Phillies fans AP

“The media tries to keep Philadelphia fans from being happy”

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Wait … did I just get … TOLD?

Everyone gets on the Philadelphia fans when they get mad. Look at how angry and aggressive they are! Please, give me a break. But, on the flipside, the media tries to keep them from being happy. Look no further than Craig Calcaterra. Who? Exactly. Calcaterra is the “Blogger-in-Chief” at Hardballtalk.com which is part of NBC Sports. Calcaterra tweeted last weekend that Philadelphia is “the most insecure fan base on the planet.”

Listen here Craig; let me explain something to you: one championship in 28 years in any sport. Two World Series titles in 128 years of Phillies baseball. We, as a fan base, have every right to be insecure. Have you ever heard of 1964? The MVP for the Cardinals’ World Series Championship team should be the entire 1964 Phillies team for blowing a 6.5 game lead with 12 games to play down the stretch. That alone gives us the right to be insecure.  So before you criticize us, how about you spend 10 seconds in our shoes.

There you have it. I shall now walk a mile — or at least ten seconds — in the shoes of Philly fans before I say anything bad about them again. Or maybe not. These shoes feel so … so … insecure.

Seriously, though, the saddest thing about all of this is that the Philly fan commenters here are almost all pretty great.  As are most of the Philly bloggers and stuff with whom I interact on Twitter.  They appreciate the good run their team is on and are, with a few occasional exceptions, pretty realistic and gracious about life.

I don’t for a second think that guys like this one are representative of the fan base at large. But at the same time, I never see examples of this kind of thing from the fan bases of other teams. It’s just nuts.

Reid Brignac is trying to become a switch hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Reid Brignac #4 of the Atlanta Braves poses on photo day at Champion Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
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Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.

I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.

I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.

As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.

There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.

Video: Andrelton Simmons makes a heads-up play to catch Carlos Asuaje off first base

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 03:  Andrelton Simmons #2 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim returns to the dugout after scoring in the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 3, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
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Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.

With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.