The wait is finally over and players have reported to their respective spring training facilities. Sometimes teams spend three months in the off season planing for opening day, for their plans to be changed during the first week of spring training. This was especially true of the Ranger’s spring training so far with Khalil Greene who was expected to be the Rangers Infielder not reporting to camp and later being released by the Rangers.
There has already been the “early” scare of Josh Hamilton possibly being injured during the first full squad workout while diving to catch a pop up and bruising his left shoulder. Thankfully for the Ranger’s sake it is only bruised and not something more serious such as a tear or a fractured bone. The hope for Josh Hamilton in 2010 is that he regains his injury-free form of 2008. Around the league there have been interesting stories of players and coaches as they have reported to spring training. The Dodgers camp has had Manny Ramirez come out and publicly say that this is his last season as a Dodger. During Ramirez’s time in Boston whenever he would say or do something stupid the team just said “Well…it’s just Manny being Manny.” As the drama played out in Boston and he was shipped to the Dodgers, “Manny being Manny” became a petty excuse as to why he desired all the focus to be on him, rather than be on the team as it should be. Its understandable why he accepted the player option for 20 million he held with the Dodgers for 2010 being that nobody was going to pay him that, and he wouldn’t let down on his terms considering he has the wonderful Scott Boras as his agent. Why would somebody who is getting paid that much money for a baseball season complain at all?
Also out of the Dodgers camp Eric Gagne reaffirmed everyone’s suspicions in that he used Human Growth Hormone. He was mentioned in the Mitchell Report and after spending 2009 playing baseball in Canada, he probably figured that addmitting his use would be the first step in returing to the Major’s. Now that the monkey is off his back he should be able to focus on his performace on the field and the hope that he cracks the Dodgers 25 man roster.
Earlier in the off season Mark McGwire finally admitted that he did indeed use steroids during his playing career. During the off season he accepted an offer to become the hitting coach on Tony LaRussa’s staff for the St. Louis Cardinals. He will mentor blockbuster hitters such as Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday. Once McGwire reported to spring training, it was reported his brother was going to release a tell all book on Mark’s steroid use. McGwire basically disowned his brother, although if they already had a falling out, the brother saw an opportunity to make some money and took it.
The first spring training games of the season start on March 2, with the first Ranger’s game coming against the Royals on Thursday, March 4. Once games start, fans will be able to see their teams in action and see how the players look. The Rangers will also use these games to iron out the last few positions available, so once camp is complete and they head back to Texas they will have the 25 best players on the roster.