Ah, the familiar smell of Spring Training in the air. The crack of the bat, the fastballs being hit into centerfield, the freshly cut grass, the paint along the third base line, the constant refreshing on media sites for new baseball photos.
There’s been new faces seen in the games — who is Chris Stewart, exactly? — and some minor jersey number changes (which renders my Travis Ishikawa #10 shirt somewhat useless).
However, this is what’s been observed from the four small sample sizes of Spring Training thus far.
- Brandon Belt is quite the every bit of top prospect as he’s said to be.
- Camp Panda seems to be working more in his favor this season than it did last.
- Barry Zito is still Barry Zito.
- There is still allegedly “bad blood” between Zito and the Brewers’ Prince Fielder, which stems from an incident last Spring Training and from a game in 2009. Why this hasn’t died yet, I do not know.
- Travis Ishikawa is now playing outfield positions.
- Mark DeRosa’s flopping tendon appears to have been fixed.
- Casey Daigle got the torture memo, but he’s bringing it way too early in the year.
What else will there be in store this Spring Training? A Giants win, I would assume. With a loss thrown in every now and then. A couple of change-ups thrown, some balls hit clearing the fences. Maybe a smooth pickoff play or a strike ’em out, throw ’em out play to end an inning. All signs point to Opening Day coming around the corner.