The Big Piece met with reporters in Clearwater this morning. He said his ankle is at 98% (quick, someone get him whatever Vick had and a few gold coins) and that he had a sick feeling in his stomach after watching a called strike three from Brian Wilson shat on the dreams of Phillies fans around the world (too dramatic?): [Delco Times]
"I guess when you make last out, you probably would be disappointed," Howard told the media Friday in Clearwater. "It took me a little while to let it go. I had a sick feeling in my stomach. I was just really excited and raring to go and get started for this year."
Other than that, Howard gave us exactly nothing… like the rest of his teammates. Here's a synopsis in short, simple sentences, of what we've been told so far this spring- really, you don't need to read anything else:
The pitchers are good. They acknowledge that they're good, but they want to pretend like Joe Blanton is good, too. They all eat breakfast together. Roy Oswalt doesn't like to talk. Brad Lidge does- he says anything short of a World Championship is a disappointment.
Chase Utley is somehow more chatty than ever before, yet still says nothing. He likes the team. Doesn't like it when you question the offense's "down year," because the Phillies finished with the most wins in baseball. He was at the movies when the Phillies got Cliff Lee.
Placido Polanco's elbow doesn't hurt. Jimmy Rollins showed up a week early because he cares more about the team, or because his contract is up after this year- yeah, probably that.
Raul Ibanez has a beard. Dom Brown lowered his hands.
There you have it.
Now, let's take a moment to laugh at the Mets for just a second. Taylor Bucholtz, who joined the Mets in the offseason, grew up in Delaware County and is getting some guff from his teammates for being a Phillies fan: [ESPN New York]
“At that point it broke my heart,” Buchholz said. “I was a lifelong Phillies fan. I got drafted by the hometown team and everything. I was working my way up through the system thinking, ‘Hey, in the next couple of years I might break in.’ And then there you go. You get traded. I realized if you stick around long enough in baseball, most likely you’re going to be on a bunch of different teams. I got over it.”
Perhaps he should get a pass at CBP this year… Actually, on second thought, Bucholtz was on my team in third grade and drilled me in the thigh with a fastball that even then was considered heavy. I had a welt for about three weeks. Let him have it.