Saturday, February 18, 2006

February 18th, 2006

Beautiful day here in Arizona. They say it is only 65 degrees, but I spent from 9:30 to 12:30 at the park and was perfectly comfortable in a polo shirt. Great day for a little baseball!

Today was a pretty low key day. Not much happening in the main park. The four pitching groups rotated through a strictly lecture session where Alou, Righetti and Pujols seemed to be laying down the law as to how they expect things to be done. Omar Vizquel and Angel Chavez took a little infield. One thing that is encouraging to me so far is that Omar and Angel appear to be attached at the hip. Where Omar goes Angel. That is a GOOD thing. If ANY of Omar can rub off on Angel.......we may just have a future infielder.

Jason Ellison took some more flyballs along with Adam Shabala and another outfielder I didn't recognize. The early arriving position players are not wearing you need to recognize the faces........too many young guys for me to keep track of without uniform numbers. The lone exception was Nate Schierholtz, who was proudly wearing #46 as he returned from the batting cages. I also saw Todd Linden for the first time today. There seem to be an awful high percentage of position players already in camp. Off the top of my head, I have seen Chavez, Vizquel, Niekro, Ellison, Lewis, Linden, Schierholtz, Winn, Frandsen, McMains and Shabala so another 4-6 young players I didn't recognize. Darn good early turnout. I think these guys want to play!

I saw the first round of batting practice today. Catchers Mike Matheny, Yamid Haad, Todd Greene and Justin Knoedler took a full round of batting practice. I was busy talking with the security guy when the round started....the balls were hit so weakly that I thought the pitchers were taking live BP, until I looked more closely. The only exception was Todd Greene. He came out swinging hard and was spraying line drives all over the park. A full round of batting practice from the 4 catchers did not produce a single HR......although Matheny hit the wall once and Greene hit the wall twice. But mostly pretty weak. It must be hard to get your timing back after a long off-season layoff. These four were the only players to take live BP.

A few photos are posted below. Someone requested a photo of Merkin Valdez throwing off the mound. I can't do that right now, so I included a photo of Merkin warming up. The bullpens where the pitchers do their throwing are hidden behind the deck you see in the photo of the RF area below. They are limiting the fans to the area around the 1B I can not get to an area where I can watch the bullpen sessions. I wish I could. I would love to be able to get up there on that deck. You would have a 360 degree view of the entire facility. Without watching bullpen sessions.....the first workouts with pitchers and catchers only is a little boring. But as I have always said.....any baseball is better than no baseball at all.

At any rate, I only took 68 photos today as opposed to the 119 I took yesterday. I think the quality is a lot better today. I told you it would get better. I just had to play with the camera a little bit and remember how I did it last year. As I said yesterday....I will continue to do my best to fill specific requests for photos. It might get a little harder as time goes by, I have been a little surprised at the volume I am getting here. It's fun......but it's time consuming too. I will do my best.


Daria said...

Thanks for the update. It's like you're an independent reporter or something giving the fans something they can relate to. Keep up the good work. Any news about baseball is better than no baseball news. =)


Anonymous said...

You do quality work, you're gonna get volume. This is a great effort.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your updates...I am gonna check here everyday because I love anything giants baseball during the offseason. It is great to get a fans perspective on what is happening during spring training. Keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

very nice work!! thank you so much. I would like to request a picture of Matt Cain and Matt Morris. Thank you. Also have you seen Jeremy Accardo around?

mameluke said...

Great pictures, Hank.

I'll have to bring my camera tomorrow morning as well--nice seeing you today, and I'm sure I'll see you tomorrow!


Kim said...

Hey Hank,

You are definitely a friend to all Giants fans! Keep up the good work, and I'll buy you a couple packages of digital film for your camera when I get out there!...;+).....

Kim AKA LoneStar