The smell of fresh-cut grass, the crack of the ball off of the bat, the cleats clapping on the sidewalk like a bizarre sort of show pony parade, and the warm (Arizona/Florida) sun beating down. Pitchers and catchers make their annual return to (city) today, the official start of Spring Training. For the (team) and 29 other clubs, hope once again springs eternal.
With a new-look lineup/bolstered pitching staff, the (team) are returning to (city) with a renewed sense of purpose. There’s the same sense of humor the (team) clubhouse is noted for, but the mentality is more business-like than usual. This is a team that knows it comes into camp (with expectations/needing to turn the page on last season), and the players say they’re ready for the challenge.
“I’m coming to camp in the best shape of my life,” said (veteran player). “I felt like I ran out of gas toward the end of last season, and I needed to make some changes. This offseason, I began (specialized diet) and worked out 5 days a week with (noted trainer). I feel better at 35 than I did at 25.”
[picture of player pushing massive tires up a hill]
(injured player) comes to camp refreshed, reporting early and looking to return to form and forget about a tough (prior season) campaign. “Quite frankly, last season was a struggle. Just as I was getting into rhythm, something else popped up. After resting and recovering, I worked on strengthening the areas I had trouble with last season. Looking back, I may have put a little too much pressure on myself last year. I’m not only planning to bounce back, I’m looking to take the next step. I feel like I’m coming into camp in the best shape of my life.”
Skipper (manager) agreed with (player)’s assessment. “He was starting to come along by the end of things, but the season ended before he could really take off. You could tell he was uncomfortable and pressing, and the season unfortunately ended just as he was getting his timing back.”
[picture of manager smiling while throwing batting practice/leaning against batting cage]
(player) hit .280 in the final two weeks of the season.
“What it comes down to is having the right attitude,” (manager) continued. “We’ve got the horses, we need to have the attitude to go along with it. Right now, we’re all tied for first at 0-0.”
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