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11:19 a.m.

OK, I thought this day called for two games. Actually, it's three, and one just happened. Ryan Wagner and Ronnie Belliard joined up for a simulated game.

Until just a few minutes ago, the simulated game -- for me, at least -- had held a certain ephemeral intrigue. Like most baseball fans, I'd never seen one. I'd always wondered what, exactly, is being simulated? The swinging? The fielding? Does a coach sit behind a screen and say, "That pitch stunk so much that we're charging you with four runs."

Well, now I have answers. The simulated game I just observed -- with no rain delays -- featured Wagner V. Belliard, with a full crowd of Manny Acta, pitching coach Randy St. Claire, and head trainer Lee Kuntz. Hitting coach Lenny Harris watched the second half of the game. Which is to say, he stood there behind the cage with the rest of them for four minutes. Wagner, wearing a blue practice jersey, stood on the mound behind an L cage. Bullpen catcher Nilson Robledo got behind the plate.

Nobody kept score, and nobody noticeably recorded balls and strikes, but I'd have to say Wagner won this won convincingly. He threw about 30 pitches. Belliard, wearing a red T-shirt, hit only two of the first 20 in fair territory. He was way behind one about four swings -- fouling balls to the first base side -- and on one swing, the bat actually flew out of his hands.

Belliard declined to comment on the game.

"What do you think?" he said when asked for his thoughts. "What did you see? I don't want to talk about it."

By Chico Harlan  |  June 5, 2008; 11:19 AM ET
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I watched Belliard take some swings during BP on Tuesday night. Not impressed. I couldn't tell whether it was the injury or rust. Could you?

Posted by: Sec 419 Row E | June 5, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

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