Really, just a continuation of the last update. Apologies for taking so long. The laptop went in for a hard drive transplant and is now back and running. Also, there was a birthday and a Flogging Molly concert in there, somewhere. Anyway! To the pictures!
When we left off, the infielders were doing drills with some assistance from a few pitchers. The rest of the pictures were with Kenny Rogers learning how not to commit errors. A few of the starting pitchers started throwing from the mound without the screen but the hitters weren’t really taking swings (though I did see a few balls fly…). Fister and Scherzer were throwing on the front to fields so I could actually watch them. We weren’t watching what everyone important- and I’m talking Leyland, Verlander, Al Avila, La Russa, Kaline- went to the back to watch. Wunderkind Turner was throwing his session from the mound. Early reports are pretty impressive, but I have no first-hand information on this.
Doug Fister pitches while being incredibly lanky.
Scherzer pitches from the mound while being Scherzer.
Of course, the outfielders had very little do to while waiting for actual batting practice to start. Prince Fielder took some time chatting with our corner outfielders while not shagging balls.
I'm 99% certain that Delmon Young is the one with his back to the camera as he talks with Fielder and Boesch.
HALL OF FAMER ALERT!
Husband and I were standing out by the road when a golf cart rolled past (not unusual during spring). After a beat, we were both like “Holy crap, Willie Horton!”. We had pretty much the same encounter with Al Kaline, who was warmly greeted by everyone he passed. His cart also drove within inches of us, which was just awesome.
Everyone broke into rotations at this point between the four fields. On the near fields, where we were, they were working on base running and batting practice. The base running was actually fun to watch. I got a good luck and the guys taking leads from first and taking off. This, of course, will be important this year because we have possibly the slowest line-up in all of baseball. I have no data to prove it, but I’m fairly certain this is a fact.
You can see out entertaining they found this. Don Kelly takes a lead while Laird laughs at him.
Help us, Action Jackson, you're our only hope!
Brandon Inge and friends wait for first base to move or something.
Batting practice was fairly exciting. Fielder, Young, Boesch, Cabrera, and Avila were all in the same hitting group and it was delightfully terrifying. And by typing that, I may have just jinxed our entire season, of course. Boesch whiffed at probably 4 or 5 pitches in a row off the pitching machine which had Cabrera practically doubled over laughing. After that, he looked crazy good. As many, many have already said, Austin Jackson looks great with his new stance. His swing looked quick and he was the only one who cleared the fence while I was watching. I watched one group of prospects that looked surprisingly good. If we don’t trade them all away, we have some nice hitting on the farm right now. Inge looked much better than last year- nice bat speed, good eye, hitting multiple parts of the field- but no one will even talk about that until he starts seeing real pitching this week.
Austin Jackson pops one over the fence while everyone watches.
Inge and Thomas watch the ball fly.
And now for some bonus “Awwwwwww” shots:
The Skipper checks in with his son.
Leyland and Leyland. I'm cynical as all get out and this makes me warm and fuzzy.
We were on our way out for the day, saw this, and nearly lost our minds. How incredibly COOL is this?! Kaline forever, dude.
Just a few blog notes for those of you who seem to have stumbled in lately (Thank you!): I do plan to link to photo galleries. I’ve taken a load of pictures and I seriously had a hard time picking which ones to put in these updates. I’ll share, I promise. Also, the blog and Husband will be at the Braves game on Saturday afternoon, so you can expect some pictures and an update later!
On a final note, is anyone at all surprised that Grady Sizemore is injured? Anyone? Not a good time to have the last name Sizemore right now, I tell ya’.