Olympic champion Michael Phelps donned a Baltimore Orioles No. 18 jersey (for his record number of gold medals, duh) and took batting practice with the team on Thursday in Sarasota, Fla.
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Phelps, mostly a man of leisure these days, stopped off while filming a reality show in which he learns to play golf. According to The Baltimore Sun, Phelps mostly hit line drives into the outfield. It seemed like the banter between Phelps and O's coaches was swinging the hardest:
Phelps told [Orioles Manager Buck] Showalter he hasn’t played baseball since he was 10 or 12. Showalter answered that he hasn’t been in the pool for 30 years but he’s sure he wasn’t going to sink to the bottom ...
Phelps took five rounds in the batting cage with varying degrees of success and said he was a little out of breath after the final round. Orioles hitting coach Jim Presley gave him some tips, as did first base coach Wayne Kirby, who told Phelps to “use your lower half. This ain’t no breaststroke.”
Here are a few videos of Phelps swinging. You can judge his baseball prowess yourself.
It's too bad Phelps isn't from Houston. He might make the Astros. Phelps did, however, talk a bit to The Sun about Baltimore's current run of sports success:
“It’s been a good year,” Phelps said. “Obviously the Orioles making the playoffs for the first time in a long time, and then with the Ravens bringing back the [Super Bowl] ring. Buck was saying, they all set the bar high, so obviously looking for an exciting season for the guys.”
Oh, one last thing: A guy in a Speedo from the Orioles clubhouse challenged Phelps to a race. Don't believe us? Check out the picture. (Warning: NSFW-ish)
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