entry in the game day diary isn't up to snuff, it's because I haven't worked out since last fall. Plus, I'm off the ‘roids.

1:05 p.m. Guess who's in the broadcast booth with Harold Reynolds and the bald play by play guy? Our very own John Kruk! It's funny how John gets to be in the booth for the whole game with ESPN, yet he only gets two or three innings with the Phillies' local crew. Does that mean the local crew has more good announcers? No, it means the commentator by committee arrangement is stupid.

 

1:10 p.m. Ok, so far ESPN has interviewed ARod and Jeter, reviewed the Yankees lineup for the season, and talked about the addition of Kevin Brown. Will someone please tell them that the Phils are in this game as well? Oh wait, there's JRoll being interviewed now. Not only is Jimmy wearing a white, yes I said WHITE, glove today, but he has also perfected the cornrow mullet. That combination should automatically put him in the baseball hall of fame for style.

 

1:18 p.m. Wow. That's really all I can say. Just the second game of Spring Training and Larry Bowa already has Doug Glanville leading off once again. Did Larry not learn his lesson with Dougie the last time he was with the club? I know Glanville graduated from Penn and is supposedly a very smart guy, but he's not smart enough to know that an OBP above .300 is a good thing.

 

1:22 p.m. Kevin Brown gets the start for the Yanks, and Millwood will begin for the Phillies in the bottom of the inning.

 

1:23 p.m. Guess what? Real surprise here, second pitch to Glanville and he grounds out to ARod at third. Am I the only one that remembers how bad this guy is, or what?

 

1:24 p.m. Back to back hits for the Phils. Single from Rollins then another base hit from Jason Michaels. Rollins was thrown out going for third though. I think the hair slowed him down.

 

1:25 p.m. Burrell ends the inning with a groundout. Bowa should give him a small electric shock every time he doesn't go yard. That'll make him play good again…or he'll develop a nervous twitch, but that could help to.

 

1:30 p.m. According to Harold Reynolds, Kevin Millwood always wanted to come back to Philly for another season, despite all the rumors that he didn't. It's funny how $11 million, and no comparable offers from other teams, can make you forget how much you don't like a city.

 

1:32 p.m. 1-2-3 inning for Kevin. Hopefully he'll have a lot more of those this season. We can't have our ace end up with a 4.01 ERA again.

 

1:36 p.m. Looks like the strategy against Brown for the Fightin's is to manufacture those runs, with two more base hits from Lieby (who's DHing today) and Chase Utley.

 

1:38 p.m. Ahhh! Lieberthal was thrown out at home plate by Gary Sheffield. I didn't know steroids made you throw the ball better to.

 

1:41 p.m. Speaking of the juice, Jason Giambi is at the plate right now. I don't know if you've seen this guy recently, but he's really slimmed down. He says he only lost four pounds, which is a joke. Forget the Atkins diet, just get on, and then off performance enhancing drugs and watch the pounds fly off.

 

1:45 p.m. Another perfect inning from Millwood. I say Bowa should leave him out there the whole game so he can go for another no-hitter…well, that or a dead arm.

 

1:48 p.m. Now begins the game of musical chairs. Some guy named Donovan Osborne came in for Brown, and promptly gave up a double to Jeremy Salazar, who by the way is not an appetizer special at TGIFridays.

 

1:51 p.m. Call me crazy, but the absence of Chris Wheeler from this broadcast is really getting to me. That Astroturf hair hat on top of his head really raises the entertainment value of the afternoon. Even when he's not on camera, just knowing it's there will bring a smile to your face.

 

1:54 p.m. Since he's not at the game today, I'll go ahead and say it myself. "Everybody hits Whoo Who!"

 

1:55 p.m. It must not work when I do it. Salazar was left stranded at second.

 

1:57 p.m. There goes the no hitter. Thanks to Jorge Posada, I will now allow Millwood to take the rest of the afternoon off after this inning ends.

 

1:59 p.m. The conversation between the announcers had its first odd moment of the day when John Kruk brought up the fact that he's been sober for a while now. Reynolds then mentioned that he doesn't drink either, and that he'll help Kruker stay away from the booze this summer. I thought this was a baseball game, not an AA meeting? Also, what's the deal with Kruk not drinking anymore? John Kruk without a beer is like Andy Reid without a ham sandwich, it's just not natural.

 

2:00 p.m. Rubin Sierra just slammed a two run homer. Bowa should be getting the hook ready to pull Millwood out of there. 2-0 Yanks.

 

2:06 p.m. Larry must have fallen asleep because Millwood just gave up a walk to Lofton, then a base hit to Jeter, still with only one out.

 

2:09 p.m. A walk to ARod and that'll do it for Millwood. Joe Kerrigan had to go out and get him, so maybe I was right about Bowa catching some Zs.

 

2:13 p.m. Wilson Alverez is in there now for the Phils to face Mr. Slimfast.

 

2:14 p.m. Maybe he didn't quite the juice. Giambi just smashed, and I mean really destroyed, a grand slam. Could it be that they make a Steroid Lite or Steroid Diet product over there at BALCO for the weight conscious user?

 

2:17 p.m. Harold Reynolds talking about winter ball brought back memories of the greatest excuse for not playing winter ball ever. If you remember, back when Travis Lee was with the Phils, the club asked him to play winter ball one year. His excuse? Too many weddings to attend in the off season. Give that one a try the next time you want to skip a couple weeks of work. "Sorry I wasn't in last month boss, but these weddings…"

 

2:18 p.m. Whew! The bottom of the third is finally over, but not before the Yanks put up a six spot.

 

2:26 p.m. It only took an hour for the announcers to get bored with this game. The conversation has now moved to college basketball as Time Worrell warms up. My guess is that by the seventh inning, they'll be in the middle of a rock paper scissors tournament. My money would be on the bald play by play guy. He looks like he would sneak a rock in there just when you think he'd paper.

 

2:28 p.m. Hey! Welcome aboard Timmy, and thanks for letting Jorge go yard! 7-0 Yanks.

 

2:31 p.m. The quote of the day just came from John Kruk: "What year is this?" Maybe that comment about laying off the booze was just talk.

 

2:32 p.m. After four innings both clubs have five hits. The only difference is that the Yankees have seven runs off those five hits, while the Phillies have zero. Thank God for Spring Training.

 

2:37 p.m. ESPN has Jimmy Rollins miked up for the game, which was the most genius move in the history of sports broadcasting. You haven't lived until you've heard JRoll have a conversation with Derek Jeter about cleats at second base.

 

2:41 p.m. Back to back base hits for Salazar and Dougie with just one out. Is this the comeback we've been waiting for?

 

2:44 p.m. No.

 

2:46 p.m. Cole Hamels takes over for the Phillies. This is going to be quite a test for Cole, going against Jeter, ARod and Tony Clark.

 

2:48 p.m. Struck out Jeter. How about sending Millwood to Scranton and making Hamels the new ace?

 

2:49 p.m. WOW! They said Bowa wanted Hamels right now, well I can see why. He just struck out ARod with a fantastic change up.

 

2:51 p.m. Struck out the side. This kid looks like he has some filthy stuff, especially for this early in the spring. I think Larry Bowa is drooling in the dugout right now.

 

2:56 p.m. According to Kruk, the reason Pat Burrell was so bad last year was because he was trying too hard and just flat out confused at the plate. If you watched Pat at all last season, you'd know that explanation was right on. Also, Reynolds said that Burrell is now swinging more like he did back when he first came up, which makes it sound like his days of hitting .209 could be behind him.

 

2:58 p.m. I have a new favorite baseball player. He's on the Yankees, but his name is Bubba Crosby. I don't know anything else about him, but the name alone is all you need.

 

3:01 p.m. Phils are finally on the board thanks to a two run homer from Tomas "Happy Feet" Perez. He hit it right over my man Bubba Crosby's head. Interesting fact, all the runs have been scored off homers today. 7-2 Yanks.

 

3:06 p.m. Hamels gave up a base hit to Bubba Crosby, than got the double play and a fly out. Just one hit in two innings isn't bad at all.

 

3:10 p.m. Who knew? Travis Lee is in for the Yankees now. Bubba Crosby was moved over to center to. Just thought you'd want to know.

 

3:14 p.m. Three run homer for a Phillie named Mark Smith. He punished that ball. 7-5 Yanks, but the Phils are coming back.

 

3:23 p.m. David Coggin (remember him?) came in and got through the seventh. The on field reporter is now interviewing Ed Wade in the stands as a creepy guy with a Phillies hat on stares on behind them. You kinda had to see it, but this guy was giving the back of Eddie's head the death stare.

 

3:32 p.m. Phils got a guy, and I say guy because I have no idea who he was, to third in the top of the eighth but couldn't get him in. They'll just have one more chance to come back now, but the wind has been blowing out all day, so a two or three run homer won't be impossible.

 

3:37 p.m. It seems like the crowd went into a coma about a half hour ago. Once guys like Lou Collier get in the game, it's hard to keep from passing out. The park is still pretty full, but I think that's just because everyone there is paralyzed with boredom.

 

3:42 p.m. The Yankees mean business. Mariano Rivera is in for the save. Someone needs to tell Joe Torre that it isn't October.

 

3:47 p.m. 1-2-3 inning for Rivera with two Ks. That's the end of the game, and puts the Phillies at 1-1 for the spring. Splitting a couple with the Yanks to start Spring Training isn't bad at all if you ask me.

 

3:51 p.m. One last thing, even in Tampa they play "New York, New York" after the game. I know it's the Yankee's park down there, but something about that just seems off.


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