Notes & Observations From Day 2
Sunday, February 17, 2008
It doesn’t take long in spring training to fall into the rythym of camp, especially before games start. Today was a little different in that we were able to get out onto the fields because the weather has gotten much, much better (high 60s, sunny). Pitchers threw from mounds again with Mike MacDougal catching Ozzie Guillen’s eye.
"One guy who really impressed me was MacDougal," the manager said. "I talked to him and told him if he can get the ball over the plate and make guys swing and miss, he’ll get people out. He told me he felt healthy and was ready to go. I really like how he threw the ball today."
He wished MacDougal could face himself. It might be an education.
"Hitters don’t want to face him," Guillen said, noting he’d had a few thousand plate appearances himself as a hitter. "This kid has some filthy stuff."
MacDougal is just one piece of a re-constructed bullpen that includes Octavio Dotel and Scott Linebrink.
"I think games will dictate how we use them," Guillen said of acquisitions. "To me, the bullpen is very important, especially in the American League. A lot of games are decided by the bullpen. Think of how many runs were scored against us in the seventh and eighth innings last year.
"I found out how bad a manager I was (in 2007). There were a lot of tough decisions and I made a lot of bad ones," he said, talking specifically of the bullpen. "I’m a better manager now. It’s easy when everything goes right. You learn things when you fail and things don’t go right."
Pablo Ozuna and Josh Fields joined the position players in camp early. Ozuna, with his ever present smile, looked good when I saw him in the hallway.
"A lot of players want to be here," Guillen said. "They’re hungry and ready to go. No one wants to go through what we did last year again."
Guillen said he talked to Fields and Crede about their situations and having to deal with questions all spring.
"I told them to go out there and perform. Make KW and myself make the decision," Guillen said. "At this point in spring training, we don’t know Joe’s situation. We have to wait for Joe, so right now, Josh Fields is my third baseman. We’ll wait and see what happens when the games start."
Golfing For A Cause
Tomorrow is our annual Dbacks/White Sox Charity Golf Outing in conjunction with the Accenture Match Play Championship in The Gallery Golf Course just north of Tucson.
Ken Williams, Harold Baines, Mark Salas, Bobby Jenks, Javier Vazquez, Toby Hall, Nick Masset, Charlie Haeger (a scratch golfer) and Gavin Floyd will take part.
For devoted readers, you’ll remember this outing led to the notorious Jumping Cholla incident last year that left a cactus stuck in Mike Gellinger’s eye. Battling through the blood and the pain, he gamely finished the round.
We’ll see what Monday’s outing brings. But like I said at the time, it’s always a bad thing when the EMT walks up and says, in effect, "Holy Cow."