Today was the kind of day that would make Connie Mack proud. He is, after all, the forefather of Spring training. Sunny. 77 degrees. Slighty breezy, at least enough wind to move the ball around and make things interesting.
The Rays lost to the Phillies 12 – 5 at Bright House Networks Field Saturday in what was the first time the two teams faced each other since the 2008 World Series. The Phillies gained steam with back-to-back-to-back jacks in the first inning – the Rays never could recover.
A lot has changed in the clubhouse since the Rays lost the five game series last October. Former Phillie Pat Burrell now is a Ray. The packed house of Phillies and Rays fans (about a 50/50 ratio) gave him a standing ovation his first at bat in the first inning. He popped out, but later in the game got on base with a hit down the third base line.
The Phillies strengthened their lineup by keeping big man Ryan Howard around. Howard inked a three year deal Feb. 8. He hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Rays prospect Mitch Talbot. The Rays hurler gave up two more dingers in a row before the inning was over.
There is a lot to like about a baseball game, even if your team is on the losing end. Especially at open-air Bright House Networks Field. Yuengling beer on tap. Pete & Shorty’s sliders. Delco’s steaks. They do concessions right.