I guess I should have waited a day before complaining about the lack of access at Scottsdale Stadium. I went down to the park this morning and was surprised to find that I was let in. The Security guy said it changed from minute to minute and that they were just told this morning to allow fans in. Fans were limited to the seats behind the 1B dugout, so we were limited in what we could see......but any access is better than none at all. I still had no way to view the bullpens or the other practice fields/locations, but I had a GREAT view of what was going on inside the main stadium.
Basically, the entire morning was taken up with 4 different groups of pitchers being lectured on and working on drills that had to do with holding runners on base. The workout itself was a little boring (as pitching drills usually are), but I got to see all of the pitchers that were invited to camp as well as the various position players who drifted by and took infield or chased flyballs.
I don't think there is any doubt that Armando Benitez is a good 20-30 pounds lighter than he was at this time last year. His legs in particular, were lighter and he appeared less flabby all around. Jason Schmidt looks good. I worried that he was too light at this time last year. I was shocked at how skinny he was when he reported to camp in February of 2005. This year, it looks like he is 10-15 pounds heavier and is closer to his physique prior to last year. I would think that would help his stamina over the course of the year. I might be wrong.......but Lance Niekro also looked less flabby than I remembered him. Tyler Walker on the other hand.....still looked pretty darn soft.
I apologize for the quality of the photos. It was overcast today and it usually takes me a couple of days to remember how to take the best photos.....so the photos from today are grainy. I used the "sports action" setting for most of the shots......it looks like that was a mistake. Hopefully, the photos will get better as time goes on. I took 119 photos, including most of the young pitchers. I am posting only a small selection here. If you have any specific requests, let my know by clicking on the "comments" link. I will either post the photo you want if I have it already.......if not I will try to get it at one of the later workouts.