Hardy not resting on his laurels

SARASOTA, Fla. - It's a slow day at camp, with positions players not required to be here until 6 p.m. and pitchers not throwing off a mound. I've been reduced to coming up with titles that really have nothing to do with this entry, though I reference shortstop J.J. Hardy if you continue reading.

Nick Markakis and Pedro Florimon are the only players who haven't reported. Markakis is in Sarasota and will be here later this afternoon. We have no idea about Florimon.

I haven't heard a single word or sentence about Florimon experiencing visa issues. Maybe he just doesn't feel like he needs to meet a new manager and coaching staff and make a favorable early impression.

Adam Jones just tweeted that his throat's sore and he has a stuffy nose. "I took some Theraflu last night," he wrote.

Players get sick every spring. I wonder if it's the change in temperature or something else.

Is there a doctor in the house? Or in the School of Roch?

Hardy is getting acclimated to a new double play partner, Brian Roberts, during the early days of camp. It's not a complicated process.

"In my experience, the coaches, managers, everyone who makes up the programs in spring training always put us together. We're always on the same field, taking ground balls together, turning double plays. Really, that's all we need," Hardy said.

"I think probably the first week of spring training, I'll figure out where he likes the ball and he'll figure out where I like the ball. Not a whole lot of things, really. I think we should be able to be pretty familiar with each other in the first week or two weeks of spring, especially as good as he is.

"We took ground balls the other day and it's just easy. You've got some second basemen and their feeds are a little bit different than others and it's a little bit tougher. The few ground balls we took the other day, it was easy. He just puts it right there for you."

Turning the double play requires the most advance work. The rest of it can be communicated on the spot.

"Say there's a double in the gap and there's double cuts," Hardy said. "We have so much time to talk during the play, whether it's 'You go out first,' or 'I'll go out first.' But double plays are one of the main things we need to get familiar with. Other than that, I feel like it'll be a pretty easy transition."

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