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I have a lot of time to kill at Bright House Field today

Mar 5, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

Bright House Field

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.

  1. rjmarrella - Mar 5, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    Ok, so that was funny.

  2. contraryguy - Mar 5, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    May as well wait at the park… precious little else to do in Clearwater at that hour.

    And Taubs could probably still catch, too.

  3. deathmonkey41 - Mar 5, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    Time to kill? Just surf for porn. Geez, what’s wrong with you?

  4. janessa31888 - Mar 5, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    What is canasta, by the way? Is it a card game? I’m not trying to be sarcastic, I honestly have never heard of it.

    • proudlycanadian - Mar 5, 2014 at 8:56 AM

      You are correct. It is a card game.

      • pointywilliams - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:10 AM

        My sister’s boyfriend’s mother’s second-cousin makes $79 an hour playing Canasta from home…

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:12 AM

        Good one.

  5. proudlycanadian - Mar 5, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    I am interested on your take on the Phillies this season. Cliff Lee pitched very well in both of his starts against the Jays even though Toronto won both games. The early spring training games do not mean much; however, I expect that Lee will have a big year.

    • toodrunktotastethischicken - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      Damn near everything has to go right for them this season. For the past two seasons RAJ has basically banked on “The Core” staying healthy and supplying them with a few spare parts(trading for Michael Young, signing the likes of John Lannan and Delmon Young) which obviously hasn’t worked. Preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best seems to be the general consensus amongst Philadelphia fans.

      • ryanrockzzz - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        I would argue it is less about the health, and more about productivity. Howard and Rollins were both unproductive playing a good amount last season. Dom Brown was also healtheir then he was since his constant shuffle from the Lehigh Valley to Philly. I think if those three alone produce at high levels, the team could content. I doubt that happens though. I also think Ruiz can’t get suspended again, and can’t wait unitl August to start hitting this year. Hamels has to be a bit more consistent then he was last year, and the bullpen has to as we wordsmiths like to say, “not suck.”

      • gmfw7 - Mar 5, 2014 at 1:41 PM

        ryanrockz…it’s almost completely about health. as bad as they’ve looked the past two seasons they are actually 93-69 in the last 162 games ryan howard has played which is the very end of 2011 + 2012-13. if they stay healthy they still have an opportunity to make things interesting. if they start having the same types of injury issues as the past two seasons, raj needs to start dumping these contracts early and often and stockpiling some young talent. only problem is, after the lee, pence and victorino trades i’m not sure he’ll get them any value back. he really needs to go

  6. dcarroll73 - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    Hey, my grandmother and her friends played tough, competitive Canasta, and they knew and abided by the unwritten rules.

    • zzalapski - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:11 AM

      Of course they played it the Right Way, or else they risked Brian McCann busting up their card game.

    • deathmonkey41 - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:38 AM

      Were they gritty?

    • natstowngreg - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      Does competitive canasta have PED issues?

      • dcarroll73 - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:55 PM

        I think amphetamines is the worst problem; they ramp up the intense concentration to track all those cards (is it 7 decks in play? I didn’t get any PEDs today so my little gray cells aren’t firing.)

  7. sdelmonte - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Sacrifice used to be good for the soul, until the stats showed otherwise.

  8. kinggator - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    You can go to Lenny’s for breakfast – just across the street. The Tilted Kilt won’t be open til lunch, sorry.

    • spudchukar - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      There used to be a great smoked shrimp “cafe”, right as you got off the bridge heading into Clearwater. Is it still in existence? Name?

  9. halladaysbiceps - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    Before today’s Braves/Phillies game, they will be paying a little tribute to Jim Fregosi. I despised Fregosi so much as a manager that I hope they bring in Mitch Williams to throw out the first pitch to Joe Carter to properly honor Jimmy Boy’s legacy in Philadelphia. Fregosi was an arrogant tool that managed poorly and had the stones to talk trash about the people of South Philly.

    • proudlycanadian - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:17 AM

      A day late for the tribute as the Phillies lost again to the Jays yesterday.

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:11 AM

        I should have also mentioned that Fregosi also managed the Jays for a couple of seasons.

    • kevinbnyc - Mar 5, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      Heaven forbid the fine people of South Philly get insulted.

      Apparently this is what happens.

  10. chaseutley - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    “Thanks! I’ll be here all week. Remember to tip your waitress.”

  11. jwbiii - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Craig, Here’s something that may be of interest to you

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1988-Durham-Bulls-Orange-David-Butts-Cadiz-Kentucky-KY-Baseball-Card-/360733096352

  12. philliephanatic - Mar 5, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Craig, all you do is write articles about the age of this team. Good Lord, give it a rest. We get it. If they ever go into full rebuild mode I expect to see you in the unemployment line since your source material will be gone.

  13. madtownthrowdown - Mar 5, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Go cross Highway 19, up at sunset blvd. Go get the Phillies burger at Varsity Club. The Burgers are awesome, though the place looks a little shady and the owner is an Ass.

  14. summeroftony - Mar 6, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    Waaahhh! I hate the Phillies! Waaahhh! They built an amazing stadium and became a larger market team which enabled them to spend money! Waaahhhh! They won a bunch of division titles and a world series! WAAAHHH!

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