Showalter: 'This is about being the last team standing'
SARASOTA, Fla. –- Robert Phelps has heard all the jokes. Phelps, who was named after his father, goes by Cord, his middle name.
“Cut the cord,” is a popular one. What’s his favorite dish? “Chicken Cordon Bleu.” Yes, he’s heard that one, too.
But, Phelps isn’t with the Orioles to hear more bad puns, not that I would ever help add to the foolishness. He’s here to try and get a major league job.
The 27-year-old Stanford graduate was chosen by Cleveland in the third round of the 2008 draft. He’s played 53 games with the Indians over parts of the last three seasons.
“I did the best I could there. I played well. Wish it could have worked out a little differently,” Phelps said.
Phelps has a .159 average and can play second, short and third. He’ll have a tough time making the team. Alexi Casilla, Ivan De Jesus and Alex Gonzalez are also non-roster infielders, and Casilla played with the team last year.
“There’s going to be difficult competition wherever you go. There are good players in every organization,” Phelps said. “I think it’s going to be a better fit for me.”
As for his name, he stands nearly alone.
“I ran into a bull rider that was named Cord. That was kind of funny. Maybe a handful of people have that name. It’s unique,” Phelps said.
He claims not to get annoyed with the puns.
“I feel like I’ve heard them all. It’s surprises me when someone comes up with something new because you’ve got all the obvious ones,” Phelps said. “None of them bother me. I think they’re funny, actually.”
When a reporter tried the Chicken Cordon Bleu line, he chuckled.
“It’s hard to find one I haven’t heard, but that’s a good effort,” Phelps said.
The interview over, I tried again. “Are they going to cordon off your locker?”
Phelps smiled. Finally, he heard a new one.