It's a sample size consisting of two home runs hit in a two-game span, but I'm going say it anyway: They did not build Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. big enough.
On Monday, slugger Miguel Cabrera cleared the tiki bar known as "Frenchy's" in left field, clobbering a monster homer for the Detroit Tigers in a 10-1 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies. It was the first monstrous deep ball of Grapefruit League play (not counting the blast Jason Heyward hit for the Braves on Monday, of which there's no official video).
On Tuesday, Phillies slugger Domonic Brown got into the act, clearing the batter's eye in center with a home run against Zach Nuding of the Yankees for his second blast in seven at-bats so far. Listening to the audio, I don't like how the Phillies broadcasters undercut how impressive a blast it was by talking about the wind blowing out. Stow that chatter. It's almost like there's a conspiracy to keep Dom Brown down. Instead, just listen to the sound the ball makes when he makes contact: It was a well-struck dinger, says manager Charlie Manuel. That's the man Brown has to impress anyhow.
(AP)Now, Cabrera obviously has a job for as long as he wants one with the Tigers, so his home run is no big deal in the long run. Just a fun highlight. But Brown is (again) battling for a spot in the lineup/on the roster for the Phillies. One of their top prospects for the past several seasons, Brown has yet to become a regular for a few reasons.
Sometimes the Phillies have had a player blocking Brown. Sometimes the Phillies lost confidence in Brown. Sometimes, he lost confidence in himself. Sometimes, everyone got lost. Brown has yet to compile 500 plate appearances in the majors so, at 25 years old, it's critical that he flower now.
It seemed like Philly signing Delmon Young before camp began was yet another obstacle to Brown getting consistent playing time. But having Young hobbled by an injury and sitting down won't hurt Brown's chances. He still has to beat out the likes of John Mayberry, Darin Ruf, Laynce Nix and whomever else GM Ruben Amaro can conjure for time. The Phillies would be ... negligent to not give Brown several hundred at-bats this season. I'm saying 600. The more plate appearances, the more laser beams to center field. And the fence at Citizens Bank Park ain't nearly so high.