I love spring training. I love the color of the grass and the sky. And the smell. Nothing smells like a newly-mown infield. Just being out there is wonderful.
Spring training also means pick-off drills. Coordinating with infielders so they know when the ball is coming to the base and they can meet it. And every team does it differently.
New team, new teammates, new drills. I can’t divulge the secrets of how we time moves but we do have a system. One of the reasons I’m so good at holding runners is that I’m able to master the system. And that I can throw accurately to my teammates. While everyone thinks about the routine pickoff throw to 1B to keep runners honest, the really fun one is 2B. You have to be eight kinds of coordinated to pull that off. And so long as the infielder doesn’t miss the sign, it really can shock someone to draw a throw.
We also have to run and a bunch of other things that aren’t as fun. They don’t make pitchers run for speed — it’s about the legs and endurance and stuff. Paige Seaver rides a bike (the pedal kind, not a motorcycle) and she can run like no one’s business. Or maybe it’s because she’s young. Whatever it is, it’s inspiring. You don’t wanna run too fast though as the view of Paige running ahead of you makes the whole business easier somehow. And when she pitches… Woo! I did not fully appreciate the view one could get of a woman pitching for your club. And I hear it’s even better in the middle infield.
This will be a year to remember, without a doubt.