The Indians had to wait until this afternoon to workout on the pristine Victory Field surface. Yesterday’s weather prevented the boys from getting in some work, but today they took to the field and battled through the cold temps. Here is a shot from behind the Indians dugout.
Notice the blue sky mixed in with the cloud cover. I would say the weather was tolerable when the sun made an appearance. The ’09 Indians took batting practice, infield practice, and stretched out their arms in preparation for opening night.
The official roster should be announced sometime tomorrow. It was surreal walking into the clubhouse yesterday and seeing so many familiar faces. I talked to Jimmy Barthmaier, Brian Bixler, Jason Delaney, Andrew McCutchen, Corey Hamman, Tom Gorzelanny, and Neil Walker…it felt like I saw them a week ago. Really, it’s a crazy thing. It has been almost 7 months, but it feels like ’08 just ended. The clubhouse is alive with activity and the players are ready to get after it. Baseball is a game of routines and seeing the coaches and players put me right back into the daily routine I crave.
There is a different feel to this years Indians squad from last years team. A year ago several players were getting their feet wet at the Triple-A level while others needed to prove they belonged in the Pirates organization. When it was all said and done the young guys learned and improved while the other players were forced to find new jobs. This year’s team features players who received quality spring at bats giving them a boost of confidence moving into the season. You can see on some of the players faces that their spring performance gave them a taste of what they desire. A year ago a great performance didn’t guarantee a promotion to Pittsburgh. This year there are several players knocking on the Pirates door and may be ready to break through. I’ll leave you with another picture from the afternoon workout. That’s pitching coach Ray Searage bundled up in the foreground and Neil Walker getting ready to field ground balls at third base.
The final preseason workout is planned for tomorrow afternoon. Then it’s time for Opening Night 2009.