Even in nice weather, spring train­ing can be a grind

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL SPORTS - By Noah Trister AP Base­ball Writer Cedar­town’s boys soc­cer team gath­ered for a photo fol­low­ing their lat­est match against Cen­tral Car­roll.

The Cedar­town Bull­dogs re­main above .500 on the sea­son as the soc­cer team looks to bounce back from a 2-1 loss to Cen­tral on the road in re­gion play.

The 5-4 Bull­dogs boys soc­cer team sits at 1-1 in re­gion play on the sea­son af­ter a 2-1loss to the Cen­tral Car­roll Li­ons on March 8, which came off the heels of a 6-0 shutout win over Chapel Hill at the start of

The Cedar­town Lady Bull­dogs might be at 1-7, but they’ve got plenty more chances to catch up and make an im­pact on the sea­son.

Their lat­est loss put them at 0-2 in re­gion play af­ter they fell to Cen­tral Car­roll in a 5-0 shutout, and prior to that fell in a 10-0 rout to Chapel Hill.

But the Lady Bull­dogs have op­por­tu­ni­ties to bounce back with a packed sched­ule ahead.

Ear­lier this week, Detroit man­ager Ron Gar­den­hire left sev­eral of his top play­ers out of the start­ing lineup. It was a rainy morn­ing, but that wasn’t the only rea­son. Gar­den­hire said some were deal­ing with aches and pains.

“I talked to a num­ber of our guys,” Gar­den­hire said Tues­day. “Be­cause of these hard fields in spring train­ing, they get lit­tle hips and groin sore­ness, and I just said — weather, hips and groin, that’s not Like the boys, they have a forth­com­ing match against North good. So I just changed the whole lineup.”

It may look like a few weeks of re­laxed fun in the sun, but make no mis­take: Spring train­ing can be a grind. Pitchers need to build up their arms slowly, and po­si­tion play­ers face their own chal­lenges. At this time of year, Florida and Ari­zona cli­mates ob­vi­ously are bet­ter for base­ball than many oth­ers, but the warm, sunny weather does have a few draw­backs.

Spring train­ing is half­way over now, and Kan­sas City in­fielder Whit Mer­ri­field al­ready feels like he’s had enough.

“I wish spring train­ing would be done, Mur­ray, fol­lowed by La­Grange at week’s end and Cartersville and Wood­land next week. They’ll also have Se­nior Night right about now — but I un­der­stand pitchers need to build their arms up and all that,” Mer­ri­field said. “It should be three or four weeks, that’s enough. If it was me, it would start about right now and then you go into the sea­son.”

Mer­ri­field might be glad to see the fol­low­ing trends in po­si­tion player work­load in spring train­ing: In 2009, Hous­ton’s Michael Bourn led the ma­jors in ex­hi­bi­tion plate ap­pear­ances with 107. In 2010, Julio Bor­bon had 97 for Texas. Last year, no­body had more than 74.

“A cou­ple years ago, I was try­ing to on March 22 at home fac­ing Troup County. make the team and I played in like ev­ery spring game but one,” Mer­ri­field said. “I came into the sea­son sore — the spring is tough in that re­gard — but once you get es­tab­lished, you get days off, play the first half a game and get out.”

Gar­den­hire isn’t alone in his con­cern about hard fields. Mer­ri­field, whose team trains in Ari­zona, said “it’s like con­crete out there” on hot, sunny days. New York Yan­kees man­ager Aaron Boone ex­pe­ri­enced spring train­ing when he was a player, and now he has to mon­i­tor his team.

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