Well, first of all, Rich Dubee was very annoyed with Kyle Kendrick today. Much more on this in tomorrow’s paper, but just to take you behind the scenes for a moment: Kendrick was terrific through his first two and 1/3 innings today, retiring Jimmy Rollins, Dustin Pedroia (who, by the way, makes Jimmy look like this guy), David Wright, Kevin Youkilis, Adam Dunn, Ryan Braun and Brian McCann. Then Shane Victorino reached first base on a chopper, followed by Rollins and Pedroia singles.
After the Pedroia hit, Kendrick lost control of his emotions and started shaking his head and raising his arms in the air. He'd already done that a few moments before after making a throwing error on a pickoff attempt that allowed Victorino to advance to second. Dubee became annoyed after the second outburst, bolting to the mound and telling Kendrick to pull himself together and pitch. Before Dubee could settle back into his seat, Kendrick allowed a three-run homer to Larry “Chipper” Jones. It had gotten ugly quickly.
After games, the beat reporters meet with Charlie Manuel in a conference room near his office. Dubee usually sits nearby, his back to the group, organizing spring training schedules on a laptop (he is in charge of coordinating camp).
I asked Charlie for his assessment of how Kendrick did in controlling his emotions, a problem that Kendrick admits led to his struggles last year. Charlie started saying something benign about how it was a tough lineup when Dubee spun around in his swivel chair and said in a sharp voice, “Poor today. He made a good pitch to Pedroia at the time, and he inside-outed a fastball and hit a little chopper between first and second and he threw his arms up like, 'Poor me,' or whatever. That doesn't show control of your emotions. He threw the ball OK. Victorino hits a chopper. Jimmy hits a ball in the hole. Pedroia hits a ball in the hole. It's going to happen to a sinker ball guy." There was much more, and it's in my story for tomorrow.
Whether Dubee was strategically employing tough love through the media or was simply so disgusted he couldn’t hold his tongue, the message was clear: Kendrick, who needs to show that last year won’t happen again, made no progress today toward that goal.
A few things to watch tomorrow: Jayson Werth plays in the B game at 2:05, where he will presumably swing and test his mildly strained shoulder. Chan Ho Park, another fifth starter candidate, pitches in a night game against Toronto in Dunedin. And Manuel says that Pedro Feliz took live BP for the first time today, and tomorrow will be a “big day” for him, as he and the team sees how he feels.
This did not seem like a positive indication of the state of my industry. A telemarketer phoned the press box at Bright House Field this afternoon, trying to sell newspaper subscriptions. You heard that right: they were trying to sell newspapers to a group of reporters in a press box. The News’ David Murphy, who picked up the call, said no thanks.