Everything's been strictly laid back here, the real competition won't start until the minor league Spring Training opens, and for the guys like me who got down here early, it's been pretty casual. We're training in the morning for the minicamps, and then the rest of the day is spent watching the big league players. I try to learn by watching those guys, watching how they train, how they prepare, and then we watch the Big League games.
The biggest difference in this year's Spring for me has been the running. All the pitchers and catchers have already reported, and all the coaches are down here now, so for position players like me, it's all about being in top shape. I've been working on defense, Lee Tinsley has been working a lot with me, and all the coaches have been really hands on, but the big work is still about a week away. Next week we'll start doing a lot more hitting and fielder, and the week after that is when the Minor League Spring Trainings really start, and that's where we'll start to see who's really gotten better.
Other than the catchers, who are all here, there are probably about 12 or 15 position players who got here early, and for us it's all about earning a spot. Nobody knows for sure where they are going to be placed, so we're all working hard and trying to prove to the coaches that we deserve to be as high up as we can. Some guys have come in bigger, Jon Zeringue has put on 15 pounds, Phil Avlas is just a stud, and Jon Kaplan is just huge, but he's always been huge, short, but big.
For now we actually have a lot of free time. After our workouts, most of us will take a nap, trying to recuperate from the day, and then we've got the rest of the day to ourselves. We're watching games, playing Playstation, just hanging out. Madden Football, the new MVP baseball, just real competitive people, none of us like to lose at anything, but real friendly too, because all of us are working toward the same thing, to get better, and make the big leagues.
This is my third time being in Tucson for the Spring, and if there's one thing I've learned, it's not to press. The first year you just want to hit every ball out of the park, make every play, and sometimes you start pressing because you're trying too hard. This year, I've learned just to take things as they come, and not try to do too much. I've worked hard, and the results will come, but when you're here for the first time, it's hard to remember that.
The first year guys that are here are doing a lot of watching, a lot of learning by example. These guys have some questions, just basic things about what you can and can't do, and I'll help steer them in the right direction, but for now it's a lot like college. Work hard, play hard, and have fun. For those of us who've been here before, we've realized that this is a game, but it's also a business, and you can't get too frustrated with decisions that are made. All you can do is go out everyday and work hard and produce, the coaches and the organization are going to make their decisions for a reason.