Spring Training Grinds On; Phils Drop Both Spilt Squad Contests


Spring training is almost over.  It seems like it lasts for longer than it should.  From February 25th to March 31st we are subjected to baseball that is really close to major league quality.  It is so exciting when we get to watch the truck leaving the frozen wasteland of Philadelphia in February, carrying gum, sunflower seeds and a whole bunch of other non-essential baseball paraphernalia.  We all squeal “Pitchers and catchers report today!” as we helplessly flail against mother nature.  At this point, we are so starved for baseball/non arctic weather, that we cling to any semblance of a baseball season.

Excitement quickly devolves into abject indifference as fans from all over the country attempt to prognosticate based on completely meaningless statistics against a ton of not ready for the majors talent.  The pitchers we have heard of are constantly getting the living hell kicked out of them because they are “working on pitches.”  Position players disappear at random points in the game and are replaced so that by the ninth inning the team resembles the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs more than it does the Philadelphia Phillies.

In addition, this particular spring, we have been introduced to injuries to both star players and top prospects, making something that had previously been unpleasant, intolerable.

It is almost over everyone.  Today, the Phillies took on the Toronto Blue Jays and the Detroit Tigers in split squad action.  The Phils were defeated 3-1 by the Tigers and 7-6 by the Blue Jays.  The team is attempting to set its rotation, so we were treated to Kyle Kendrick against Toronto and Ryan Feierabend versus Detroit.

We have become spoiled with the Phillies starting rotation.  Does everyone remember what it was like to actually have to care what it was like when Freddie Garcia’s starts meant something?  I remember.  It was fucking terrible.  The Yankees actually have named him their fifth starter.  Imagine what happens to Bartolo Colon when he ISN”T trying to stay in game shape.  This should be a fun season to watch the AL East.

The Phillies sent Luis Castillo out as their starting second baseman and number two hitter against the Blue Jays.  He actually looked pretty good at the plate today going 2-4 with a walk and scoring two runs.  He made one pretty good backhanded play off a deflection and booted a fairly easy grounder later in the game.  It sort of seems like the guy might make the team based on a bunch of stuff I just said was meaningless two paragraphs ago.

Chooch got a replica Cy Young award from Halladay and responded by going 1-2 with a homer, three RBIs and two walks.  Halladay really seems to be a nice guy.  The only person in town who would disagree is Howard Eskin and Howard Eskin is a wang.

Like I said, its almost over everyone.  Soon Halladay will be facing Brett Myers on opening day.

Next up for the Phils, in their last spring training game is a 1:05 contest with Atlanta.