Roch around the clock

April 16, 2006|By ROCH KUBATKO

It's nice to know that some players are reading this blog, though it can get a little uncomfortable at times.

Melvin Mora apparently didn't appreciate my reference on Friday to Tony Batista possibly being in his ear again and imploring him to hit home runs. I didn't say it was happening. I just hoped that Mora, in his contract year, wasn't going to start swinging for the fences each time he stepped to the plate.

Mora made sure to point out to me yesterday that he isn't Tony Batista. He passed along the message through a co-worker. I was referred to as "the guy in the white shirt." That's the uncomfortable part.

Then Mora started to have some fun with it, which I expected, given his cheerful disposition. He kept imitating Batista's exaggerated open stance, first in the clubhouse and later outside the batting cage. I heard him call out my name -- I was just relieved that he knew it -- so I would re-enter the room and catch his act.

At one point, as Mora was doing another dead-on impression, he said, "I have the spirit of Tony Batista inside of me." That broke the tension in a hurry.

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