World to Ohlie: The season's right around the corner, dude! Ross Ohlendorf was taken to the woodshed by the Tampa Bay Rays today, as he gave up eight runs on ten hits - two of which went yard - and three walks with zero K's in four innings.
He ran into the same problems he's exhibited all spring. His command has been off, and he's working behind in counts. Not much time left to get aggressive again, like Ohlie was at the end of last season.
Matt Garza, meanwhile, was holding the Bucs to a run on four hits over seven frames, striking out seven and walking one.
Jeff Clement homered and Garrett Jones tripled; that would be a nice pair of bats to get warmed up heading into April.
The Bucs eventually went down by an 8-2 score, and at 6-16-1, they have the worst record in the Grapefruit League. Some spring, hey?
-- The Pirate-Phils split-squad game at Clearwater was canceled due to rain, but since DJ Carrasco was supposed to open the game, no starters were bumped off schedule.
-- The Pirates will play their final home game of the spring tomorrow when they take on the Astros. Paul Maholm will start with a pitch count of 90; no word on who's to follow yet.
-- Ronald Bellisario, the relief pitcher who the Pirates dumped and then went on to record a 2.04 ERA in 69 appearances as a Dodger rookie last year, has been placed on the restricted list by LA; he just reported to camp today.
He said he had visa problems, which is common enough, but then never showed up for scheduled appointments with the embassy to square away his situation. As a result, he can now be held off the roster for 30 days - without pay - for missing his start date by a few weeks, according to Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles.
So maybe the Buc suits' mysterious low-ball evaluation had more to do with what Bellisario showed above the shoulders rather than below.
-- Surprise: the British-based journal Sporting Intelligence did its annual rating of the best paid teams in world sports, and the Yankees were number 1. The next three squads were soccer teams, followed by NBA fives.
The Bronx Bombers average about $7M per man; the runner-up Madrid soccer team made $6.3M.