Former Daily News Phillies beat writer and current senior writer Marcus Hayes is at the ballpark today, and he emailed me the following account he witnessed in the clubhouse:
As Geoff Jenkins exited the lunchroom, his eyes bugged:
“Dude, what happened?”
He was looking at Scott Eyre’s face, now swollen and inflamed. Eyre was hit on the point of his wiry goatee by a batted ball from John Mayberry Jr. during batting practice before today’s game with the visiting Twins. Eyre slowly buckled to the ground, where he felt a lower middle tooth loosened in its space.
An hour later, iced and remarkably chipper, Eyre cheerily recounted his wounding:
“I was picking up a ball and turned to the side to throw it,” Eyre told Jenkins. “I even looked into the cage, and I saw ‘Mabes’ in his stance. He must have been getting ready to hit the next one. Then I heard, ‘Heads up!’ but it was too late, and it hit me.”
Matt Stairs, who hollered the warning, jogged over to Eyre, whose gradual trip to the turf won him admiration.
“Man, you fought it,” Stairs said.
Back in the clubhouse, pitching coach Rich Dubee stepped in front of Jenkins to get a full-face shot at his situational lefty.
“You clear?” Dubee asked Eyre, then joked, “Not that you’re ever all that clear.”
“Yeah,” Eyre said. “I’m going to the dentist Monday morning, but that’s at 7:30. I can pitch later that day.”
“What about today?” Dubee asked.
“Yeah. Of course,” Eyre replied, jiggling his tooth and grinning.