Before I get to the game action, check out this video of Jimmy Rollins; it is a commercial for Dick’s Sporting Goods running on ESPN right now and it is hysterical! I love the end when Jimmy, looking like Mr. Tough Guy, sighs, “Yeah.” FUNNY!
More about Rollins later…
So the Phillies went down against the Braves in Grapefruit League action yesterday, 7-2. The almost 22-year old top prospect Carlos Carrasco got roughed up for 6 hits, 3 earned runs and 5 runs total in 2 innings of work. 2 errors in the inning added to the pain, but Carrasco is still showing his young age and inexperience.
Joe Blanton started the game and pitched 4 innings of 1-run ball. Blanton looks to be on track for a good season and seems very confident and comfortable in his role. Not looking so hot thus far has been Ryan Madson; the “Bridge to Lidge” is sporting a 4.50 ERA so far this spring; Madson gave up 1 run in one inning in the Braves game, but more concerning is the 4 hits allowed. Hoping he is just off to a slow start…
, in his push towards the Majors, had a great day; Donald hit 2 for3 with 1 RBI, 1 run scored and a walk. Donald may be able to fill in for Chase Utley or Pedro Feliz should either of them not be ready to go in April. Brought up as a shortstop, the Phillies have been trying Donald out at 2nd and 3rd as well to see if he can field those positions. So far, so good.
John Mayberry Jr., who has been doing very well in his quest to get to the Majors, had a rough day against the Braves pitching, striking out 3 times and going 0 for 4 in the game. We will see how he stands up as the pitching he faces begins to get tougher. One fun note one Mayberry; the Phillies have him listed as being 6’6″ tall. One day last week, I stood right next to him and he looked more like 7 feet tall; curious though as to what he might say, I asked how tall he was; Mayberry laughed and then told me he was 6’5″. I informed him that the Phillies had given him an extra inch, to which he smiled, shrugged his shoulders and said he wasn’t sure what they had listed. Anyway, nice guy….I wish him luck! :O)
The good news about Carlos Ruiz is that he appears to be fine after a reported neck injury; he played in yesterday’s game against the Dominican Republic, going 1 for 3. The bad news is that Panama was knocked out the classic, losing the game 9-0. Ruiz should be returning to the Phillies shortly.
Team USA clinched a spot in the next, beating ex-Phillie Bobby Abreu and the Venezuelan team, 15-6. Jimmy Rollins was sharp at the plate, going 2 for 3, but got picked off at 2nd after a lead-off double to start the game. Dustin Pedroia was supposed to lay down a bunt, which drew Rollins further off the plate, but Pedroia missed the bunt and Rollins got nailed. Pedroia also managed to hit into a double play the next time Rollins got on base. Guessing there may be no love lost between the two men today.
But Rollins, it seems, has finally gotten his due. Spending years being overlooked and underrated by media, last night, the ESPN announcers spent nearly half the game talking up Rollins; from how great a fielder he was, to his stolen base record and even noting that Rollins is “officially” the best dancer in the league. Yes, bust out the disco ball and bellbottoms; Rollins has been crowned the Disco King by ESPN. Bigger breaking news, there has never been.
Ok, so besides the 10 minutes they spent talking about dance moves, one announcer even went so far as to say he thought it was a mistake to remove Rollins from the game in favor of Derek Jeter, with how hot Rollins’ bat was. Whoa! Hold the presses! A media person chose Rollins over Jeter! I think hell is about to freeze over. Well, really this is rational; when you have 2 equally matched players, you go with the hot bat. But just the mere fact that someone from the media put Rollins and Jeter on the same pedestal was amazing. And really, it is about time. How do you spell “respect?” Apparently, it goes something like, “World Champions!”
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