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On another note: the rest of the article that wasn't posted here
mcqfesijiba wrote:On another note: the rest of the article that wasn't posted here mentions that Leyland likes Polanco as the #2 hitter (no surprise) and that Leyland has also said that Dmitri Young may see more than just emergency duty at 3B. The latter is what makes me skeptical of these articles. Just too much speculation before we've even seen any game action. I do like that Leyland is at least keeping his options open in many regards based on what he says. It sure beats things like writing Pena's name down as the starting 1B before the season even begins with little or no competition for three or so years running. Whether or not most of these ideas become reality is a completely different story.
I know nothing about these "Sweat Camps" that are supposedly made for professional athletes or whatever they are, so I have no idea if it is a bad way of dieting or not. Regardless, an aging fat guy has to do something if he wants to get his career back on track. He'll be playing for a contract, and hopefully some pride as well as fending off a hopefully more motivated Pena. This is why I don't mind Leyland saying some of these things he's saying, even if some of them sound a bit crazy at first. Making these some of these guys think they have a chance at a starting job or in other cases not having a starting job handed to them can only motivate.Tom Gage / The Detroit News
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Call it a tie.
On a day of good news for the Tigers at spring training, it wasn't all that difficult to determine which of two developments might have meant more. Even Dmitri Young would probably agree that Carlos Guillen's strong right knee was more significant than Young being able to tighten his belt.
But it wasn't necessary to rank them.
The health and outlook of both players was all that mattered. Guillen, who never fully recovered last season from previous knee problems, appears to have recovered now. He didn't play an entire season of winter ball in Venezuela, but enough for his confidence to keep climbing.
When asked how many games he hopes to play this year, Guillen said "every game."
Young didn't have a knee problem. He had a weight problem -- and a divorce problem. Both took a toll on him.. But he went to sweat camp in Arizona, or whatever those conditioning centers for professional athletes are called, and got himself back into shape.
Perhaps the best shape of his career.
He's still big, because Young won't ever be leprechaun size, but the Tigers can live with big -- as long as there's a well-conditioned athlete within. In Young's case now, there is.
"It's not like I'm 26 or 27, I'm 32," he said. "I'm up in age. I have to be a good example. I feel good, my mind's good, everything's good. My life's straight."
A big reason the Tigers didn't made any offseason moves to bolster their lineup is that, if healthy, it didn't need bolstering in their opinion. They like its looks as long as injuries don't deplete it as often happened last year.
With no surprises from Pudge Rodriguez, with Guillen feeling good, Young looking strong and Magglio Ordonez saying at TigerFest last month that he feels "like I'm 20 again," this season could begin with a lot more smiles than when last season ended.
Then again, if you could find any smile in the clubhouse at that point, it was probably for precisely that reason: the fact that the season was ending.
Guillen playing every day at short again is hugely important. But so is the thought of a motivated Young.
"The first thing I noticed with Carlos," said Brandon Inge, "is that he's not wearing that brace anymore. I never saw him without it last year."
The first thing you notice with Young is Young. There's less of him, although he won't say how much.
"Putting on a belt and being able to go two notches below (the old) notch," he said in describing the difference. "Putting on a shirt and instead of having it feel kind of snug, it droops. Getting compliments like "wow, you look good, how much weight did you lose?
"I feel great. But I'm single now. I can't be fat."
Young also feels great about the Tigers hiring Leyland.
"More important than what we did with players, we have a (coaching) staff that's going to take us to the next level," he said. "This is not their first time. Jim Leyland is the captain of this ship. There aren't going to be any other influences."
Young wouldn't go there. That's in the past, like that old notch on his belt.
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