Corey Hart: coolest baseball player on the planet, scorpion expert

22 Comments

I’m at the Brewers’ complex and I just got done talking to Corey Hart. For the second straight year he’s on crutches while I’m here, so that kind of stinks. But he’s having an MRI tomorrow. Assuming it’s all good he’ll be able to start the slow march back to playing condition.  And he’s optimistic that it’ll be a clean MRI. He’s feeling good.

The important thing here, however, is that he and I talked about Batman for a while. It was gonna happen. I’m wearing a Batman t-shirt today. He has a big Batman tattoo on his forearm and down his spine he has the worlds “Why so serious?” That’s some quality.  I did notice, however, that on the back of each hand he has a Superman-esque tattoo, one with his first initial in the shield, one with his wife’s. I had to ask:

“You’re sending some mixed signals here. Which is it: Batman or Superman?” I asked.

“Batman, definitely,” He said.

“Why Batman?”

“Because he’s a normal person without super powers but still does what he does. And he’s a good example. There are a lot of rich people. They don’t all do good things. Batman uses his money to fight evil.”

Can’t argue with that.

He then went to grab his phone to show me pictures of his extensive super hero action figure collection, which he has literally hanging on walls in the packages. We were interrupted, though, because some other reporters needed to ask him about baseball and things. As if that were important. Hart told me he’d catch me later to show me the collection, which he’s quite excited about.  MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy was there and as we walked out he told me that he’s seen the collection and that it’s impressive. I can’t wait.

Just before the Batman conversation Hart held court about Doug Melvin’s encounter with the scorpion. Hart, who makes his home in Arizona, is something of an expert on scorpions, and he talked about how one does and does not dispose of them in the home. He didn’t put too fine a point on it, but he made it pretty clear that Melvin did not go about it the right way.

“You don’t grab them,” Hart said. “You hit ’em with a hammer. They’re tough. Try to squish them and they’re still going to sting you.”

I’m not sure if Batman ever fought a villain named The Scorpion, but if he did, I bet he knows that.

Phillies walk off winners thanks to a poor decision by Marcell Ozuna

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
4 Comments

The Phillies’ bullpen, which has not been good as of late, gift-wrapped Monday’s game for the Cardinals. Starter Nick Pivetta was brilliant, fanning 13 while allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But things unraveled after he left the game. Victor Arano took over for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 4-2, but he allowed a one-out single and a double. After striking out Harrison Bader, Arano appeared to strike out Yairo Munoz for the final out of the game, but the ball trickled through the legs of catcher Andrew Knapp, allowing a run to score and the tying run to move to third base. Lefty Adam Morgan came in to face pinch-hitter Kolten Wong. Wong tied the game up, sneaking a single into center field.

In the 10th inning, Jake Thompson gave up the go-ahead run on a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham. It seemed like it was just going to be another one of those losses that have become increasingly common for the Phillies lately. But the Phillies’ offense didn’t go down quietly, even though it hadn’t put a runner on second base since the start of the second inning when J.P. Crawford doubled. In the bottom half of the 10th, Hoskins blooped a single into shallow left-center to start the inning. Hoskins moved to second base on a ground out from Odubel Herrera. Matt Bowman intentionally walked Carlos Santana, then struck out Jesmuel Valentin. That brought up Aaron Altherr, who replaced Nick Williams after Williams took a baseball to the face off of the right field fence. Bowman fell behind 2-1, then threw a 90 MPH fastball that Altherr lined into left field. Rather than keep the ball in front of him, Marcell Ozuna decided to dive for the ball to make the final out, but he missed. The ball trickled past him, allowing the tying and the game-winning runs to score, giving the Phillies a come-from-behind win.

On the list of people happy to see Ozuna miss that ball are Altherr (of course), Arano, Morgan, and Thompson. But perhaps no one was happier than manager Gape Kapler. The win might help take the heat off of him somewhat after another poor performance from the bullpen. When a team struggles, everyone wants a scapegoat and Kapler is an easy target. He has been all year, undeservingly.

Phillies radio broadcaster and former major league reliever Larry Anderson said after the bullpen meltown, “Not everybody can pitch in the ninth inning. And I know Gabe Kapler thinks they can, but they can’t.” Aside from Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez (who was unavailable after throwing 52 pitches between Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee), no one in that bullpen has been reliable. The closer, Hector Neris, just got optioned to Triple-A. You work with what you have, and right now, Kapler doesn’t have a whole lot. Thankfully for him, he wasn’t punished with another loss thanks to Ozuna.