It’s hard to believe but Spring Training for the Arizona Diamondbacks has been going for two weeks. Pitchers and catchers reported on February 6th and position players reported a few days later. With Cactus League games not scheduled to begin for almost another week, this is the dog days of spring.
Pitchers have gone from throwing sessions to bullpen sessions to live batting practice. Arm strength is coming around and muscles that were sore are starting to get past that stage. Hitters are still trying to get their timing back and with every swing they are feeling more comfortable at the plate.
On the base paths there are running drills with coaches stressing when to take risks of going the extra base and working on sliding drills. Pitchers are doing fielding practice and working on bunt drills and defending against the suicide bunt.
Infielders are taking grounders and working on footwork. Outfielders are going through drills to help take the right paths to fly balls and there are countless drills hitting cut-off men and holding runners to singles instead of extra bases.
Besides all of the work on the diamond there are weight training sessions, cardio workouts, and sessions with the training staff to make sure they are working the right muscles and not picking up bad habits.
In the clubhouse and classrooms there are film studies looking at arm angles, release points, throws to bases, and countless other details that most fans don’t even think about. The difference between the good teams and the bad is how much they focus on these details.
But there is a downside to all of this. The players have been going hard every day facing only their own teammates and they are ready for a change. While many of us are pacing the floor waiting for baseball to begin, for the players they have reached a wall.
For this reason, the Diamondbacks scheduled an off day for the players. For the first time since reporting day they are not required to go to Salt River Fields. Many of us cannot even imagine needing a day away from baseball.
I don’t mind my job. I make an okay living and my bosses seem to be happy with the work I do. When I get up in the morning it’s not with a sense of dread but I actually look forward to the challenges of each day. Even with such a positive attitude I have to admit, but Friday I am looking forward to the weekend; especially during baseball season.
So I guess I shouldn’t be to frustrated by the fact that these players are probably looking forward to not working today more than I am looking forward to the weekend. Hopefully they will all relax, clear their heads, and let those tired muscles heal because tomorrow it all starts again and there aren’t too many more days until the games begin.