Day 17: Around the Cape League & A Report from Philly

by Greg in

citizens-bank-park-philadelphia.jpgGreetings from Amtrak. I’m following the Cape League this week from my Blackberry and computer as I make my way down the Eastern seaboard from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. I’ll head back to Seattle for the Fourth of July and then make my way to the Cape in a few weeks for the remainder of the season. The Y-D Red Sox continue to impress with an 11-3-1 record. Bourne leads their division with a 10-4-1 record. Orleans and Cotuit are nipping at the heels of their respective division leaders. Fifteen or so games into the season and it’s clear we’ve got a competitive situation. Even Wareham and Falmouth (5-10), early laggards, are not out of this thing. My son and I took in the Mets at Phillies in Major League Baseball action yesterday. Today’s Philadelphia Inquirer has it right – it was a postcard-perfect afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies salvaged the 4-game series with the Mets by winning Sunday’s finale 5-3. Kyle Kendrick got the win and looked sharp. The Phillies bullpen is on life support with all of the injuries. This was the first time I had visited the new park in Philadelphia, which is located adjacent to where the old Veterans Stadium used to stand. The Vet, which seated 60,000 was a cavernous old ballpark that hosted some important playoff action, including the Phillies’ World Series Championship in 1980, which is commemorated with a banner that flies slightly apparent from all of the NLCS pennants in center field. I wrote earlier this year about PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Citizens Bank Park does not have the stunning centerfield cityscape of PNC, but I think it’s a livelier, nicer ballpark in general. The food offerings are amazing and the general excitement of Sunday’s 42,289 fans was palpable. I think 40,000 of those fans were dressed in some sort of Phillies regalia. My son even shed his Mariner’s Betancourt shirt to put on a Cole Hamels shirt. There are lots of former Cape Cod League players on both the Mets and Phillies rosters. I’m sure I don’t have them all:

METS: Bill Wagner (Brewster), Phillip Humber (Y-D Red Sox)

PHILLIES: Michael Bourn (Y-D), Pat Burrell (Hyannis), Aaron Rowand (Brewster), Chase Utley (Brewster and Cotuit)

We sat along the rightfield line and were treated to a towering upper deck home run in the 7th by rightfielder Victorino. The “Chaser” was Chase Utley’s stand-up triple, which immediately followed the homer. He scored on an Aaron Rowand single.

Tonight I may catch the Cubs at Nationals in RFK, not quite as nice of a ballpark. But, hey, it’s baseball and Lilly is pitching.