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Soxheads
02-17-2002, 04:35 PM
Kip Wells: Spring Training Diary - 2/15

As told to Ed Eagle
MLB.com

Pitcher Kip Wells is participating in his first Spring Training with the Pittsburgh Pirates after being acquired in an offseason trade with the Chicago White Sox. The 24-year-old has agreed to provide MLB.com with a twice-a-week diary of his days in order to give us a glimpse at the life of a big leaguer in Bradenton.


On Thursday the players got into Bradenton and we had to do a lot of physical testing. The team checked out our bodies to make sure that we were in good health, not necessarily good physical shape, but just to make sure you came back with all your pieces still connected.

We had physicals and eye exams with the Pirates' doctors. We also were tested on a machine hooked up to a computer that gauges your muscle strength and overall body strength. They do this in case you get injured later. This gives them a bearing of where you were before you got hurt.

The exams kind of take a little while because you've got 40 or 50 guys in there and they are trying to do all of these tests on everybody. Personally, I had to fill out a lot of paper work because I hadn't been with the Pirates before. I had to answer questions about my parents, sicknesses in my family and stuff like that so that the team has an idea of what a player is bringing with them.

I did testing from basically from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Thursday. Then I had a chance to work out and throw bullpen. All of that stuff is busy work but it has to be done to make sure that the guys are checked out were something to happen later.

Coming into my first camp with the Pirates and not knowing what to expect is kind of exciting. It's a fresh start when you come to a new town, play at a new field and head into a new locker room to spend time with some new players, coaches and staff. It was only the first day of camp, so it's just 1/200th of the season, but I am excited to have gotten that out of the way.

Friday everyone was fitted and then given their new hats, tee shirts, shorts and everything else you see Pirates players wearing on the practice field. Then we had our first practice. We went through some drills for fielding ground balls, covering first base and turning double plays on comebackers to the mound. While half of the pitching staff did that, the other half threw bullpen.

The catchers worked on throws to second and exchanging the ball from their mitts to their throwing hands while getting into the throwing position. All of us were pretty much doing our thing from about 9:00 until 12:30 or so.

Next we had a timed mile as a fitness test to see where guys were coming in and how they were doing with their stamina and endurance. It's not necessarily a big determination of what you did to stay in shape during the offseason but, at the same time, you should be able to finish within 20 or 30 seconds of where you finished in the past.

The majority of the group was in pretty good shape. Dave Williams came in first place for the pitchers. I think he ran about a 5:30 mile, which is track quality. I ran about a 6:25, which is in the higher half of the good times.

After the mile we did some agility tests. We did a 30-yard shuttle run where we sprint up and back three times to test our change of directions. We also did a vertical leap. It is relatively non-significant as far as baseball is concerned but it is another form of testing that they use.

Finally, we did some arm strength testing. Again, they do these so that if a player developed arm problems the doctors would have a base number to compare it to at a later date. After all of that, the guys worked out at McKechnie Field.

That was basically the end of the first day. It was a good stepping stone to getting out there and knowing who is going to be in your group. We are in groups for quite a bit of Spring Training. We're all on the same team but you still spend a lot of time with eight or nine guys that are in your section and we start to develop a little competition to challenge each other to do better. We do bunting and fielding drills and we try to challenge each other to improve.

After practice, Sean Lowe wanted to go golfing with a buddy of his who had ridden into Bradenton with him on the drive from Texas. Josh Fogg and I had agreed to play golf with them before we realized how tired we would be after the workouts. But we had a good time anyway.

Tonight I am going to head up to Tampa to go out to dinner with a friend of mine who is a professional soccer player and happens to be in town for the weekend.

RedPinStripes
02-17-2002, 04:54 PM
He's still a stroke.

Pete_SSAC
02-17-2002, 04:56 PM
I can just see the future installments of Kip's Diary

Dearest Diary,

Today I had to run a lot and stretch, it was so HARD! It's like, so not fair because Scott Sauerbeck didn't have to run so much! I think the trainer hates me and like shim better! It's so not fair!

Anyway, remeber that catcher I was telling you about, Jason Kendall? The one with the REALLY HOT ass? Well, he talked to me today! *giggles* I like, sooo want to get married to him sometime and like, have tons of his babies!

Anyway, I gotta go and sneak out with Sean and Josh to TP Todd's house. *ggigles*

KISSES!

- Kippy

RedPinStripes
02-17-2002, 05:01 PM
Originally posted by Pete_SSAC
I can just see the future installments of Kip's Diary

Dearest Diary,

Today I had to run a lot and stretch, it was so HARD! It's like, so not fair because Scott Sauerbeck didn't have to run so much! I think the trainer hates me and like shim better! It's so not fair!

Anyway, remeber that catcher I was telling you about, Jason Kendall? The one with the REALLY HOT ass? Well, he talked to me today! *giggles* I like, sooo want to get married to him sometime and like, have tons of his babies!

Anyway, I gotta go and sneak out with Sean and Josh to TP Todd's house. *ggigles*

KISSES!

That is funny, but you wouldn't believe what his girlfriend looks like. She's a hotty! Just makes me believe that any MLB pitcher can get good looking women to follow them around just because they play on an MLB team.

- Kippy

Soxheads
02-17-2002, 06:07 PM
See if you can get a pic of her...

Chisox_cali
02-17-2002, 06:11 PM
http://pirates.mlb.com/pit/photo/ph_play_mugshot_150337.jpg
"Don't I look so cool with this new hat on?''

CerberusWG
02-17-2002, 08:59 PM
No, you look like a moron, Kipette.