The field that was painted with a Texas Rangers champions logo was donated to a starving family in a Third World country. Waste not, want not. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
There aren't any lessons to be learned from a single spring game. Pat Burrell isn't going to have an opposite-field approach now, and Brandon Belt isn't a .000-hitting whiff machine. It's a single spring game.
Oh, but that Pablo. We've all seen the pictures of him from the offseason, we've read the Twitter updates, and we've heard the anecdotes. But there's something about watching him play that really highlights just how hard he worked during the offseason. Last year, you expected him to look for the keg every time he reached second base. Now he looks like a 24-year-old baseball player, which was a goal that seemed as unlikely as "emu" or "toaster oven" at the end of last year. It was an amazing transformation.
Now I was never convinced that all of his struggles last year -- heck, even most of his struggles -- were due to the gooey empanada paste that had settled around his midsection. His plate discipline was the bigger reason for his struggle. He'd chase pitches, fall behind early in the count, and get himself out. The weight was an easy scapegoat, though it sure didn't help the perception when he'd lumber down to first on the back-end of a double play.
But the new, svelte Pablo is worth getting excited about because you can tell he feels confident. He's swinging with authority, and he felt froggy enough today to steal a base. He carries himself differently out on the field. I don't think a fitter Pablo is necessarily or automatically a better Pablo, but a more confident Pablo is where the real improvement will come from.
(Thanks to TheLetter2 for this...) So, .383 with 30 homers. Oh, and he'll take over at shortstop after the Ryan Zimmerman trade.
Best shape of his life! And I'm assuming that applies to his mental health as well as his physical. I can't wait for the season to start.