Players won’t take the field today until noon because of physicals and team meetings, which means I don’t have to set the alarm and crawl out of bed at the usual hour.
So why am I awake?
It never fails. When I don’t have to get up early, I can’t fall back asleep.
It must be the anticipation of watching more pitchers fielding practice.
Actually, today will be more interesting because it’s the first full-squad workout. We’ll finally get to see Miguel Tejada at third base, and at his locker, since he didn’t report early. We’ll also have our first Josh Bell sighting.
I’m sure he’s just as excited. Probably couldn’t sleep, either.
Lou Montanez, Pedro Florimon and Miguel Abreu also will make their first appearances in camp since reporters left the clubhouse for the last time yesterday.
Manager Dave Trembley expects Tejada to be on the field early and to stay late while taking additional grounders at third.
Tejada’s adjustment to a new position figured to be the No. 1 storyline of camp, but Brad Bergesen (shoulder), Chris Tillman (back) and Brian Roberts (back) decided to enhance the competition. That means I have to approach them each day and check on their injuries.
I’m hopeful that no one pulls a groin.
Remember when catcher Charles Johnson took a shot to his...um...protective cup and spent the night at a local hospital? There’s a fun injury to update.
One week into my stay here, I’ll nominate reliever Kam Mickolio for “best early impression in camp.” Felix Pie’s batting practice sessions also have been must-see, and Nick Markakis hasn’t exactly embarrassed himself in the cage. He looks terrific so far.
The clubhouse is closed to the media until after the workout, so no sense getting to the ballpark before noon unless I want to stake out the players’ parking lot. And I really don’t want to stake out the players’ parking lot.
The sky is overcast and rain could be headed our way, which would mess up the schedule. Then again, it’s Florida. The sun could come out any minute. And then it could rain. And then the sun could come out.
You learn to adjust.
I’ll leave you with Roberts’ observation of the new complex:
“It’s great,” he said. “We kind of joked in the training room about how excited we are, and this place is probably outdated, which is kind of sad. When you walk in the weight room and you’re not in a tent, and you have a decent-sized training room that everyone can get into... I haven’t been on the field yet, but I hear they’re in good shape. And it’s just going to get better. We need that. I think every team needs that. You need a place where you can get your work done. That’s the bottom line.”