The Uganda Little League Team's Doubly Awesome Moment

The Uganda Little League Team's Doubly Awesome Moment

Jimmy Rollins takes a lot of heat for his OBP, occasional lack of hustle and new contract, but you might just be a bad person if you didn't enjoy what Rollins did for the Ungandan National Little League team last night, or what those kids did in turn for a local Phils fan.

Rollins, if you haven't heard by now, has sponsored the Uganda club -- the first-ever from Africa to win a Little League World Series game -- by sending the kids, shoes and equipment and even paying for their education. Last night at CBP, he hosted the whole team, taking them on a tour of the clubhouse and handing out custom fit hats.

Still, that's not even close to the best part, when you consider what they did for another kid who appeared roughly their age.

If you watch this video on MLB.com, you'll see Rollins make a nice backhanded, running catch down the left field line before chucking the ball into the stands.

What you won't see -- be would have if you were watching the broadcast last night -- is that Rollins threw the ball to the Ugandan team who proceeded to hand the ball to a Phillies fan roughly their age sitting next to them.

THEY GAVE AWAY A GAME BALL.

With any luck Jimmy probably signed a whole mess for them anyway, but, still, a game ball.

These quotes from Jimmy and Odong Henry, one of the team's coaches, from the Lehigh Valley Morning Call sum things up nicely:

"Jimmy Rollins is a great man to us, as a brother, as a father, as a caretaker," Henry said. "When he's with us, he's really down to earth. He's not like a superstar. He talks to us freely. He plays with us. When he comes to our country, he doesn't care where he sits. He eats with us."

"Bouncer (Henry's nickname) named his son after a missionary who first was bringing baseball over there," Rollins said. "He told me pretty soon there was going to be a whole bunch of kids over in Africa named Jimmy Rollins."

If they're anything like their namesake, they'll have a knack for philanthropy, gold-glove fielding and smack-talking the Mets.

In the meantime, the Ugandans already know how to hang with the Phanatic:

Your browser does not support iframes.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin: Adam Morgan is a definite bullpen candidate

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin: Adam Morgan is a definite bullpen candidate

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Just pitch.
 
Don’t worry about the role.
 
Just pitch.
 
That’s Adam Morgan’s mindset this spring.
 
“I’m just trying to show whoever needs to see it that I can be an asset to this team,” the left-hander said after his spring debut against the New York Yankees on Saturday (see story). “I’m just keeping it simple that way. I’m not trying to go out for that fifth (starting) spot. If the fifth spot opens up, I’d be more than willing to do that. If they want to put me in the bullpen, I’d be more than willing to do that. If they want me to be the backup catcher, I’ll be the backup catcher.”
 
The Phillies have plenty of candidates for backup catcher.
 
And the top five spots in their starting rotation, barring an unforeseen development, are accounted for.
 
But there is a way for Morgan to make this team.
 
“He’s definitely a bullpen candidate,” manager Pete Mackanin said.
 
Mackanin is on record as saying he’d like to have two lefties in what likely will be a seven-man bullpen. It might not work out that way, but that would be Mackanin’s preference.
 
Morgan is one of what appears to be four candidates along with Joely Rodriguez, Cesar Ramos and Sean Burnett. Ramos and Burnett are experienced major-league veterans in camp on minor-league contracts. Rodriguez is the only pure lefty reliever on the 40-man roster. Morgan, of course, is on the 40-man roster, but he’s mainly been a starter in his career.

There’s a long way to go in spring training and it would not be surprising to see general manager Matt Klentak add to the list of lefty relief candidates with some type of pickup before the end of camp.
 
But for now, it’s just these four.
 
Morgan, who turns 27 on Monday, started and pitched two scoreless innings against the Yankees on Saturday and will likely continue to have his innings stretched out throughout the Grapefruit League season, just in case he’s needed as a starter.

Ramos and Rodriguez both pitched an inning Saturday. Ramos allowed a hit and a run. Rodriguez had a clean inning. Burnett was tagged for two hits and two runs on Friday.
 
Morgan made 21 starts for the Phillies last season. He also made two relief appearances and finished the season with a 6.04 ERA. He was sent to Triple A in July and returned in mid-August. He made nine starts after returning and pitched at least six innings and gave up two or fewer earned runs in four of them.
 
During his time in Triple A, Morgan started throwing a two-seam fastball or sinker. He’s continued to throw it this spring and believes it will help him.
 
“I learned to trust the two-seamer last year and that’s what I hope to keep moving forward with,” he said.
 
Will it take him to the Phillies’ bullpen?
 
He hopes so. He got a taste of relieving last season and liked it.
 
“Oh, yeah, I loved it,” he said. “Every time the phone rang down there, I was on high alert. It was awesome. It’s a rush.
 
“But wherever I land, I land. I’d be willing to play anywhere on this team.”