Friday, March 2, 2012

Spring Training 2012 Update

We've been in STEP camp for a week at this point. To be clear, this is the mini camp that happens each year before the actual minor league spring training starts. Which is not to be confused with major league camp...but I digress.

Besides the endless repetitions of covering first base, fielding bunts, and picking off imaginary runners, we also get to have our offseason shortened by one week...yay.

I'm kidding. STEP camp is actually a great experience for us. We get a head start on our throwing and conditioning while getting to put in some face time with the new staff. It's a smaller group of guys which makes the one-on-one attention easier to come by. Added bonuses include meetings with "special guests" each morning. So far we've heard from pitching coordinator Ron Romanick, Catching coordinator Bob Natal, Miguel Batista, and Pitching guru Miguel Valdes. My personal favorite was the 45 minute wisdom session with Batista. He is a walking baseball encyclopedia in a 41 year old superhuman body. I found out that he is also a published author, trained tenor sax player, and he's played for 11 major league teams. Another cool experience was STEP camp dinner the other night. About 60 players and staff got together for a nice 5 course Italian dinner on the Mets' tab (I know, I thought they were low on cash too). It was a really nice time, mostly because Sandy Alderson was sitting directly across from me. We shared Calamari. We talked about baseball and Twitter. It was inspiring.

Paul DePodesta sat in on our pitching talk today and I resisted the urge to ask him about Jonah Hill playing him in Moneyball. Small victories, right?

I'm living in a condo over in the PGA village with 3 of my favorite teammates. Kai "the German" Gronauer, Mark "the Texan" Cohoon, and Cam "the New Yorker" Maron. We have established some ground rules for our place. First, we have family movie night every evening around 7:30. We are traveling the alphabet and hitting a movie from each letter. Just so you know, our TV on the ground is for cable and the one sitting on top of that one is for the movies. Didin't want you to get confused. Also, there are tons of cucarachas (spanish for vile sneaky bugs). We've bought some Raid. It's being handled.

Fist live BP was today. It went well...meaning I didn't hit anybody, give up any home runs, or get hurt. It's still early, but I threw strikes. Everybody keeps saying that's how you get people out. I'm still on the fence, though.

A note about the weather. It's been pretty close to perfect (knock on wood). No rain (knock on wood). Warm but not hot (knock on so so much wood).

Everybody on the minor league side will be here by next friday, and the games will start soon after that. Then we only have roughly 150+ games until the season's over. Oh how quickly the time flies. Ha!

This is the time of the year where every baseball player comes into camp with anticipation and a gleam in their eye. Three weeks from now is the time of year where every baseball player begs for just one meaningful game. Check back in, it's like clockwork.

I should have some more stuff to report on soon, but until then, I'll be wearing plenty of sunscreen. No need to worry.

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