Next Thursday Phillies individual game tickets go on sale. It will likely be your only chance to buy an individual Phillies ticket at face value all season. If you haven’t already started building your game plan, I’m afraid it may be too late. Season ticket plans have long been sold out. Since then, the Phillies have been putting together mini-packages (3 games/6 games) that further chip away at the supply of individual games. The Phillies have the entire fan base handing over money. Want a ticket for a decent game? Well, get ready to purchase a Wednesday night barn burner against Pittsburgh as well. But, that’s the thing…people are thrilled to get Pittsburgh tickets. I think the Phillies could sell out the Vet if it still existed every night. Maybe they should look into playing a couple of games at the Linc.
The rush for tickets is just the latest indication that the Phillies have completely overtaken the city. I’ve had several people mention to me in the last month or so that they have Phillies tickets. They are excited about it. They tell me about their plan, about how they got them, which games they are going to, and I think it’s great people are this interested. I can’t remember any build up to a season quite like this one. There are 81 regular season home games, and by definition many won’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but people are excited about going and that puts a lot of heat on the Phillies. They’ll be expected to come out 81 times like it is Opening Day or the day they try to clinch, because there are going to be people in the stands who are attending their one Phillies game of the year, and it’s a huge deal to them. Quite a burden for the red pinstripers.
You can start to see the buildup in the media as well. Especially here in Philly, where the Eagles have been done for a while, there has been a rush to get football off the stage. Can the Super Bowl be over with already? There was an article in the paper last week about the contents of the Phillies equipment truck that drives to Florida every year. They listed how many plastic cups, BP jerseys, cases of gum, and everything else that was on the road for Clearwater. It was an incredibly pointless article, aside from having some trivia, but the fans are starving for anything Phillies, even if it is just a couple quotes from the clubhouse manager.
The official reporting date for pitchers and catchers won’t come until next week, but many Phillies are already down in Clearwater. For a lot of guys Spring Training has already started. I heard Roy Halladay was eventually given keys to the workout complex so someone didn’t have to meet him there at the ungodly hour of morning when he starts his regimen. There was a mini-camp in January for young players. It was where Dom Brown got some much-needed attention. An article in today’s Inquirer puts a very optimistic spin on the work Brown and the coaching staff did in Florida. Naturally, the story was met with every comment imaginable from Dom Brown = Jeff Stone to Ryan Howard should have been the one in mini-camp to the belief Brown is going to shove Ben Francisco to the pine without any trouble. While many of the comments are irrational, and many of the people behind them may have not even read the story, the point is, people are talking and people are interested, and it’s very early.
Around these parts I am going to attempt to slowly ease into Spring Training. As much as I want to start rifling out the Spring storylines, the hopes, dreams, laments, etc, it’s important to pace myself. You don’t want to get down to Clearwater and pull a hammy on the first day. Lucky for me, there are plenty ready to take up the slack, plenty ready to talk baseball right now, and come next Thursday the Phils will probably be about sold out for the year, so get in line or bookmark stubhub, because 2011 is going to be a banner year for scalpers and ticket brokers.
Quiz of the Day: Who Are They Looking At–Movie Edition. Category: Movies. My Score: 14/20
*For those who don’t read the directions at the site, the answers to this quiz are the names of the character the person in the screen shot is looking at. Actor or character name both acceptable.