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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Tossing first pitch, Jameis Winston enjoying offseason



Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, throwing out the first pitch before Thursday's Rays-Yankees spring training game in Tampa, said he's enjoyed the relative downtime of his first offseason and is eager for the upcoming season to arrive.

"We're getting this whole thing started pretty quickly. I'm very excited," he said.

Winston has looked slimmer in recent photos -- he was at a celebrity pro-am golf tournament at Innisbrook two weeks ago -- and said he hasn't dropped a significant amount of weight, so much as gotten in better shape.

"I look good right now," he joked. "I just trimmed down. I really haven't lost that much weight. I'm still 235. I just look slimmer. This is my first offseason ever. I'm used to playing baseball right now, and last year, it was combine training. ... I just have to keep working. I can't wait for us to start back."

Asked about the Bucs' recent signings in free agency, he said that "any new addition to this team, I'm very elated. I can't wait to welcome those guys to the locker room and hopefully they can help us make our way to where we want to be as a team."

Winston got to chat with Yankees legend Reggie Jackson before the game, as well as current All-Star reliever Dellin Betances, and said there was much to be learned from a short conversation with Mr. October himself.

"So much wisdom you can gain from a black Christian man, especially the man he's been for this sport of baseball," he said. "It was such an honor and a privilege to see him here. I wish he was in his 44 uniform, dropping bombs in October, but I got him here in March."

Winston said he's been throwing with nearly all his receivers -- not only starter Mike Evans, but TE Tevin Westbook and WRs Andre Davis and Donteea Dye, saying he can't wait for WRs Adam Humphries and Kenny Bell to get back in town as well.

Winston played baseball at FSU but had to give up baseball as part of his Bucs' contract. Winston actually played a game at Steinbrenner Field in college: "I do remember going 0-for-3 here," he joked. "That was not fun, but it was a great experience. I can't thank the Yankees enough for allowing us to come out here and play with them."

[Last modified: Thursday, March 24, 2016 8:40pm]


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