Bright Lights, Lighter Players
There is perhaps only one day of the season when every last man in the clubhouse is clean-shaven. Well, except for Adam Dunn. And even he took care of the stubble around the goatee.
Yup, this was photo day. Players put on their home whites and headed from one lens to the next, posing for photo after photo -- the images you'll see this year on baseball cards, in newspapers, in MLB publications, on Web sites.
So long as we're talking headshots, I'll tell you about two guys whose faces show the benefit of offseason workouts. First, Ronnie Belliard. Second, Ryan Zimmerman.
Belliard showed up to spring training this year looking, minimum, about 10 pounds lighter -- though he wouldn't specify his current weight, because he doesn't care, and because he plans to keep losing more. (His secret: He stopped eating food late at night, he said.)
Then there's Zimmerman, whose face is noticeably leaner than before, and who is entirely without paunch. "He worked very hard, not only with his nutrition, but the strength and conditioning guy he works with, and you can tell just by his face," Manager Manny Acta said. "There's no more baby fat... He shaped up or firmed up more than in the past. He was highly motivated during the offseason. I had a conversation with him in December and he was boasting to me how he was in his best shape ever, and how he was ready to start spring training -- I mean, we're talking about right after Christmas. So he really pumped me up when you have your best player basically coming out and getting ready to go to spring training in January."
A few other updates.
* The team still has heard nothing from holdout P Odalis Perez. The mandatory report date for players is tomorrow, so this should come to a head soon.
* Jason Bergmann this morning noticed a discrepancy in official team documentation. His permanent residence, he told a team official, is Viera, Fla. Not Glen Mills, Pa., as stated. His age and name were listed accurately on the roster.
* Daniel Cabrera, Roger Bernadina and Shairon Martis have all decided to skip the WBC and remain with the Nationals during camp. Cabrera would have represented the Dominican Republic; Bernadina and Martis would have represented the Netherlands. Saul Rivera, also on the 40-man roster (who has the chance to play for Puerto Rico) is still undecided if he will play, he said today.
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