Saturday, February 23, 2008

bradenton note

spring training 2008
Spring Training from Escape to Sarasota

I like what I'm reading from spring training.

Manny Sanguillen, 63 years young with knee brace and all, pushing Ronnie Paulino aside to show him how to take a throw at the plate. Maz keeping an eye on the middle infielders. Steve Blass talking about Pirate pride. Billy Virdon back in center field, Teke with the pitchers. Gary Varsho taking Nyjer Morgan to task for not sliding the right way. Fielders being made to yell "I got it" three times on a pop up. Chuck Tanner, who's forgotten more baseball than most of the current Bucs know, sharing lessons and outlook with the players from his always sunny side of the street.

Every education starts with the ABC's. Hustle and the basics can never be taken for granted, even, or maybe especially, at the major league level. And it's really nice to see the Pirates embrace their history for a change. The team should be aware of the legacy that's been passed on to them.

Yah, I know it sounds more like the first week of little league practice than the show. But it's a start. Pride and professionalism have been sorely lacking for awhile with these guys. It may not translate into wins in the short term, but it's a needed ingredient if they're ever to become successful. Even if the roster hasn't changed much, maybe the attitude will. It has to.

Every journey begins with a single step.

If you'd like to see Sangy at work , the Pittsburgh Post Gazette has a video clip shot by Peter Diana at camp that you might enjoy.

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