VIERA, Fla. -- OK, that promise I made yesterday not to complain about the weather down here anymore? Yeah, I'm reneging on that. It's cold today. I mean cold. It was 38 degrees this morning when I left the hotel, and there's a steady 20 mph wind that leaves the wind chill in the 20s. (Note: This may be the first time in Florida meteorological history that the term "wind chill" has ever been used.)
Anyways, the players are getting all bundled up to head out to the practice fields. Jim Riggleman said he was going to make a point to emphasize to them to wear plenty of layers and to take extra precautions with stretching and getting loose before engaging in any serious physical activity.
Meanwhile, in non-weather news, today is physicals day for all the position players (plus apparently members of the PR staff -- hope they pass) so we'll only see a few them straggling in and out of the complex. Everyone had reported to the stadium by yesterday, except for Josh Willingham and Elijah Dukes. Willingham's wife Ginger just gave birth Tuesday night in Alabama to a baby boy: Ryder Jon Willingham, who clocked in at eight pounds and 22 inches. Josh is expected to arrive in Viera this weekend. Dukes, meanwhile, has not actually been seen at the ballpark, and Riggleman couldn't confirm this morning that the outfielder has actually reported. I'll see if I can find out anything more. (Also, Cristian Guzman was in camp for several days earlier in the week but has since left to be with his wife, who is due to give birth any day now.)
The newest addition to camp, Livan Hernandez, isn't here yet but will be in the next day or two. Riggleman had good things to say about the veteran right-hander, and explained the club's reason for this signing.
"He is a pro," Riggleman said. "He does all the things, holds runners, does all the little things with the bat to help the ballclub, knows hitters, throws strikes. Just a durable guy. He's a nice addition to bring into camp here. There's no promises being made, or anything like that. But I think Mike [Rizzo] has felt all along that with Lannan and Marquis, we have Olsen, and then you look at those last two spots ... and if Olsen is 100 percent it changes the dynamics a little bit. But if he's not, you're looking at two or three spots with people who don't have a lot of experience in the big leagues. I think we feel more comfortable having another option there, especially as we watch Olsen go through the spring."
OK, time to put on my parka, my ski cap, my gloves and anything else I can cobble together before heading down to the practice fields. If I survive, you can listen to me at 1:30 p.m. today on ESPN 980 AM, talking Nats with Kevin Sheehan and my old buddy Thom Loverro (whose lack of presence down here this spring has been noticeable).