Our first official day of spring training for our pitchers and catchers. It is obvious that times have changed, and these guys don't waste their off seasons. I remember when I first started in Milwaukee's organization, and in my first big league spring camp. Some of the veteran guys walked into the cage the first day and told the batting practice pitcher to take it easy on them, since they haven't picked up a bat all winter. That blew me away. How about the fact that Red Schoendienst used to sell shoes in a department store in the off season. Can you imagine that now?
One of the biggest stories so far is the shape that Lance Lynn showed up in. I have been well documented in saying that I am very proud of how hard he had to work to get into that kind of shape, and he will reap the benefits of it. He looks great and will only get stronger now that he is on a good strength program and disciplined diet. As a matter of fact, everyone looks really good. The message that I like to pass on to our guys, and all young players is to "control what you can control." If you cover your bases and put in the work, then you can look back and not have any regrets. Work hard, work smart, then let your talents take over.
I gave a similar sermon to our young players in camp today. I warned them that they are ALWAYS being evaluated and not to let anything get in the way of their dreams. The window of opportunity in this game is so small, you just can't allow some stupid decision keep you from getting to the big leagues after you have come so close. The real message I gave them was to respect themselves, their teammates, this organization, our fans, and the game. Some of them will get it, and some others will fall into the trap that this life is all about them. We will do our best to convince them otherwise.