Thursday, March 25, 2010

Live from Spring Training: Day 3

1993 Donruss #224 Mickey Morandini

Christopher's Wednesday: Spring Training baseball, Disney World, traffic
Jim's Wednesday: Meetings, deadlines, dealing with a pesky cold, traffic
Advantage: Christopher

We spent Day 3 of our trip in Orlando watching the Phillies play the Braves. Orlando is a quick drive up a few major highways from the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area. Our drive to Orlando was uneventful, quite different than the last time I was in Orlando. When I last visited Disney in late 2009, some co-workers and I spent about an hour in a cab to travel what should have taken no more than about 15 minutes. Our cabbie clearly had no idea where he was going that night, but we were easily able to follow the signs to the Magic Kingdom and Wide World of Sports to find Champion Stadium today.

A day in Disney World sounds great on its face, but it's not so great when you spend the afternoon watching your team get trounced, 8-0 by the Braves. Held to only a handful of hits by Tim Hudson and the Braves relief corps, the Phillies did not look good at all. However, Brian McCann, the Braves catcher, looked ready for the season to start, hitting two big home runs and picking a runner off first base.

Disney World fosters its image as the happiest place on earth by promoting a friendly atmosphere at every turn. Between friendly food service staff at the stadium and park staff thanking us as we left the parking lot in our cars, I'd have to say the training the Disney folks do worked. Thank goodness for the friendly staff at Disney. Our return trip from Orlando to Tampa quickly made us feel like we were back at home. The return trip to Clearwater took more than double the time it took us to get to Orlando, so we were glad to arrive back in Clearwater tonight (and also glad we don't have to fight the Tampa rush hour on a daily basis).

Tomorrow we only have to travel a few miles back to Bright House Field to watch the Phillies take on Brett Myers and the Astros. After that, we'll make our way to the airport to make our way to face the realities of daily life once again.

P.S. Jim, Mickey sends his regards to you and the family. He said he looks forward to seeing all of you soon...

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