Raul Ibanez Successfully Avoids Puddle, Offense

Luke Scott had an interesting at bat in the top of the second yesterday.  First, he almost put a foul ball into Charlie Manuel’s brain.  Then he was about a decade ahead of Jamie Moyer’s next pitch, which looped so far out of the strike zone, and returned with such startling accuracy, it looked like a plane being told to circle the runway once before landing.

And on the next pitch, it landed, and Luke Scott was told to get off.

Thanks to a little Fastball 101, Moyer (5 IP, 1 ER, 6 K, 0 BB) worked breaking pitches into the Orioles’ heads yesterday, only to shatter them with his 47 MPH heater.  That, coupled with the mad scientist hair waving in the soft Florida breeze, was what took down Matt Wieters just after Scott’s attempts at murder (Charlie was fine) and getting the bat on the ball.

I know I can’t be the first person to wonder A.  Who is going to blink first in the Moyer vs. Kendrick debate, and B.  Why has no one blinked yet?

I figured this far into Spring Training, Moyer would have shit the bed and started showing up in sweat pants, heading right out to the bullpen without prompting.  Or Kyle Kendrick would strike out the side in the first inning of a start, only to come back and surrender 14 runs because some jokester in the dugout had convinced him that he’d been traded to the San Antonio Spurs between innings.

I assumed the competition for that fifth starter’s spot would be a lot less of a competition, is what I’m saying.  It’s good that it isn’t.  People seem to think our starters are primed to tear through the NL East like a wheat thresher.  And it’s nice to tune into a Moyer or a Cole Hamels start and not have to slowly rip the fingernails out of my hand one by one.

"Heeeey, you guys see me miss that puddle? It was a pretty big one, too. Ha, ha. All right." (Image courtesy of www.tampabay.com)

Anyways, Paul Hoover socked a dinger and Raul Ibanez managed to avoid stepping in a puddle while tracking a fly ball.  Everybody got slushies after the game.

Speaking of Raul, Spring Training hasn’t seen him do much with his bat outside of give it a concerned glare.  Charlie, however, is confident that he will come around.

“Brad Lidge is our closer,” Charlie said.

Uh oh.

Raul has already gone to the papers saying that he is geared up to erase the memories of the “post All-Star break bizarro Raul Ibanez” we fell victim to in 2009.  He didn’t hit.  He struck out more.  He grew facial hair.  Every full moon meant waking up in a blood-soaked circle of guts in the middle of a field.

And now we’ve yet to see a series of offensive exclamation points loud enough to divert from that disgusting imagery (I think this team’s only got room for one world-swallowing beard anyway).  ”"I’m healthy and feeling great now, which is what’s important,” he said.

"These are a PRIVILEGE. Not a RIGHT, Raul." (Image courtesy of nachosatmidnight.com)

Also hitting is important.  This is baseball, after all.  So now I can focus all my angst on Raul and not the starting rotation.  I’m a worrier.  I get it from my mother.

The rage comes from dad.

And lastly, you may be wondering why I didn’t mention the Philadelphia Daily News in the Philly Weekly/City Paper post from a few days ago.  Because, the Daily News tends to slap headlines/images on their cover with the hopes that merely looking at the cover will start a mass panic; trash cans flying through windows, old ladies getting trampled, escaped zoo animals in the streets… evidenced by the opening line of an article in today’s paper:

They wanted ice cream on South Street.  They ended up praying they’d get out alive.”

Or maybe you didn’t wonder that.  Maybe I just wanted a way to incorporate that line into my post today and had to go with the weak idea that you were wondering something about a meaningless post I put up last week.

Maybe.

Topics: Charlie Manuel, Ice Cream, Jamie Moyer, Kyle Kendrick, Luke Scott, Matt Wieters, Raul Ibanez, Terror

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