Eagles training camp officially opened as the remainder of the veterans reported to Lehigh yesterday. One of my favorite things about training camp opening up is to hear the players bitch about the conditions at Lehigh and what they bring to make their lives easier. For example, I give you the following quote from Takeo Spikes from Today's Courier-Post:
"Toilet tissue - preferably Charmin," Spikes said. "You have to have at least 300 or better thread counts. That's very big to me because if you don't have that, I don't know if I can go out and perform up to my level."
Spikes is bringing his own toilet paper? Really? Can't the Eagles supply the good stuff? And 300 count sheets? Isn't that like wiping your ass with linen? Can you imagine Ray Nitschke asking Vince Lombardi for 300 count sheets? "Yeah, sorry Coach, I can't give my best today. I wiped my ass with generic shit paper last night, and I just don't think I can go today."
Anyway, camp begun for rookies and selected vets last Friday, but really didn't start until yesterday, when everyone is required to report. They should begin practice this afternoon after physicals in the AM. I'll have a bit more on the Birds later this week (probably Friday), as there has been a lot going on with the Phils right now. One thing this exercise has done, is made me remember that baseball is not that period of time between the Super Bowl and training camp. Baseball was sort of my first love, but it's definitely been and a love/hate relationship in the past 15 years as I started ignoring baseball through my college years, got back in love when I graduated in '93, and wanted a divorce after the '94 strike. I guess a reconciliation has occurred.
Phils Win, Get Hurt, and Deal
The Phils won the opening game in their series against the Cubs by a score of 4 -1. Cole Hamels was dominant and Brett Myers picked up his first save off of the DL. The offensive heroes was CF Aaron Rowand, who knocked in 3 runs and new 2B Tad Iguchi, who hit a solo homer.
The win came at a price as both Shane Victorino and Michael Bourn sustained leg injuries. Both got their injuries hustling to make a play (Bourn in the field and Victorino on the base paths). They were both placed on the 15 day DL today, but neither is expected to be on the DL much past 15 days. Chris Roberson was called up from AAA Ottawa to help out.
Today, the non-waiver trade deadline, the only deal of note that the Phils swung was to pick up reliever Julio Mateo from Seattle for a minor league IF Jesus Merchan. Mateo will be stashed in the minors until needed. Because of a domestic battery charge looming against Mateo, he is being assigned to AA Reading, because he cannot leave the country as he would have to to play for AAA affiliate Ottawa.
The Phils go again in Wrigley, with Adam Eaton pitching tonite.