Been working on a PSA for the Fergie and Friends charity game today.
When I first walked into the Fitch Park complex this morning, Cubs Hall of Fame member Billy Williams was having a conversation with a longtime Cubs fan. She wanted a picture with him, but didn’t have a camera. Billy asked another unrelated fan to take the photo and then asked that she give her contact info to him so he could please send her the photo.
The day was starting to warm up towards a nice 80 degrees as I sat and watched all the top position players practice cutoff drills. This is where the ball is hit all the way to the fence, with the outfielder playing it off the wall, throwing to the cutoff man, who relays to the base that is called. So even if the ball is hit right at you, as an outfielder you let it go to the wall, which happened to Milton Bradley today, he had to make an acrobatic jumping maneuver to get out of the way of the ball and keep from getting hit by the line drive.
I forget until I watch alot of infield practice just how outstanding Derrek Lee is with his glove. He’s silky smooth and makes difficult plays effortlessly. Speaking of Lee, Lou is looking to see more power production out of the first baseman, and mentioned about getting some “elevation” on Lee’s stroke. In batting practice, Lee had the serious elevation going for a while, dropping a number of bombs out onto South 6th.
Since they were on the South West field, Soriano was right in front of those of us standing there watching. The players were showing strong arms and accurate relay throws, and seeing it five feet from the field, you get a real sense of how great these throws are… major league. No doubt the Cubs are going to score serious runs this year, but I love to see the focus Lou has on the defense, even without Fukudome in camp, these guys look solid in the field.
As I mentioned yesterday, open practice at Hohokam tomorrow, 9:30 to 12:00. And, I’ll be there.