SARASOTA, Fla. - Sorry to hear about the snow last night. If it makes you feel any better, the automated phone call from Carroll County Public Schools woke me up at 6 a.m.
Snippets of the motivational video that manager Buck Showalter presented to his team Sunday night will be shown between innings at Camden Yards throughout the season. There are no plans to make the entire film available to the public.
Vladimir Guerrero is still sporting his goatee. He’s also smiling more as each day passes. You can tell he’s getting more comfortable in his new surroundings.
He had two eggs over easy and potatoes for breakfast. No toast or bagel.
That’s it for the Vlad update.
As you learned yesterday, Brad Bergesen will start the first exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Feb. 28 in Bradenton. He’s not making any bold assumptions based on the assignment. He understands that he’s not likely to take the ball on opening day against the Rays at Tropicana Field.
“Obviously, throwing the exhibition opener is no tell-tale sign,” he said. “Right now, it’s just about getting my work in and getting ready for the year. I’m just excited to be able to get out there right away and get it going.
“I know I keep repeating myself, but it’s just night and day compared to what it was at this point last year. That part is just a huge confidence builder alone.”
Because at least one reader wanted to know how left-hander Zach Britton is throwing, I happily give you the following quote:
“I’m trying to pace myself right now, not do too much,” he said. “We haven’t really done anything crazy. Bullpens. Yesterday, the guys weren’t even swinging. I feel like when they start swinging, I’ll get a better feel for how I’m feeling. But everything’s good so far. I feel good.
“This is my first camp, so throwing this early, I didn’t know what to expect. I just made sure I didn’t do too much, not go out there and try to throw as hard as I can. Really, just try to throw strikes and get comfortable with my mechanics, and I feel like I’ve done that so far. I guess I’m pretty happy.”
Brendan Harris, competing for the last utility job, took grounders at third base yesterday, but he’ll move around the infield this spring.
“Just come ready for everything and any situation,” he said. “I’m excited. It’s a fresh start. I want to show them what I can do and try to contribute to the team. That’s all you can do, just prepare yourself accordingly for anything that comes up and be ready to go.”
Harris is probably more comfortable at shortstop, but he can play anywhere. Most of his appearances (27) and starts (21) with the Minnesota Twins last year came at third base.
“I feel comfortable each day coming in, whether it’s this or that,” he said. “It’s just being ready for that position.”
Former manager Dave Trembley is a big fan of Harris’ after managing him in the Cubs’ system. Trembley wanted the Orioles to acquire Harris the last few years.
“He was my A ball manager and I really learned a lot from him,” Harris said. “I know it didn’t work out for him here, but he’s a good man. He’s a good teacher. I learned a lot.”