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Maryvale Batting Practice- Up Close


At Maryvale Park Wed..... Saw a Brewers "practice" with about 25 other people. Cool! Sat front row....Talked to a few players(Lucroy, C. Gomez, Lind) after they finished hitting(by dugout), basically just said that I hope each had a good year. Each acknowledged my/our existence with a wave or "thanks"and moved on... Still cool,though. Other spectators did the same... A WI high school baseball coach talked to RR briefly too and got a nice response. Overall, a very small, laid back crowd... Strongly suggest going if you haven't. It's better than a Spring training game!


Few thoughts from practice....

Braun hitting the ball HARD to all fields

Gomez hit a few balls to left a ridiculous ways

Ramirez looked slow, with his swing and in his walk

RR had discussion with Gennett about his swing.... Something about a hitch in it is my guess based on RR body language in swinging motion.

Maldy took a bunch of founders at 1B...

Segura, speaking Spanish loudly with 3 or 4 other teammates, was the goofball joking and laughing a bunch today. He even took a few balls at 1B with Lind's lefthanded glove. First time I thought of why Jimenez, h. Gomez on the team.... Perhaps (partly) to keep a looser Segura in better frame of mind/more comfortable for improved play.

Checked back fields.... Saw and heard Nelson talking with pitching coach. Oh yeah, Nelson wasn't doing the talking. Rather intense with occasional cursing... Not talking down, but pep talk to get him to "not make stuff up out there" and trust your stuff. He must have thrown a bit too, but didn't see it.

Guys did about 20 min. of yoga to start practice.... Gennett didn't seem to follow instructors instructions much for some reason.


Going again Friday!

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Friday's report from Maryvale practice....

1.Guys having fun, laughing, enjoying perfect morning weather (10-11:30)


2.Braun, Lucroy, Gennett, Schafer hanging together a bunch in drills


3.Team worked on base running for about 35 min...... Started with nonpitchers pretend swinging and then running the bases. Did 2 laps Running in the OPPOSITE direction, then 2 in the normal way .... Ed Sedar at 3rd doing a hi five/ handshake for each..... Fun but odd


4.Then minor league Brewers (Lara too) came to run bases to work on defensive situations for defense. Runner on home and then 1b and a coach would hit a ball ( From short OF) down into the corner. Minor leaguers run. It was the OF's job to hit the cutoff and then make the play at home....


5.Next drill, runner on 2nd and home, the ball would be hit to the RF and the ball would be cut by the 1b on the throw home, throw to second to get in a rundown. Not bad drills within themselves. Yet, ALL the decisions were made by coaches, not players. Why, oh why?


6.Players should be making the decision on the fly where to throw the ball and how to throw the ball. Gennett should be thinking and guys should be telling Gennett to throw, not throw and to which base. Gennet was chucking it without even seeing if there was going to be a play at the plate. The 2nd runner wasn't ever thrown at (3rd) on the balls down the line.. The ball went home everytime. Same thing with hits to RF. The ball was cut everytime, regardless of whether there was a play at home or not....Minor leaguers weren't running hard on the bases, no slides at home. I could go on, but let's just say that these drills did not replicate game time situations. Very little talk from coaches on anything, quiet often... Give em game situations or something... Hoping that this isn't the extent of teaching game situations, though I expect it is...Sigh


7. Talked to Henderson, Fiers (said his arm is fine- he hesitated a bit when answering, however... Not sure if I believe him), Sedar (taking WI by 1 over Kentucky)

8. Got a ball from Parra (silently gave him a back door basketball head nod, while he was running off the field into the dugout to hit, and he lobbed it to me-or maybe my wife)

9. Only about 20 fans here, a few young boys shagged balls on the berm.... They threw them back onto the field of play... I think they were told by security to keep the last ones hit to them, though, for a souvenir.

10. Braun again..... He's looking like a power hitter again.

11. Players played long toss for about 7 min...... Parra launched one from the warning track into the first few rows as the drill ended...

12. Starting players hit and then fielded their positions... Usually we're talking to someone standing near them....

13. Very underwhelmed by effort of play and gamelike conditional drills except IF (Gennett, Gomez, Segura)... Sloppy, in general....

14. Krod no where to be seen

15. H. Gomez impressed me -effort, attitude and pop of his bat

16. Ramirez similar to Wednesday.... Lack of pop off his bat again.... Warning track power

17. Relievers fielded OF after starters left field around 11:20. (Game at 1:05 in Goodyear)


Overall, I had a blast! Along with the two practices, I went to two games (Cubs and Indians ballparks) on Wed. And Fri...... Cubs ballpark was the best of the three seen with Goodyear coming in second, Maryvale 3rd, in my opinion. Cubs new park was crowded... broke attendance records this year (11,000 per game) Indians/Reds park had lowest attendance this year (4,000 + on Fri.) Would give Maryvale 2nd if it was in a better area with things to do/restaurants.


Super friendly fans from many teams everywhere... players were accessible and gracious. I enjoyed the practices more than the games (even though we had front row seats -stubhub $24 each-behind dugout in Goodyear on Friday) because of the interaction with players, the hitting displays, and the behind the scene practice drills I had only wondered about previously.... And it was FREE!


Go if you haven't yet..... You'll be glad you did!

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