They say sometimes life gets in the way of things, and in this case it’s gotten in the way of writing. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had longer days on the field, meetings to prepare us for all aspects of our seasons, and I’ve had reading and writing to do in order to keep up in my class. So, rather than rushing something together late at night, when most of you are asleep (thanks time zones), I’ve got some time now to catch everybody up.
We’ve finally reached the point in camp that all players look forward to, the games. The first week and a half of practice gets to be super repetitive, especially because it is my fourth time going through the annual ritual. Though no two teams run camp quite the same, there are some universal truths. The weather gets hot, the days get long, and there is a lot of running around from station to station. During our typical practice days we’re on the field at 9:15 and working until around 12:30. We run through individual position defensive drills, team defense drills, offensive skill drills, and batting practice. Mix in a few bullpens and you have yourself a cocktail for some tired, sore catchers.
Now that games have started the practice days have shortened a bit, we’re off the field at 11:30 every day to allow time for lunch before our 1pm games. Instead of having four groups of pitchers throwing bullpens and having to catch 3-5 bullpens each, we’re now down to just one or two short bullpens per day, per team, so the workload is drastically reduced. We still have our individual defense time, during which we work on our receiving, blocking, and throwing, but the reduction in bullpen time makes the days go by much easier.
My body has felt pretty good all things considered, as I told the strength coaches this morning, I feel the best I possibly could at the end of week 7 of spring training. It’s all about operating the best in suboptimal conditions. My swing has felt really good, and I’ve managed to turn that into some very positive results in my three games so far. My batting practice has been good, and I’ve felt really good about being able to repeat my movements. I’ve stayed disciplined in my at bats, forcing pitchers to throw pitches I can hit, and not chasing which is a good sign this early in camp.
Today I’ve got the day off from game action, so I’ll likely pick up the bullpen duties for our game against the Angels. Tomorrow we head out on the 101 Loop to face the Cubs at their new complex in Mesa. When our work day gets finished I’ll head back to our hotel to work on finishing up my third project for my Human Resources class, before going out for dinner with Les and Freida, and Gramma and Zidie, who are in town for the weekend.