Oil spill close to home for Romero

J.C. Romero isn't planning a trip home until after the Phillies' season is over.

He's dreading what he expects to see once he finally gets there.

The lefthanded reliever lives in Fairhope, Ala., a mile away from Mobile Bay, one of the areas impacted by the April 20 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion that continues to spill oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

"It's terrible," said Romero, who was born in Puerto Rico but has called coastal Alabama home since he went to the University of Mobile in 1995. "I've talked to some of my neighbors, and they said they have to close their windows at night because it smells like gas lamps."

According to the New York Times, tar balls started to trickle into Mobile Bay late last week and fishing was banned in the southern part of Mobile Bay.

"I can't believe we put a man on the moon and we can't stop this leak," Romero said. "It's really disturbing. It's a great place. I've lived there for 15 years."

Romero believes the worst is yet to come. He worries that when the Phillies go to Clearwater for spring training next year, the oil will have polluted the waters around that Gulf Coast vacation resort.

Contact staff writer Bob Brookover at 215-854-2577

or bbrookover@phillynews.com.