CLEARWATER — As is my usual routine, I got to Bright House Field for today’s Phillies-Braves game at 8AM, which is when the home team’s clubhouse is usually open for media. Except today the Phillies’ clubhouse isn’t open.
This happens sometimes. Lots of reasons, be it meetings, guest speakers from the league or the MLBPA or what have you. It was my bad for not checking ahead of time. I didn’t ask for the specific reason it was closed. But this being the Phillies, I assume it was a canasta tournament, seniors yoga or a “Matlock” marathon. No. “Murder, She Wrote.”
This much is 100% true: when I got here, former Reds and Astros catcher Ed Taubensee was waiting in the lobby area and was given the OK to go in the clubhouse. Taubensee last played in the bigs in 2001, so I assume he’s here so that Ruben Amaro can give him a three-year, $39 million contract with a vesting option.
OK, I’ll stop now. I promised myself I’d give up trolling Phillies fans for Lent. I won’t because I’m not Catholic, but the spirit of sacrifice is good for the soul, so I’ll try to make an effort.
Updates from Clearwater later this morning.
There’s a saying that goes “nothing good ever happens after 2AM.” It can also be said that nothing good ever happens after, say, week 5 or 6 of spring training.
Today, for instance, are a lot of inconsequential games. Those are neutral. Then there are a rash of these sorts of incidents which just went down today, all of which are bad:
Archer seems to be OK for now. Moncada walked off his thing and went back into the game. We’re still waiting to hear on Bumgarner and Ichiro. If there is anything serious with them we’ll update as we learn things.
But really, guys: Spring Training is too long. Even in a year like this one, when it’s a tad shorter than usual because of an early start to the regular season. Everyone who was gonna get their timing down well enough to make a big league roster has already done so. If someone isn’t healthy and in playing shape now, they’re not gonna be six days from now for Opening Day. The cake, as they say, is baked.
All that can happen is possessed-by-the-devil baseballs attacking unsuspecting players and injuring them in meaningless exhibitions. Let’s cease all baseball now until the regular season starts. Out of an abundance of caution.