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Groundhog Day

That's what spring training is at this point -- lots of repitition. I have my alarm set at the same time every morning, and I wake up just like Bill Murray.

But think of what it's like for injured first baseman Nick Johnson. The team's clubhouse at Space Coast Stadium is probably a 500-yard walk to the minor league complex, where the workouts are held. I walked down there this morning with Nick, who was by himself. Along the way, there were plenty of fans who wanted an autograph, which of course isn't unusual for these guys as they walk.

"How's your leg?" one member of the first group said.
"Good," Nick said.
"When you gonna be back," the guy said.
"Not sure," Nick said.
"You hitting yet?" the guy said.
"Not yet," Nick said. "Just gotta keep working."

Johnson signed, and we walked on. Another group of fans approached.

"How's your leg?" one member of the second group said.
"Good," Nick said.
"When you gonna be back," the guy said.
"Not sure," Nick said.
"You hitting yet?" the guy said.
"Not yet," Nick said. "Just gotta keep working."

This happened two more times. Johnson took it all in stride (albeit a slightly limping stride right now). But if you're heading to Viera over the next couple weeks and you run into Nick, you might want to ask him about his daughter or something else before you ask him about his leg.

(Smoked turkey on multi-grain. Back to basics, but darn, it's good.)

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 23, 2007; 2:51 PM ET
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i am just so happy to have the blog back this year. thanks for making me feel like i'm there.

Posted by: gretchen | February 23, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, Barry - the bloggers are telling us way more about what they ate for lunch.

Did you put mustard on your sandwich?
Did you get tea again? How much ice?
Did you get chips or an apple?

This is why I read the bloggers instead of the Post. They're teh best.

Posted by: CoNATStant Lurker | February 23, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I've always gotten tongue-tied when I got to meet face to face with a player because I'm painfully aware that any question I ask them is going to be cliche and unoriginal. But I also want to show that I know the game a little more than your average fan. Would probably be easier if I had a son to take along with me like MissChatter. Sigh. What's a girl to do?

Posted by: Rachel | February 23, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I am glad it is spring somewhere... We're freezing our butts off here in Alaska.

I love that the team seems to be developing some chemistry...

Alaskans have no idea what Panera is. I have an idea, but only because I've seen them in shopping malls when visiting America.

If I was there, I'd be eating faux grouper sandwiches every day.

Posted by: Wigi | February 23, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Rachel, go watch Bull Durham again. You,ll be fine.

Posted by: cevans | February 26, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

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