First Spring Game

Usually, the first couple weeks of spring seem to drag on and on, but for some reason, that is not the case this year. We have been here for over 2 weeks now, and the intensity of the players has not wavered a bit. The coaches and staff have been upbeat and excited to get better everyday, and the players have been relentless in their work level. The days start early (around 5:00 a.m.) and players are still working hard in the cages and weight room, far past quitting time. I sense a youthful excitement that is obviously initiated by the fact that we have more twenty-something players than anybody in the league, but our well seasoned veterans are still leading the pack with being the first to arrive and the last to leave. Our ongoing culture of hard work, and work done well, seems to be impacting the next generation of players, and my only fear is that our coaching staff is going to pass out from all the extra work requests. What does all this mean? Nothing really, except that the guys are taking care of what they can control at this point of the season, and that is the hard work of preparation, and learning the discipline of pushing their bodies and minds beyond where most will go. I believe that it will pay off in the end.

Today is the first game of the spring and I believe that the players are ready to begin competing. A great deal has been made about the competition inside our camp for multiple positions, but that is really just a distraction to us, and distractions are the first opponent that we will face this season. Unfortunately, they will keep coming, unless we decide to take their legs out from under them.

At this level, our guys are naturally competing every single second they are awake. They can't help it, as it is in their DNA. They are competing against themselves and anyone who tries to tell them that they cannot do something as well as they believe that they can. Today we will attempt to deflect the distractions that come from the baseball world, and the real world of LIFE, and put our attention on competing on the field to show our talents. I can't wait to watch these guys grow together as a group, and begin to showcase their talents against some of the best in the game. I pray each day for health for each of these guys and that we will all maximize the gifts we have been given, and the opportunity to compete to be the best that we can possibly be. If we each compete in a way that meets our own expectations, then the results will be there. Let the competition begin.

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Read Others' Comments...

  • Starting Pitchers

    I would like an explanation on the reason why Joe Kelly is fighting for a starting position in spring training 2014. In 2013 Kelly is one of the main reasons you made the playoffs. He stepped in and pitched fantastic at the end of the season and wasn't too bad in the playoffs. You sat Lynn and Miller in the post season due to late ineffectiveness an they automatically have a position in the starting lineup??? I think that Kelly should already be in the starting lineup and Martinez,Lynn and Miller should be fighting for spots. The bullpen did not suit Kelly very well at all last year and he has proven he can pitch very well when you need it the most. Martinez can be a good starter but right now I think he is more valuable in the 7th or 8th inning. It is nice to have so many good starting pitchers and i realize not everyone can be in the rotation. Have you thought about a 6 man rotation? That would be nice to help save arms for the end of the season.
  • Thank you!

    Without doubts you are a great manager. They are in good hands, congratulations! I can't be in the first spring game but since Guatemala I say Go Cards!
  • Thanks

    Mike, I met you at the Albert Pujols O' Night Divine event about 4 years ago, and you were one of the nicest, humble, outgoing professionals that were there that night. We were all waiting on our cars by the valet, and you and Mabry initiated the conversation by asking myself and my friends how we were doing and how our night was. We new at that point your future was still bright. Thanks for being such a leader on and off the field, and for doing things the right way - through your faith. You are a true role model in a world that doesn't have quite as many as it used to.