Live from Port Charlotte, Day 5: Zobrist reports
UPDATE, 9:33: Team MVP Ben Zobrist reported, saying he was ready to play wherever needed (and has four gloves in his locker), isn't taking any different approach to this season and understands there will be some question if he can repeat his tremendous 2009 performance.
"It's a new season,'' he said. "Last year as great was it was personally it's over and, regardless, that's not the name of the game anyway. We've got to win. We're coming here to make the playoffs and win a championship , and that's our goal. I'm trying not to think too much about what I'm doing personally as much as just being ready to do what I've got to do to help the team win.''
Zobrist said he spent the off-season trying to not make any changes to his swing (as he typically does) after hitting .297 with 27 homers and 91 RBIs, and is open to playing either second base or right. "I love second base, I've always said I love the infield because I came up an infielder,'' Zobrist said. "But last year I really grew to love the outfield, too. So I think I'll probably spend a lot of time at both of those positions during spring training.''
As for his usual off-season swing tinkering, Zobrist said: "I actually tried to keep from doing that because my tendency is to try and do too much, to try and figure too much out instead of just continuing to build on what I did last year. So I just worked on trying to replicate what I did last year, and tried to get stronger.''
DEVELOPING: It's a foggy start to the morning here in Port Charlotte, though we're pretty sure there are baseball fields somewhere out there past the heavy fog settled over the complex.
Only three position players didn't report early, and it sounds like the Rays expect to see all three today - 1B Carlos Pena, RF-2B Ben Zobrist and INF Sean Rodriguez.
3B Evan Longoria is doing a cover shoot for STACK magazine, which focuses on exercise, training and nutrition.