Scenes from Spring Training: Yankees-Phillies

It was overcast on Thursday as J and I rolled into Brighthouse Field to watch the Yankees play the Phillies for as quality a spring training matchup a fan could get.  It was a perfect day for baseball, minus the impending rainclouds and the lingering hangover from too much Grand Marnier and karaoke the night before.

First pitch was scheduled for one o’clock and we couldn’t have timed our arrival better.  There’s just something about hearing the national anthem piped through the sound system as you approach the ballpark that screams America.

I hadn’t been to a spring training game in years, so it was all I could do to soak up the atmosphere, camera and notepad in hand.  Judging by the sellout crowd, Major League Baseball appears alive and well, particularly among Yankees and Phillies fans. Tickets to the game were only $12 and even though they were general admission, it was still worth it just to get in and walk the park.

We were in luck that day.  The pitching matchup was a battle between two former Cy Young Award winners Roy Halladay and C.C. Sabathia.

The stadium was packed with fans, new school and old, so much so that we even spotted a Richie Ashburn jersey and a Joe Dimaggio look-alike, complete with cardboard cutout of Marilyn Monroe.  Vacationing baseball fans had come from all over, eager to strike up a conversation about the upcoming season.  Kids, and their fathers, wandered around the capacity crowd, carrying their baseball gloves and sporting their favorite shoes, shirts and shorts, none of which matched. (“Honey, you’re not wearing that out, are you?)

The beer was cold, the dogs were hot and I was actually inches away from catching a foul ball.  I was scribbling down notes for this post when a ball careened down the third baseline and into the hands of the guy to my immediate right.  I didn’t think climbing over him and his date to grab it would have been appropriate.

The Sabathia-Halladay matchup lived up to the billing.  It took three beers, a burger and a bag of peanuts before Halladay gave up his first hit.  Sabathia was nearly as untouchable, allowing only three hits in five innings.  The flood gates opened in the sixth, once both starters were gone.  The Phillies jumped all over the Yankee bullpen, highlighted by a John Mayberry, Jr. two run home run.

In the end, the Phillies beat the Yanks by a touchdown, but that wasn’t the point of the day, which was to take some pictures and enjoy some of the best sights springtime in Florida has to offer.

Both these teams should be around in late October.  It was a pleasure to see them duke it out in early March.

Enjoy the scenery.

The view from centerfield

This sign was strategically placed at the bar where they knew most Phillies fans would see it

Roy Halladay walks off the mound after striking out 82 consecutive Yankees

Phillies fans not exactly known for their slender physiques…

…probably because they eat a lot of these

I told you there was a fake Joe DiMaggio there with a cardboard cutout of Marilyn Monroe

Scoreless after five and a half

How the SportsChump measures up

Round Two at the bar

JC Ramirez warms up in the Phillies bullpen

Another banner day at the ballpark

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50 Replies to “Scenes from Spring Training: Yankees-Phillies”

  1. Pingback: Scenes from Spring Training: Yankees-Phillies, MLB | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. Nice read. What’s that slogan about spring? Believe me, baseball is a welcome and relaxing sport even for us Sin City guys. Looks like you guys hadda good time.

  3. Chris

    Well Spring Training has started and the expectations are high for some teams wouldn’t you say ? Especially with the likes of the Phillies .

    Sad to hear and see that Nate Dogg is dead age 41 !

    Nate Doog dead at 41

    Nathaniel D. Hale, a rapper known by the stage name Nate Dogg, died on Tuesday, his family said.

    The cause of death was not yet known, but Hale, 41, had suffered strokes in 2007 and 2008, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

    Click on link to read in full.


    tophatal ……….

  4. Chris

    My bad should read Dogg !

    You packin’ on the lbs in that pic ? Or do the women love the size of the girth ?

    PX 90 man ……. PX 90 that’s all I gotta say ……..LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    tophatal ……….

  5. That did it, it’s time for a sick day. I believe I can get down to Pt. Charlotte for a 1:00 o’clock game and be back home by six with the wife none the wiser. Thanks for the inspiration my friend!

  6. Always a good day a the ballpark. Is that spotted thing on your right licking your neck? Is that why you’re standing so close?

  7. Ron…

    From what we remember, we had a great time.

    I was actually quite surprised at how friendly everyone was that day. People would just walk up to you and strike up a conversation.

    Guess none of them were Buckeye fans, huh?

  8. Phillies fans are definitely psyched about the upcoming season, Al, as they should be.

    They were out in hordes that day and far outnumbered Yankees fans.

    I heard that about Nate Dogg, man. “Regulate” will go down as one of the greatest hip-hop songs ever put out.

  9. Chris

    I like what I’m seeing from the Rays at present I can only hope it pans out into the regular season !

    As for Nate Dogg I’m really shocked as I wasn’t aware he was dying from any form of illness ……… it wasn’t even that widely reported as far as his health issues were concerned.

    So what am I suppose to make of the latest within the NFL ? So far 6 judges have recused themselves from hearing the NFL case in court . Federally appointed judges now have a conflict of interest when it involves the NFL ? What the hell ? Since when did the NFL assume the guise of the Mafia ? And has there been money changing hands ‘tween the league and any of the judges in question ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    And once again the Magic fails to deliver ! You were saying SVG that with him …….. what you see is what you get ? What are we gettin’ or seeing from him at present apart from his constant bitchin’ and whinin’ ?
    The Lakers …. had their number way before the team even stepped unto the court .

    And the Mavs get taken down by the Blazers (104-101</b). Oh yeah that's a team that's real tough ! Like I said when it comes to the Mavs 'til they prove that “they can play tough” in the postseason on a consistent basis …… count me out !

    The Spurs …… dump on the Heat …. big time less than a week ago then get dumped on themselves by the same margin of victory (30 points) against that very same team . Payback as they say ………..”can be a bi_ch ” !

    What’ll take for Stern to come and say that the league will adopt a policy as it relates to the players when they suffer concussions during the games ? After the episode concerning the Hornets’ Chris Paul I’m surprised he’s not said a damn thing !

    tophatal ………………..

  10. The Rays are looking pretty good, Al. I told everyone it was too early to panic.

    Re: the NFL, where’s Lance Ito when we need him? Or maybe even Judge Brown.

    Stan Van might take the fall on this one. He’d probably be first to go unless Dwight says something like Jimmy Chitwood, if coach goes, I go.

    I was talking with someone at the bar the other night. I told them that Gerald Wallace was a real good pick up for Portland, that he added toughness some toughness to that team. The guy, for some reason, disagreed with me. I guess he doesn’t watch much basketball.

    The Heat are starting to peak at the right time, Al. Are you prepared to say this team will DEFINITELY not win a championship this year?

    And I’m sure Stern will take a close look at the Paul injury. I’m not sure what can be done to protect a fluke injury other than put helmets on these guys.

  11. Baseball? What’s that? Is it September yet?

    NCAA & NBA Hoops are where it’s at right now! How about SVG vs. Stern? Have you weighed in on that war of words yet?

  12. Good stuff man! I was actually supposed to head to Arizona this weekend to see some spring training, but something came up so I won’t be making it… I went two years ago and it was fun. I like how it’s a lot easier to get close to the players, really a different kind of experience than a regular season game in that respect…

  13. Chris

    With Wallace , Roy and Aldridge that Blazers’ team ought to be feared . They could scare number of teams out West .

    No , with Paul it’s the mere fact that the league has no mandated protocol as to what’s acceptable concerning concussions . Whereas in the NFL there’s a mandatory code. Six days after the incident the guy was still suffering headaches and balance issues . Now he’s back playing but there’s no telling of those headaches will come back .

    They’re peaking but that still hasn’t convinced me even light of ’em beatin’ the Spurs like a rabid dog . They’re now 3-8 against top 5 teams or teams with winning records . What does that indicate to you at this juncture ? Convince me more if you can ?

    I think that Judge Judy ought to preside over the league’s trial against the NFL . It’d be fun to watch as both Goodell and Smith give testimony and her asking them with her atypical Jewish tone where’s the meat in your claim ? I’d have said p_rk but would that be viewed as Anti Semitic ?

    tophatal …..

  14. Chris

    chappy has a piece up ’bout Ocho wanting a tryout with an MLS soccer ,a href=””> team . I know he’s a fervent fan and played in high school while in Miami . But given the fact he’s always been about the pub’ rather than his achievements on an NFL field . But will that necessarily make him a two sport athlete if he makes it ? We’re talking MLS soccer here and not the Premiership (EPL) or La Liga (Spain) !

    Bengals’ Ochocinco to try out for MLS team (Click on link to view)

    I know that in lieu of the stoppage he’ll need to add to the $5 million he now makes a year . So it goes without saying that things have got to be tough for him . Lovely ! That’s what we Brits like to say with regard from stepping from the sublime into the ridiculous.

    I think the fact he’s now nailin’ toine’s ex makes him an alleged two sport athlete !

    So some of the NFL players want to hold their own alternate NFL Draft ? How pleasing to hear ………. what they’ll be serving foie gras and beluga caviar at the event while downing vast quantities of Dom Perignon or Klug ?

    tophatal ……………..

  15. Drew…

    I’m with ya’, man. But I’m working six days a week these days and my boy bought me a ticket.

    I figured I might as well check out a game and, with the Phillies so close and a buzz about ’em this season, as well as the chance to see them clobber the Yankees, 7-0, well who could pass that up?

    Here’s my take on Stern vs. Van Gundy.

    Look, we know they’re both vocal. We know Van Gundy’s going to protect his boy, as he should. We know that Stern rules with an iron fist, not allowing anyone, player or coach, to criticize his officials.

    Both positions are understandable. I just thought a little too much was made out of it. It’s not the first time Stern’s gone verbally jousting with a coach and it won’t be the last.

  16. Chap…

    I actually saw Cole Hamels getting into a Camry.

    What’s up with that?

    Nothing against Camry’s. I’m sure they’re reliable cars but come on, Cole. Don’t you make like 8 mil a year?

  17. Al…

    I don’t think Portland can take either LA, San Anton or Oklahoma City in the first round but they could certainly give Dallas a run for their money.

    And re: Paul, as of yet, the NBA hasn’t HAD to have a protocol regarding concussions, Al. Meanwhile, in the NFL, there’s a few occurring every weekend.

    I’m sure Paul was given the proper medical attention and I’m also sure this is something Stern will eventually look into.

  18. Chris

    It’s dependent upon what Ocho’ is gettin’ in return and as of now with the fact that he’s gettin’ to tag-n-bag toine’s (Antoine Walker) ex wife I’m in a bit of a dilemma ! Have you seen a pic of toine’s ex ( Evelyn Lozada )?

    He like TO won’t win a ring over the course of the remainder of their respective careers . Wrong place though not necessarily the wrong time for each of ’em . Marvin Lewis couldn’t coach his way out of a wet paper bag even if he were being assisted by the US 7th Cavalry ! The Bengals are an ill disciplined team and that was certainly magnified in the way that they played last season.

    By the way what were Ocho’s contributions to the team throughout the course of the season ?

    Anything can happen in the NBA playoffs Chris, all it takes is for one of the zebras (referees) to screw things up and a team can be effectively kiss goodbye to a series in the playoffs in spite of Stern’s insistence that they’re above reproach .

    Tell me this who’d have expected the Bulls to now have the best record in the Eastern Conference as of now with less 15 games left in the season ? Stranger than fiction eh ?

    Happy St Paddy’s Day ! Think green drink green !

    tophatal ………..

  19. Chris

    Here’s to you and any of your patrons who happen to be of Irish descent ! It’s St Patrick’s Day ………… so think and drink green !

    House of Pain ………….. “Jump Around ”

    tophatal …………………

  20. I’ll tell you what, Al.

    This is officially an Ocho Free Zone. I’m not talking about him, his exploits, who he’s sleeping with, what sport he wants to play next, any of it.

    It’s March. Let’s talk Pitino. Oh wait, he’s out.

    Those Bulls won’t be easy to knock off in the post-season, Al. Think Rose is gonna win the MVP?

  21. Chris

    I’ll try and watch hoops as well but I’ve got to look over some papers for the girlfriend and her partners’ business (interior designers) as they’ve laid out a business proposal with their bank to obtain additional financing. I’m just making sure that I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed.

    There’ll be surprises in the early rounds to be sure.

    Well it’s no surprise with Pitino as payback’s a bitch !

    Ocho free zone ? Well that’s OK as he’s been all hype to begin with !

    Now tell me this the NFLPA (union) wants to hold their own alternate draft on NFL Draft Day . How’s that work exactly LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    Also you see where coaches and their staffs around the league are seeing the salaries cut because of the lockout ? In some cases it’s between 25-50 % . The fallout from this all can now be declared nuclear !

    The Bulls are really putting the others within the conference on notice as this team isn’t to be taken lightly . Rose is having a stellar season but if he doesn’t win league MVP I ain’t gonna hate I’ll simply appreciate !

    The writers who cover the NBA can’t cover their own a_s but they’re about to tell who ought to win League MVP. The year Karl Malone ….. won it …. MJ was clearly head and shoulders above everyone else but somehow these di_kheads thought Malone worthy. Pardon me if I don’t take those guys seriously Chris as I’ve better things to do than worry ’bout what those morons think when it comes how good an NBA player should or ought to be.

    Has Jalen Rose taken his foot out of his mouth yet ? Cause I hear that Grant Hill intends to put his foot up Jalen’s a_s .

    I’d pay money to see how that brawl’d turn out !

    tophatal ………….

  22. I’ll be over to check out your latest, Al, as soon as the Gators are done dispatching the Gauchos. When Florida plays the way they’re supposed to, they’re actually a pretty decent little team.

    Just wondering out loud, what are Jets fans going to do on Draft Day? They’ll have to wander around finding random people to boo.

    As as solid as the Bulls are, I fear they’ll still be vulnerable in the playoffs against a more experienced team, even with home court advantage.

    And finally, this whole Hill-Rose thing has gotten pretty juicy. Impressive even more is that Hill didn’t need a spell check for his rebuttal.

  23. Ugly first day for some people.

    The biggest losers?

    Zbignu, Heavy D, CgatorB, Chappy and Raybolts who all lost three teams before they even realized what happened.

    The big winners on day one?

    KP, GMony, Partykiller, Varnish, Damion and defending Champ Yaz who all still have 15 teams remaining.

    No one made it through the first day unblemished.

    Goodness, how we all love March.

  24. Chris

    Jets’ fans actually watch the NFL Draft ? Whoo ! Now that’s a doozy !

    At this point I’d like to thank Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals for turning up to the NCAA’s and the fact that they managed to get their a_ses off their travel bus might even be more of a surprise considering how hideously they played against Morehead St .

    Rick Pitino I salute you ……….I really do with the index finger salute ! Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy ………….not !

    Florida dumped on UC Santa Barbara like a pimp bi_ch slappin’ one of his ‘ho’s …….. was there ever any doubt as to the result ?

    The Bulls are playing at a high level and the fact that they’ve beaten some of the elite teams within the league says something as to the comfort level that they have. At this moment in time I believe that Tom Thibodeaux is the odds on favorite to win coach of the Year in the NBA !

    tophatal ……

  25. Chris

    Remember when I stated to you how much of an idiot I thought and still feel Goodell to be ? Here’s another explanation that supports my case ! Click on the link shown to read .

    Also in part here’s a part the transcript of the e-mail sent to active players within the NFL. It makes you wonder if his only concern is with them then where does that leave the retired veterans who still part of the union ?

    Goodell e-mails all active players …….

    <a href=" Goodell e-mails all active players

    NEW YORK (AP)—Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote NFL players Thursday, outlining the league’s last proposal to the union and cautioning that “each passing day puts our game and our shared economics further at risk.”

    Goodell ended the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, by telling players: “I hope you will encourage your union to return to the bargaining table and conclude a new collective bargaining agreement.”

    Talks between the teams’ owners and the NFL Players Association broke off last Friday, the 16th day of federal mediation in Washington. The union dissolved that afternoon, allowing players to file a class-action antitrust suit in federal court. Hours later, owners locked out the players, creating the NFL’s first work stoppage since 1987.


    tophatal …….

  26. Chris

    Can we now agree he’s never been the brightest guy in the room ? This being a guy who’s supposed to be well educated and who’s a protege of Paul Tagliabue his predecessor . The owners are a bunch of blithering idiots for choosing this guy in the first place to succeed Tagliabue when they were far better qualified candidates for the job !

    Here’s what’s on tap for today in the NCAA tournament .

    Saturday …………… Sunday .

    Can you ” upset alerts specials ” ?

    tophatal …………

  27. Like I said earlier, Al. That’s some karma for Ricky P.

    Yes, the Gators looked damn good. I’ve been attempting to not get too homered out but this is clearly the best team Billy D has put together since Noah, Horford and Brewer left town.

    They’re tough. And they have an easy bracket. We’ll see what happens Saturday against UCLA.

    And I agree with you. There’s no way Thibodeaux doesn’t get coach of the year.

  28. Fair or not, this whole shebang will all fall on Goodell’s head.

    He was essentially handed the most successful enterprise in modern America and ensured its failure. Nicely done, sir.

    It’s okay, we still have college football.

  29. Chris

    There’s no truth to the rumor that Pitino is blamin’ Karen Cunagin-Sypher for his and the team’s woes in that first round loss . The fact that she claimed “rape ” and he said the ‘sex’ was consensual even if it was in the stalls of a high end restaurant in Louisville . What he earns in excess $2 mil’ a year and his cheap a_s couldn’t get a hotel room to do the “deed” at the time ?

    The Gators certainly looked good last night ! I expect ’em to at least make the Sweet 16 in the tourney if they continue to play at their present level !

    Goodell needs to go to ‘clown school’ because he’s got this adept ability to make people laugh at him even when it’s not meant to be intentional .

    tophatal ……….

  30. Why would Pitino need a hotel room, Al, when he probably had a private, curtain room at the restaurant. Can I have more tiramisu, please?

    As we expected, the tournament has been top heavy so far. And to think, critics were complaining about the Gators getting a 2 seed. If they get past UCLA, the critics can have a good dose of STFU.

  31. Chris

    The analysts covering the college game wouldn’t know their own a_s from a whole in the ground ! I can only assume Pition wanted to ride bareback and didn’t want to pay that lil’ bit extra for the luxury of the room and refrigerated bar .

    I’d have the utmost respect for Goodell if he’d just morph into a lump of fecal matter !

    In the process of finishing a piece on Jeter and the fact that he’s the Yankees’ all-time hits’ king and is a mere 74 hits away from the 3,000 hits’ plateau .

    Will hit you up in the usual way when it’s done. I could end up throwin’ my hat in their (Yankees’) corner given the fact that I now hate the _uck out of the Marlins’ owner Jeffrey Loria ! —- He’s a lying sack of garbage !

    tophatal ………….

  32. Chris

    Let me pose this question to you ? How dumb are the players within the NFL ? They now say they’re prepared to negotiate directly with the owners rather than Goodell . Have they forgotten that it was at the owners’ behest that Goodell ordered the lockout ? I can’t take these a_sholes seriously any longer as they’re a bunch of jerks !

    The piece on Jeter will be complimentary to say the least .

    tophatal …………

  33. Yes, Al.

    I don’t think anyone would disagree with you on this one.

    These whole negotiations are like a Spike Lee movie. Not a single party is without blame for wrongdoing.

  34. Chris

    It’s becoming more asinine by the minute there are kids in pre school who don’t act with such idiocy ! But yet he we have grown individual showing all of the insight of someone who’s mentally challenged !

    Dropped these two pieces .

    It Ain’t Over ’til The Fat Lady Sings ….. Or Is It ?

    Capt America ……………. Derek Jeter …… The Showman And Leader

    I got to hear the new Lupe Fiasco —- ‘joint’ ( CD ) and that piece is one of the pieces I’ve heard in a long while from any rapper out there at present !

    tophatal ..

  35. Words I Never Said Lupe & Skylar Grey . Like me he pulls no f_cking punches ! And I like that !

    As for Skylar Grey her collaborations are phenomenal and not that the she’s dam fine lyricist ! Written a lot of stuff for Slim Shady aka Eminen as well as Dre’ .

    tophatal ………..

  36. Chris

    Well both the ‘noles and Gators are thru’ to the Sweet 16 and that’s good for the state of collegiate basketball within the state.

    Boy am I glad my Dukies made it through in a close game .

    As for Pitt well that was something that even their coach didn’t expect.

    tophatal ………….

  37. Noles did good, Al.

    I actually had them advancing in the SportsChump pool. That was a tough Notre Dame team they beat but how many years until we finally realize that, despite all the love for the Big East this year, the ACC is still the better basketball conference.

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