While many of the Flyers' stars are playing in the World Cup of hockey this week, several who aren't couldn't resist but grab a bat and take a few swings during batting practice Thursday (prior to the Phillies series finale against the Pirates).
Among those in the cage were Michael Del Zotto, Scott Laughton, Brandon Manning, Steve Mason, Andrew MacDonald, Michael Raffl, Brayden Schenn, Nick Schultz, Wayne Simmonds, and Jordan Weal. The group competed to see who's batting skills were supreme, in true NHL fashion, awarding points for hits to particular parts of the field.
When all was said and done, forward Simmonds had tallied the most points — with fellow winger Scott Laughton finishing in last (prompting a few fits of laughter from teammates).
"I just wanted to beat my teammates," Simmonds said after he was awarded a shiney new bat from Phils' outfielder Cody Asche. "A couple of them were talking — I think Brayden Schenn said he was going to win it so I wanted to prove him wrong."
Onlookers would have to have been reminded that these were hockey players, as while the technique and timing were often way off, the power and athleticism each Flyers' player had was clearly evident at the plate.
"I grew up playing baseball and I couldn't imagine the timing that the pitchers have and the pitchers that they throw from 90 to 100 mph," Simmonds said. "It's increduble what these guys do on a day to day basis."
The hitters, and their teammates will report to training camp on September 23.