Tuesday, February 15, 2011

BD Spring Training Report: And Stretch That Money | Baseball Digest

BD Spring Training Report: And Stretch That Money | Baseball Digest

One of the things that clearly is not a favorite among players during spring training is the daily stretching. It’s a necessity, but it’s an incredible bore. And running, sprinting…all this getting in shape stuff. How many times have you heard a player say “I haven’t picked up a ball since (fill in some late date)”. Of course for hurlers nothing is worse than PFP (Pitchers Fielding Practice). Spring training is all about rote. Turning the double play. Who goes where on a sac bunt. Hitting the cut off man.(The MLB Network has videos demonstrating the pitcher’s workout) Spring training is also about answering questions from the media that you sometimes would rather not have to.

The New York Yankees CC Sabathia found himself in that situation on Monday. Sabathia, who came to camp 25 pounds lighter (290 lbs), has a clause in his contract that would allow him to opt out after the 2011 season. Reporters quickly brought it up when questioning Sabathia. From the CC Sabathia_drops_25_pounds_says_not_eating_capn_crunch_is_key_to_yankee_aces_we.html" target="_blank">New York Daily News, ”I’m here to try to help this team win,” Sabathia said. “I went through it with the free agency thing, so it’s not going to distract me at all.” Still, Sabathia seemed to back off a previous statement that he had no plan to exercise the opt-out clause. ”Yeah. I said that, but …” Sabathia said. “Like I said, I’m here to try to help the team win. I don’t want to talk about that all year. This will probably be the last time I address it. I’m here.” Hank Steinbrenner for one doesn’t think Sabathia will opt out.

The St. Louis Cardinals having plenty weighing on their minds and it has nothing to do with how many pounds a player has lost. According to Cardinals GM John Mozeliak the team has until Wednesday at Noon to reach a deal with slugger Albert Pujols or the team won’t have access to the three time MVP until after the season. Pujols’ manager, Tony LaRussa feels the union is putting immense pressure on his star ball player. “I know what he’s going through with the union, and to some extent, his representatives,” said La Russa this morning at the Cardinals’ camp. ”His representatives are getting beat up by the union. ‘Set the bar. Set the bar.’” You can read the rest of LaRussa comments in Rick Hummel’s column in St.Louis Today.

Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has imposed a deadline of his own. Manuel is entering 2011 in the final season of a contract he signed after the 2007 season and is reportedly seeking a two year extension. Manuel told reporters he doesn’t want his negotiation to be a distraction to the team. “Hopefully something happens in spring training, and if not, my extension and contract, I definitely don’t want it to be a distraction for our team,” Manuel said. “I definitely put my team first. The players, and how we play, that’s how I get a contract. That’s the whole purpose of me doing what I do, and that’s how I look at it.”

No new word on a new contract for Boston Red Sox 1st baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who isn’t scheduled to report to camp until Friday. But Adrian’s older brother Edgar has a new gig; the infielder signed a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants.

Jose Bautista knows that the likelihood of him hitting 54 home runs again isn’t great so he has to strike while the iron is hot. Bautista and the Toronto Blue Jays were set to go to arbitration, but have pushed back the hearing with the possibility of a long term deal on the horizon.

Chicago Cubs closer Carlos Marmol avoid arbitration by agreeing Monday to a new three year, $20MM deal.

CC Sabathia wasn’t the only one who felt weight loss could help his performance. John Lackey, who had a decent first year with the Red Sox, dropped 11 pounds and feels great.

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