"Our first winner is...," Wells says, pausing for dramatic effect. "Reed Johnson." There is applause. "Cat?"
"And the other spot goes to...," Catalanotto says, "Johnny Mac. Sorry, Russ."
Adams stalks off indignantly, feigned or not.
"You lost points," Hudson shouts, "because you had spelling mistakes and wrote on a raggedy ol' piece of paper."
Who knew neatness counts in the big leagues? Left unmentioned is the power of tenure. Adams may be Ricciardi's first No. 1 pick and Hudson's double play partner, but he has only 31 days of service time.
More live BP, and Rosario and his 94-mph heater again. I get two swings, both on fastballs. I foul one off into the top of the cage. The other I hit hard toward where a second baseman would normally play.
"Hit and run, that's a base hit," Barnett says. Mr. Sunshine. I love the guy.
My throwing arm feels good, and I can run with everyone just fine. But fatigue in my left shoulder and right quadriceps from four long days of hitting has undermined whatever mechanics I have. I am, however, still far short of the threshold I established to require even stepping into Poulis's training room: displaced fractures or profuse bleeding.
Day 5: One Shot to Summon the Splendor
Last day. Game day. Hitters pack the batting cages every morning as early as two hours before practice officially begins. But today, as I arrive for soft-toss at 8 a.m. before the 9:30 workout, there are no lines for the first time. ¶ "Fifth day," Barnett explains. "Happens every year. Fatigue begins to set in, and guys know when to back off." ¶ Barnett and Rettenmund have improved my swing. I'm exerting less effort but getting better results. Barnett notes that with my downward path and high finish, I've even begun to impart some backspin to the ball, which generates carry. ¶ "Your swing is good," Rettenmund says. "Your timing is terrible."