-When he reported last year Gregory Polanco was thicker than the year before, but the difference from 2 years ago to this year is at least 20 pounds of muscle. He’s not exactly Dave Parker yet, but the piano legs are long gone.


-Dark horse for making an impact this year…Michael Morse. The guy hit .279 with 16 home runs two years ago for the World Series winning Giants. And he hit .310 last year after the all-star break. And he was pounding the ball at Pirate City. Plus he’s one of the few guys within 20 miles of Bradenton who has more than 200 major league games played at first base. You just have to hope that 34 isn’t too old.


-Age isn’t on the side of pitcher Ryan Vogelsong either. Not when he’ll be 39 in July. But he thinks his experience pitching for 2 World Series Championship teams in San Francisco, along with his time spent in Japan, have molded him into a guy who can contribute. He says the umpires in Japan had a very narrow strike zone for American pitchers and that he had to learn to pound the plate without flirting with the corners. He also says the movie “Mr. Baseball” is fairly accurate of how the game is played over there.

-The Bridge Tender Inn on Anna Maria Island has the best Black Bean soup I’ve ever eaten.

-The Pirates fondness for defensive shifting, makes playing first base all the more difficult for guys who didn’t develop playing the position. John Jaso botched a play in the first inning yesterday. He was forced to quit catching because of repeated concussions. He could talk to Pedro Alvarez, Andrew Lambo or Josh Bell about trying to make the switch to first.


-Francisco Cervelli is still one of the funniest guys on the team. When a Korean TV reporter asked him if he could talk to him about Jung Ho Kang, he said no, “I don’t like him.” Then he did the interview and called him the “sexiest man in Korea”.

-Kang isn’t allowed to go 100% yet with all drills but the fact that he is moving and looking as good as he does is amazing considering his knee injury happened barely 5 months ago.


-Jared Hughes says part of the reason he trying the BangBoom helmet while pitching is so that kids wouldn’t be timid to try using head protection because it looks funny. There is a guy who gets it.

-Gerrit Cole isn’t happy with how his salary was calculated. Neither were any of the assembled media members. With their own salaries, not Cole’s.

-The players love Clint Hurdle. In no uncertain terms.

-Infielder Gift Ngoepe is trying to become the first South African to make it to the major leagues. Spend 30 seconds with him and you will pull for him for the rest your life. Great kid. Great Fielder. He has to show he can hit.

-A piece of Key Lime Pie and a sunset on the Gulf Of Mexico can rejuvenate the soul.

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