Monday, March 2, 2009

Love for the game!

Kudos to Coach Joe Cooley on sending this article to me. It is a great article on Twins' player Matt Tolbert. I have posted an article on this guy before and I will admit some of his practice techniques are quite extreme. However, his work ethic and love for the game are something to be admired.

The Twins value Matt Tolbert's dedication, but he could get caught in a roster squeeze.
By JIM SOUHAN, Star Tribune

FORT MYERS, FLA. - Twins teammates have seen Matt Tolbert, the perpetual-motion infielder, waiting for a pedestrian light on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, then breaking from the curb as if to steal second base.
They've seen him turning pillows into bases in his apartment; taking full swings with a bat in the team's spring training shower; and practicing his baserunning outside in hotel hallways, and even outside a convenience store when his minor-league bus stopped during a road trip.
"I really don't think about it a lot, but they say it's crazy," Tolbert said. "I'm just trying to get myself ready, so when I look back I can say I did everything I could to try to get better, to be the best I could be, so I wouldn't look back and say I could have done more.
"That's what's going on inside the ol' dome."
With that, Tolbert taps his head and smiles.
In that he wears No. 20 and makes his teammates laugh, Tolbert could be nicknamed "New Lew," in honor of Wrong Way Lew Ford. While Ford drove his teammates and manager crazy with his mistakes, Tolbert works on his fundamentals at all hours, earning confused looks from passersby and affection in the Twins clubhouse.
"Matt is all baseball, all the time, in a very good way," said pitcher Kevin Slowey, who roomed with Tolbert in the minors. "He's never satisfied with how well he's done or how far he's come. We would watch baseball all day. Sometimes, I'd have to sneak something else on, just for a break.
"There is no turning it off for him. You follow him around for a day, he does things off the field that most people do on the field, in terms of practicing and preparing. He can't control his love for the game. It's awesome."
Tolbert bats lefty and righty and wishes there were more options. He can play anywhere in the infield and outfield.

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