Phillies 6, Braves 4
Spring Training Game 14 - Thursday Afternoon, March 15th in Clearwater
Phillies 6, Rays 6
Spring Training Game 15 - Thursday Afternoon, March 15th in Port Charlotte
Record - 6-7-2
One Sentence Summary: It was another split squad day, resulting in a tie and a win.
What It Means: How many more days until the regular season starts?
What Went Kind of Right: Joe Blanton pitched so-so against the Braves, allowing three runs in his five innings of work. Five different Phillies, including Jim Thome and Scott Podsednik, had multi-hit games. Podsednik has been drawing a lot of attention lately and his great play so far this spring may have bumped Juan Pierre from a roster spot.
But meanwhile, over in Port Charlotte . . . Pierre enjoyed a multi-hit game while driving in two and scoring twice.
Featured Card: And speaking of split squads, what in the heck is going on in the Phillies team card from the Topps Heritage set? It's definitely got an optical illusion, Escher painting kind of quality to it. I can clearly make out the first row featuring Charlie Manuel seated with his coaching staff. Behind them is a row of easily discernible standing Phillies. And then things get weird. If you start at the left with Vance Worley's bespectacled visage, and attempt to move right, it's nearly impossible to follow a straight line of heads without going cross-eyed. At first, I thought Cliff Lee's head was in there twice. And that's Blanton's head peaking out at the top right of the card.
So here's what the folks at Topps did. They took the team picture as featured in the program from last year's N.L.D.S. (see below), cut out everyone that wasn't in uniform, and re-arranged the cut-out heads and shoulders into an awkward, disproportionate group shot. Here's a break-down of who made it on to the team card as best as I can tell:
Front Row: Mick Billmeyer (coach), Juan Samuel (coach), Pete Mackanin (coach), Charlie Manuel (manager), Rich Dubee (coach), Sam Perlozzo (coach), Greg Gross (coach)
Second Row (standing): Michael Stutes, Wilson Valdez, Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, Jimmy Rollins, Antonio Bastardo, Michael Martinez
Thirdish Row (floating heads): Vance Worley, John Bowker, Pete Orr, Brian Schneider, Ben Francisco, Chase Utley
Fourth Row Sort Of: Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, Ryan Madson, Raul Ibanez, John Mayberry, Jr., Michael Schwimer, Ryan Howard, Cliff Lee
Fifth Row I Think: Hunter Pence, Brad Lidge, David Herndon, Jesus Tiamo (bullpen catcher), Placido Polanco, Ali Modami (batting practice pitcher)
Sixth Row: Roy Oswalt and Ross Gload
Penthouse Suite: Kyle Kendrick and Joe Blanton
Tiamo and Modami made the cut although I have to imagine Topps doesn't have the rights to feature either of them on cards. Bowker and Orr are featured too, which is probably the closest either of them will ever get to appearing as a Phillie on a Topps card. And one last thing . . . To fix the problem of Charlie Manuel's legs being blocked by a bat boy in the original photo, Topps cut and pasted Mick Billmeyer's legs onto Manuel. I have now officially scrutinized this card for way too long.