Simon to play in Classic; other notes
Good Sunday morning. I’ve got a handful of notes to get you started.
*This morning will be the first live BP session where Reds pitchers will face Reds hitters. It’s usually pretty cool to stand behind the cage and see what the hitters see coming in at 90-95 mph.
*Reds reliever Alfredo Simon is the second player on the 40-man roster that will be leaving camp soon for the World Baseball Classic. Simon will participate with the Dominican Republic.
“They called and asked me if I wanted to go there. I want to represent my country,” Simon said. “The last time, I was supposed to go but I couldn’t because the team said I couldn’t go there. This year, the [Reds] said I could go. I’m happy.”
*Brandon Phillips is the other big leaguer slated to play in the Classic, for Team USA. There is no word yet on the statuses of Joey Votto (Canada) and Johnny Cueto (Dominican).
*Speaking of Phillips, manager Dusty Baker believed that second baseman’s flashy persona has likely rubbed some managers and coaches the wrong way, which might have cost him votes to both the All-Star team and Gold Glove Award. Phillips earned neither last year.
“But it shouldn’t have anything to with like or dislike or personality when it comes to who is best at that position,” Baker said. “It’s kind of a natural thing – people vote for who they like. I’ve talked to him about it and Joe Morgan has talked to him about it. After a while, you quit talking about it. You realize that it’s him but ask him to tone it down some.”
“They picked who they picked. Do I feel I should have gotten both of those things? Of course,” Phillips said. “I feel like I’m one of the best second basemen in the game. I’m at least in the top three. I can’t make people vote for me on the All-Star team. I can’t make myself win the Gold Glove, even though I should have. When I didn’t win, I was surprised. I wasn’t mad at all, but surprised. I thought I got ‘punk’d.’”
*Baker currently expects Phillips to be his No. 2 hitter in the lineup.
“If we started right now. That’s way down the line,” he said. “I’ve thought about different lineups. I’m sure I will get a lot of help.”
*On the injury front, LHP Manny Parra has a sore neck and isn’t pitching at the moment.
*Three Venezuelan players — INF Henry Rodriguez, OF Yorman Rodriguez and LHP Ismael Guillon are expected to arrive in camp today. All three experienced visa issues.
*Finally, we learned something new about Baker today — he is a member of the Screen Actors Guild. It came up when the movie “Argo” was mentioned and SAG sent him a DVD copy. He hasn’t had a chance to see the film, which was nominated for several awards.
“I did some commercials and stuff like that in San Francisco and L.A,” Baker said. “I did post-game wrap-ups in basketball and football when I was trying to make some money when I was a coach making $45,000 a year.”