How do you think that the Phillies choose the teams for split squad contests? I would imagine it is frighteningly similar to middle school gym class dodge ball. I am pretty sure that Jose Contreras would get chosen first. He is a giant, scary looking guy who defected from communist Cuba and is undoubtedly a bad ass. Kendrick, on the other hand, would get chosen last. He is a lanky white guy from Washington, who did NOT defect from a country attempting to usurp his freedom. Picture him getting pegged in the groin by a red rubber ball.
Speaking of Kendrick getting slammed in the groin, he took the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays today and gave up his first runs of the spring. Specifically, he gave up five runs and five hits in five innings of work including three home runs.
During the 2009 world series I learned to despise Johnny Damon. Apparently Kendrick does not share my sensibility about the 37 year old outfielder, giving him the opportunity to homer for the first time this spring. The Rays also signed Manny Ramirez this off-season. Joe Maddon portends to be some sort of baseball Svengali. This rationale will be severly tested with that kook. Good luck with that Joe.
The Rays won the game 6-2.
Simultaneously, the Phillies took on the Pirates. At this point in the spring, baseball fans everywhere are ready for the real games to commence (unless said baseball fans are waiting for their all-star second baseman to return from a mysterious injury that will not heal instantly no matter what the training staff shoots into it). Split squad games make an already tedious part of the spring quasi-unbearable. Adding one of the worst franchises in all of sports to this already adrenaline inducing cocktail is a recipe for non-stop excitement.
Vance Worley pitched well today going 3 1/3 innings allowing two hits and one earned run. The offensive star was John Mayberry Jr. who was 3-4 with three RBI and a walk. With the injury to Domonic Brown, it seems that Mr. Mayberry has all but assured himself the fourth outfielder position (not sure if I have said this before).
David Herndon was tuned up for three runs in 2/3 on an inning. I always take compunction with the term contact pitcher, especially when the contact consists of the other team smashing the living hell out of the ball. David pitches to contact, the contact is just harder than it should be which tends to help the other team score runs. Personally, I would rather see Stutes make the team.
The Phils went on to win the game 11-4.
Oswalt A bunch of relievers face the Minnesota Twins tomorrow at 1:05.