It's rare that I get a chance to sit on the couch and watch a baseball game. Oh sure, I get to "watch" baseball games. Lots of them, in fact. But it isn't too often that I get to watch a baseball game without a notebook, scorebook, computer and sheets and sheets of notes. Sometimes that kind of gets in the way of pure enjoyment of the game.
So last night with the team playing in Miami, my two-year boy in bed and my wife at the store, I was able to watch four entire innings without writing anything down or having to worry about anything. Four innings of nothing to do but watch the pitchers pitch and the hitters try to figure out what was coming next.
What a rare, rare treat. It helped remind me why I like the game so much.
During those four innings the Phillies staged their big comeback against Dontrelle Willis highlighted by one of the best, head's up base-running plays seen in a long, long time. That's where Jimmy Rollins dashed all the way around the bases from first to score the tying-run on Shane Victorino's bloop, bases-loaded single with two outs. It was such an exciting play.
According to Scott Lauber's story in the Wilmington News Journal, Rollins was able to head for home because he knew that Dontrelle liked to get chatty with his infielders when things didn't go his way and little bloopers found holes. Chalk that up to neighborhood knowledge. Nice work from Lauber capturing the whole thing, too.
Here in Lancaster -- or "The Lanc" as the kids say -- the Atlantic League Barnstormers opened up play last weekend. Aside from manager Tom Herr and pitching coach Rick Wise, the team has another former Phillie on the roster. Reggie Taylor, the Phils' first-round pick in the 1995 draft, now plays center field for the Lancaster Barnstormers.
That's a long way from the 14th pick of the draft where Taylor was selected behind Darin Erstad, Ben Davis, Jose Cruz, Kerry Wood, Todd Helton and Matt Morris, and ahead of Roy Halladay, Michael Barrett, Jarrod Washburn, Carlos Beltran, and Sean Casey.
The Phillies also selected David Coggin and Marlon Anderson in the first two rounds of the '95 draft.
It also seems so long ago that Taylor was supposed to be a mainstay in center field and solidify the top of the Phils' order with Rollins.
But baseball is a crazy game sometimes.
Anyway, Taylor had a bit of a rough weekend in his debut for the Barnstormers. In his team's three-game sweep over the Road Warriors, Taylor went 0-for-10 with three strikeouts and a walk. Sure, it's just three games, but the quality of the pitching in the Atlantic League is really, really bad.
Since I'm at the ballpark more often than not, I don't get to listen to the team's TV and radio announcers all that much. That said, it was kind of odd hearing Scott Graham on TV instead of just the radio.