Saturday, February 24, 2007

Countdown - 5 Days Until the First Spring Game

Clear weather was back today. The temperature was listed at 63 degrees, but it sure seemed a lot warmer than that. There were a few changes to the workout today. Instead of the normal running, the position players did baserunning instead. Home to 2B, 1st to 3rd, 2nd to Home and tag up from 3B. Dave Roberts and Fred Lewis were the fastest.....but old Omar Vizquel still gets around the bases petty good too.

That was followed by infield/outfield practice, cutoff plays and popup drills (using a pitching machine to simulate popups). A funny incident during popup drills. On a popup to the front of the mound, Benitez thought the infielders were going to catch it, but in what I am sure was a setup, no one called for the ball and all of the infielders laid back and let Benitez handle it at the last minute. He got to it alright, but the ball hit square in his glove and popped out. All of the position players started razing Mando, including Mark Sweeney who was saying things such as "OHHHH, Papi, how could you miss that". On a second attempt later in the drill, the infielders again laid back. This time Mando went directly for the ball and made the catch. At which time Mark Sweeney yelled out; "OHHHHH, Papi.......gold glove. Maddox better watch out this year". All involved laughed, even Mando who came over to 1B and touched gloves with Sweeney, Aurilia and Klesko. I don't know how funny it sounds in print.......but it was hilarious in person.

Batting practice was the same as the last few days. One round of "live" BP followed by BP with the coaches throwing. I assume that the coaches allowed the players an opportunity to lay off today if they wanted. Ray Durham didn't take any BP at all. Barry Bonds only took live BP. Molina only participated in the second round of BP. And although Todd Jennings replaced Justin Knoedler during BP, he also only took BP from the coaches. Todd Linden didn't take BP at all and was replaced by Jason Ellison. In addition, some players didn't stay out for the second full round of BP. It seemed to be much less structured than in past days.

During the live batting practice, the batters are still doing more tracking than they are swinging. As an example, during Barry Zito's session, a total of only 7 swings were taken. Bonds took 3 swings, resulting in a foul, a weak groundball and a shot off the wall in left-center field. Aurilia took 2, resulting in a weak groundball and a moderately hard hit ball up the middle, and Roberts took 2, resulting in a swing and miss and a VERY weak dribbler up the 1B line. I would think the batters should start taking some serious cuts pretty soon. Spring games are almost upon us. I didn't pay as close attention during the regular BP as I normally do, because I was talking baseball with a local 26 year old transplant from San Jose. I do know I saw Kevin Frandsen hit two HRs. Ryan Klesko was hitting the ball hard and took a couple off of the outfield fence, but I didn't see any other HRs. The workout was over by about 12:45.

Tomorrow and Monday, at 8:30 am, is the famous (infamous?) 2nd Annual Giants Idol competition. For those of you who don't know, that is where the veterans make the young guys put on costumes, get up on top of the dugout and sing as if they were competing in the American Idol TV show. Last year Omar Vizquel was the announcer, Ray Durham was Randy Jackson, Jeff Fassero was Simon Cowell and Barry Bonds, dressed in drag, was Paula Abdul. Both days of the "competition" were just hilarious. I don't know who the "judges" are this year, but I heard Mark Sweeney tell someone that Omar is again going to announce the event. Checkout the archives from February 28th and March 1st of last year if you want to read further about last year's event. Don't expect too many baseball photos tomorrow..........in all likelihood it will be all about the Giants Idol.


7 comments:

Jefferson said...

Thanks again for the best spring training coverage anywhere!

Giantfan9 said...

Thanks Jefferson....I try.

Anonymous said...

Glad you're getting there early enough to catch the Idol.

Chumley said...

giantsfan9, I'll be down there Tuesday Feb 27, but after 11am and for wednesday practice Feb 28. For wendesday, has the team picked up stakes or will there still be practice? Better to go Indian School Park? Suggest any timelines? Maybe I'll see you there. Great pics, thanks for all the hard work.

Giantfan9 said...

I believe that both Tuesday & Wednesday they will be playing intra-squad games at Scottsdale Stadium. They should start at 9am or so, do a few warmups and then get right into the game.

Too bad you won't be there early enough for Tuesday's game. According to the Giants website, Lincecum is supposed to pitch on Tuesday.

Daria said...

i hope you take plenty of pictures of the contestants. i want to see everyone. at least those that have to perform. i know it'll be hard to remember what they sang. thank you for this. i will be there soon enough!

Anonymous said...

You should post a picture of yourself somewhere, so if we see you down in Arizona we can shout out!