Archive for Saturday, March 3, 2001

Spring Training Roundup

Phillies blast Kansas City, 11-1

March 3, 2001

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Rookie pitcher Wilson one of few bright spots for Royals in exhibition opener for both teams

Clearwater, Fla. Rookie right-hander Kris Wilson was one of the few bright spots Friday in the Kansas City Royals' 11-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies in the spring opener for both teams.

Wilson retired all six batters he faced in the third and fourth innings.

"The results were good, but I got away with some pitches," Wilson said. "It's early. I know in a couple of weeks they won't be missing with the mistakes I made.

"I'm pleased with the results, but I never lie to myself. I know I got away with mistakes."

Wilson was 0-1 with a 4.19 earned-run average in 20 relief appearances last season with the Royals after being promoted on July 28 from Class AA Wichita.

Wilson is one of several pitchers competing for vacancies in the Royals bullpen.

"This is where the competition starts and Kris pitched real good," manager Tony Muser said. "He was very aggressive."

Wilson does not have an overpowering fastball like closer Roberto Hernandez, but a sinker-slider.

"I usually work down, down in the strike zone," Wilson said. "I threw a couple of fastballs a little too high. That was a case of trying to do too much.

"I know what my strengths are throw strikes, keep the ball down, keep the guys off balance and go through the lineup a couple of times."

Wilson, who was 7-3 with a 3.51 ERA at Wichita, was primarily a starter in the minors. He pitched 52/3 scoreless innings on Aug. 12 against Baltimore.

Doug Henry, who has been bothered by a bad back, pitched an inning, but gave up two runs on three hits, a walk, sacrifice fly and error.

Texas Rangers

Port Charlotte, Fla. The friendship between Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter looks more like a feud these days.

"He's never had to lead," Rodriguez was quoted as saying in April's edition of Esquire. "He can just go and play and have fun. He hits second that's totally different than third or fourth in a lineup.

"You go into New York, you wanna stop Bernie (Williams) and (Paul) O'Neill. You never say, 'Don't let Derek beat us.' He's never your concern," he said.

Told about the remarks, Jeter said he had a phone call to make.

"I'll ask him tonight, and I'll talk to you tomorrow," the New York Yankees' shortstop said Friday. "The only thing you can ask him is what his intentions were. Do I think his intentions were bad? No."

Later in the day, Rodriguez said he looked forward to telling Jeter he meant nothing negative. The Texas shortstop insisted his comments were taken out of context from a 90-minute interview last December.

"How can I ever dog Derek Jeter? It's impossible," Rodriguez said. "There is nothing to knock. He's a great defensive player. He's a great offensive player. He's one of the top three players in the game, for the greatest team of my era.

"It's my mistake because I said it. It's not the journalist's fault," he said. "It's been my fault for just talking the game and being too general. I guess you have to be very specific."

Soon after he signed a $252 million, 10-year contract with Texas that is the largest in sports history, Rodriguez said the salary figure would be hard to top. "Even a guy like Derek, it's going to be hard for him to break that," he said.

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