Spring Training Games Begin In Controversy

Today’s first Spring Training game got off to a rather odd start; while the players were stretching on the field before the game, suddenly, almost all of the Phillies broke out in applause, mid-stretch.  Everyone looked around to see what the fuss was about and then noticed Jimmy Rollins running on to the field – late.  The applause was to congratulate J-Roll on actually showing up.  He was in such a rush to get onto the field, he had forgotten to remove the bling from his ears; realizing this, J-Roll removed the earrings and stuffed them in his pocket.  Rollins began to stretch and Charlie Manuel strode over to confront Rollins.  J-Roll pointed to the nearby highway and tried to explain his tardiness.  Manuel, looking less than pleased, must have been having bad flashbacks to last season when Rollins was benched for being  late.  After Manuel finished scolding Rollins, Ryan Howard attempted to comfort his buddy:


Rollins was not benched after the incident, but there may be fall-out later for him to deal with.  I will keep you posted.  And on to the game:

The Good

– Jamie Moyer continues to age in reverse; he pitched 2 strong, scoreless innings and chased after a foul ball like an 11 year-old kid on the playground, which brought cheers from the crowd.

Raul Ibanez got his first pre-season hit as a Phillie.

Mike Koplove pitched well; could he be a piece to the bullpen?  That remains to be seen.

The Bad

Minor league pitcher Joe Bisenius was all over the strike zone; his wildness cost the Phillies 4 runs in one inning and led to the 8-2 loss; Scott Nestor was no better, allowing 3 runs in one inning.  It does not look like either pitcher will be seeing time in the majors in the near future.

The Ugly

The first two innings for the Phillies batters seemed to echo ghosts of dysfunctional innings of the past; It began with J-Roll popping out, Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard striking out and Eric Bruntlett hitting into a double play with one out and the bases loaded.

Below, you will see Moyer pitching, Howard striking out and JJ Furmaniak trying to pick off a runner:


The Weird

Birds!  Like an Alfred Hitchcock movie, birds swarmed the Pirates stadium, with many of them hanging out in the outfield during the game.  Greg Dobbs nearly lost his head:P2253560.JPG

Poor guy.  Happy to report, aside from the possibly birdy bomb, no one was seriously injured.  Tomorrow the Phillies take on the Blue Jays for the first home game of Spring Training.  Game time is 1:05pm.


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