There are few things better in this world than a successful phone prank. The best one I’ve ever executed was to put my friend’s family phone number in an ad for “Free Purebred Rottweiler Puppies” in a local free classifieds newspaper back in high school. I didn’t admit to causing the mischief or instigating the phone number change until years later.
Yesterday, several times during the Los Angels Angels Spring Training game against the Oakland Athletics, a message popped up on the right-field scoreboard inviting fans to call “Mike Trout directly with your baseball questions.” Of course, the top prospect’s actual cellphone number was included in the message.
The culprit, according to Kevin Baxter of The LA Times, was none other than Angels ace Jered Weaver. Well played.
In another part of Arizona, the San Francisco Giants were taking on the Milwaukee Brewers where the atmosphere wasn’t quite as lighthearted. Giants pitcher, and I use the term loosely, Barry Zito took vengeance on Prince Fielder in last year’s Spring Training opener with a deliberate pitch that hit Fielder between the numbers after the big Milwaukee first baseman’s bowling ball celebration routine after a walk off win against the Giants in 2009. When the two players faced each other yesterday, Zito walked Fielder, but asked the plate umpire if ball four was close. Fielder took exception and began yapping at Zito all the way to first base before another umpire finally stepped in.
When asked what Fielder was saying to him, Zito responded:
Prince was letting me know that it was a ball. Yeah, we talked a little bit. Caught up. Asked him how his offseason was. Family’s good. No new tattoos.
Fielder’s story was a little bit different:
I like Barry, I really do. Scott [Boras, their shared agent] called and we have dinner tonight. I asked him which one we were going to. I said Houston’s. He thought Fleming’s. It wasn’t serious. It was just talk.
It seems as though the players are almost as bored with Spring Training as we are.
And The Rest
Joe Posnanski remembers Duke Snider.
FanGraphs has faith in an Adam Lind bounce back season.
Today in meaningless news: Bryce Harper’s Spring Training debut wasn’t setting any world on fire.
Andrew McCutchen hates losing. Boy, did he join the wrong team.
Frank Robinson vs. Andruw Jones. Who ya got?
Yesterday, we mentioned that Carlos Beltran has requested a move from center field to right, a switch that his agent, Scott Boras, had suggested a couple years ago.
The Baseball Analysts talk about Roberto Clemente’s autograph.
Even if he looks like a right handed Buster Posey, expect Brandon Belt to start the year in Fresno instead of San Francisco.
Joe Savery is switching positions in hopes of rejuvenating his career.
Derek Jeter is taking baby steps, er, uh, baby swings.
Atlanta Braves hitting coach Lee Elia remembers his profanity laden outburst while with the Chicago Cubs.
Finally, the best Bleacher Report baseball article ever this week today in the world of all time.