The Phillies Joe Blanton and the Marlins’ Chris Volstad battled today for King of the Hill. Each gave up one hit and struck out 3 with the only differences being that Blanton pitched 2 more innings (6) than Volstad (4) and the only hit off Blanton was a bunt single. Winner: Blanton. And the Phillies went on to win the game, 5-1.
Chris Coste, who has been struggling to get back in the swing of things since his hamstring injury, officially got his first hit and first RBI of the Spring today. Coste probably breathed a big sigh of relief after that; in an interview with Scott Palmer earlier this month, Coste told Palmer that he believes “hitting is so mental” and talks about his “mental and physical bat speed.” The home run he refers to at the beginning was during a scrimmage. See what Coste has to say about coming back from his injury:
Most Phillies fans are pulling for Coste to keep his job as the back-up catcher to Carlos Ruiz, so this is a good step forward. The other option is Ronny Paulino who the Phils picked up from the Pirates in the off-season, but Paulino does not appear to have the consistency at the plate that Coste does; Paulino is batting only a .200 so far this Spring. Lou Marson could step in, but he is probably better off staying in the minors one more year to gain experience and get his at-bats.
All eyes are on Cole Hamels as he begins to throw after a sore elbow sidelined him a few days ago. Hamels did some long-tossing with Jamie Moyer today and reported afterwards that he felt good; no more soreness except at the site he received the cortisone injection.
And as fascinated as we are with the arm, more people seem to be interested in what the World Series MVP is driving these days. Check out this photo from The 700 Level:
Yes, that is a minivan you see him driving. Not very macho, you say? Well then, add this to it:
Cole also owns a small, white, fluffy yip-yip dog. Last Spring Training, I watched as his wife drove him out of the stadium; Hamels had her stop the car so he could say hello. As he rolled down the window, the yipping dog put his tiny paws on the window sill and bounced around in Cole’s lap. While I was too stunned to grab my camera, the photo to the right shows approximately what the dog looked like.
You may have varying opinions on the subject, but any man who is so unconcerned with his image that he drives around with a fuzzy ankle biter in his lap while traveling in a grocery getter, has got to be very secure in his own self-image; oh, and it also probably means he is filthy rich. When you have that much money, really, who cares what anyone else thinks? Just my opinion :O)
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