Rays Spring Training Day 11: Ben Zobrist
Manager Joe Maddon
On camp so far: The primary thing I always want to accomplish right now is to get the message out there. That everybody understands what we do and how we do things, especially the guys that are coming in, and we really rely on the guys that have been here to carry the message, which theyve done a tremendous job with, Im so pleased. Primarily, its just been message time. You could talk about, you know, physically, guys have to take swings to get their hands stronger. They have to be on the field all day to get rid of the soreness. Pitchers have to throw just because theyre supposed to, and get rid of that dead arm stuff. That stuff, everybody is doing that. For me, the most important thing is to get the message out there, your methods, how you play the game and whats important. Im here to tell you, attitudinally speaking, (this is) one of the best groups Ive been around. I cant be happier. I think a lot of it has to do with, like I said, a combination of the guys that have been here carrying the torch well, new guys coming in, being wide open and wanting to be here. Its really been outstanding to watch. I kind of enjoy it a lot.
On the start of the exhibition season: Keeping an eye on everybody and making sure we dont grind anybody into the ground. Theres a couple of guys like [Ben] Zobrist, going to the WBC, wants a little bit more early on, Im okay because hes ready for it. J-Mo [Jose Molina] is going to possibly catch four innings tomorrow because hes ready to do that. The other guys are primarily pitchers. Otherwise, I really want to keep it slow. This is the perfect timeif guys need specific work donethis is a great camp for that. Theres time to do it. I was just talking to the coaches about that. We do a good job of this, but to organize our early work. Im not really big on late work as much because I dont like a tired body trying to learn new tricks, Id prefer it be fresh in the morning. So, the early work component of it, we do a great job of organizing that. We have time to do it, so the teaching potential here is exciting.
On Alex Colome starting in Fort Myers: Yeah, we just made that last minutethats my fault. I thought it was that way, then it was Enny [Romero], and then we moved Enny back up here [in Port Charlotte]. Its just nothing. It was my fault. Ill get to see everybody [throughout spring]. First times through, let them play, lets just go out there and not get hurt, hopefully, and get your feet underneath you. I am so not into making any kind of evaluations right now. Even for me, just getting rhythm with my signs, seeing the game again, seeing the speed of the game A little selfishly, I want to see that for myself, so its really not evaluation time.
Source: Tampa Bay Rays Media