April 4, 2009

Vote Yes for On-Deck Series

I don’t remember MLB teams having these on-deck series in years’ past. Spring Training to me was always in Florida (Arizona doesn’t count either). However, I am hoping these games become the norm.

It brings Spring Training closer to the fans that don’t have a lot of money to make it down south for the winter. The tickets are cheap. Players are in good moods. Plus, when you’re a Phillies fan (I’m not), you’re still happy because your team is the reigning champion.

Last night, I was at the Phillies/Rays on-deck series match. It was a cool experience from my point of view (forget the fans). I spoke with Don Zimmer, who was very cordial. I told him how I was a Yankees fan while he was in New York and it was a pleasure meeting him. He shook my hand, gave me a cute little smile and said: “You’ve seen lots of winners.”

(Maybe that’s the reason the Yankees haven’t won. Because I’m not in New York anymore.)

While talking with him, Gabe Kapler walked by me …. Sigh. I love my job and won’t comment further on that.

The pre-game festivities featured a video of Pat Burrell, who is now with the Rays. I want someone out there to explain something for me. The video was very nice with Burrell a young man signing his first contract. Then, the video played to the music of Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is.”

So the question is, Why?

Not Tina Turner’s ‘Simply The Best’ or something like that, but ‘I Want to Know What Love Is?’ Come on Phillies! It was still a nice moment and Burrell got choked up. You could see him wiping away tears with a slight frown. Even I felt a little something and I’m a cold-hearted Zoch.

Burrell was very good in the pre-game press conference and that hasn’t always been the case. He didn’t talk to the media that often while in Philadelphia, but he wasn’t terrible. But as someone put it earlier today, “They learn to say hello just as they’re saying good bye.”

Burrell was excited to be back in his old home even if he was wearing blue: “When they told me we had two exhibition games in Philly, I said, you gotta be kidding me. I couldn’t believe it. I’m excited. It’s a good opportunity. Ever since I found out we were coming back here, I’ve been looking forward to it.”

The fans were into the game, which was good for a preseason game. Phillies won on a walk-off hit by Jason Donald. Nice piece of hitting, going the other way with the ball – especially since he had a shift on him. Citizens Bank Park does not work out in the Rays favor. Seems as though Joe Maddon is a genius except when he at CBP. Might be the cheese steaks messing with his brain.

If there were no interleague play, I would think that these on-deck series would be extra special because these are teams fans wouldn’t normally see. However, since the Rays and Phils just played, the Philadelphia fans were pretty familiar with both sides. But there was no Eva chant for Evan Longoria when he came to bat this time.


  1. I like the OD series too. It is a lot more relaxed, players sign more autographs and clown around more. And I feel free to check out the park and see things that I don't normally see because I am checking out the game.

  2. It was cool to see the Mets/Sox and Yanks/Cubs games to open up the two new New York stadiums. Citi Field looks sweet!

  3. He shook your head? And you were okay with this? Hee...

  4. He was a lil old man put his hand on top of my head and gently shook it ....

    Ah, no. It was just a typo. I do that a lot. Thanks for catching it.