Clearwater Dreaming On Such a Winter’s Day

Yeah, today dawned rather gray and dreary looking, but barring unforeseen circumstances, the Phillies equipment truck should be making its way towards Clearwater even as I write. I would so love to be a stowaway on that truck!

Sunshine, palm trees, beaches – what’s not to love about Spring Training? Where else but Spring Training can you arrive at the ballpark when the gates open, and it looks like this:

IMG_3001.jpgbut by gametime it looks like this? (Florida weather in March can be pretty fickle!)
IMG_3037.jpgWhere else but Spring Training can you see synchronized fielding during the pre-game warmups?
IMG_2940.jpgWhere else but Spring Training can you see Chase Utley and the rest of the Phillies looking more like Christmas Elves than baseball players on St. Patrick’s Day?
IMG_3053.jpgWhere else but Spring Training can you stand next to Jon Lieber’s monstrously huge truck?
IMG_3157.jpgI wonder if he’s still driving that behemoth, considering he’s currently unsigned.

And where else but Spring Training can you sit on top of the dugout after the game is over, and not get shooed away by security?
IMG_3224 copy.jpg

Yes, my friend does actually have a face, but I didn’t know if she wanted her picture posted on the internet, therefore the homemade smiley.

We have been fortunate enough to take a trip to Clearwater to catch some Spring Training games four times, in 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2007. As much as I would love to make it number five in 2009, the prospects of that happening are currently not looking too good. Our finances resemble the country’s economy (pretty stinky). And now that both our children are school-age, it’s much harder to schedule, what with the kids’ activities and trying to convince the grandparents to stay at our house for an extended period to make sure the kids get to school on time, homework done, etc. So unless I win the lottery, or suddenly find a money tree growing in my backyard, I’ll just continue to dream about it.

Hopefully for some of you this spring your dreams will come true!



  1. xcicix

    The “christmas elves” are very funny. I want spring training, too-I’m going to Arizona the week before it starts!!!! But since pitchers and catchers report, maybe I’ll see Joe Smith or Jake Peavy (I’m staying right near the Mariners and Padres spring training complex) and get an autograph. But I never did see Randy Johnson at IHOP…

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