Clearwater Beach, Florida — It’s a tough assignment to have to leave the snow of the Northeast to spend a few days in Florida covering Spring Training 2010, but that’s exactly what the owners of Olympic Internet
No Hobbs: Greg Dobbs
wanted me to do this season to help get you ready for your 2010 fantasy baseball draft.
We couldn’t be everywhere, but we did get to see the Yankees – Rays game on Friday and the Phillies – Pirates game on Saturday. Here’s some general observations from the games.
* The price of a ticket to Steinbrenner Field – $31. The cost of the same ticket at Pittsburgh’s McKechnie Field in Bradenton — $11. If that doesn’t compare a big market franchise with a small market franchise, I don’t know what does.
* If you think Phil Hughes is the answer for the Yankees this year, think again. He struggled against the Rays and was lucky to pitch 1 2/3 with only allowing one run. Joba Chamberlain also got pounded around.
* I’m a believer in Sean Rodriguez. He may just win the second base job for the Rays over Ben Zobrist. Keep an eye on Rodriguez. Couldn’t Joe Maddon have given him that fourth at bat in an attempt to get a single for the cycle? I know it’s spring training and all, but how many chances do you get in a career to hit for the cycle?
* Andrew McCutcheon, who is from Bradenton, is a five tool player and somebody I know I’ll have my eye on in the 2010 fantasy baseball draft. His Mom can really sing too. She sang the National Anthem prior to the game and it was one of the best renditions I’ve ever heard.
* It looks like Dobbs has a long way to go to get that sweet stroke he had two years ago.
* Danys Baez is going to be a nice addition to the Phillies bullpen.
* A baseball game ends in a 3-3 tie. Hey, it’s Spring Training, why not?
* Great to see the Phillies practice on Sunday morning prior to heading back home. Little Leaguers should note that the pros do some of the same drills that you do! Pitchers fielding ground balls and throwing to all the bases. Hey, you have to do something to keep the pitchers busy in Spring Training! By the way, what does a punter do in practice for three hours?