Warchant TV: Mike Martin on the start of spring practice
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Yes, it's just as exciting now as it was in 1980 when I made the first lineup for me here at Florida State. I love what I do, I'm excited for these young men, we've got a good nucleus of guys returning and we've got the unquestioned leader of the team, James Ramsey, back. We're searching for answers in the pitching area. We've got a lot of young guys that we will be look at, we have some impressive freshmen and they're going to get the ball. And if they fail, they're gonna get the ball again. They're a group that we feel can get better as the year goes on and the word that does not describe me must be used, must be implemented - patience. But I like this beginning. I like the fact that we're now able to work as a full group three hours a day. It's exciting. It's truly exciting to know that I don't have to look at my watch and worry that we're gonna be over in the temperatures close to 80 in the middle January. Not today, but in the past. In two weeks.
The temperature is good today.
The temperature is perfect. There's no frustration on my part because in the past, on Fridays, I was playing at this time and I was usually four over after four, so there's no complaints today. Ain't no double bogeys to worry about today.
Devon Travis looks to be back and fully healthy now
Yeah, he is. Very, very excited about that. He's been his old self the last few weeks, moving around with a lot of pep and a lot of bounce to his step. He's looked very good, too. We just gotta a couple of positions we need to settle on. Certainly, for one of the few times in my career, I can honestly say, I'm clueless as to who's gonna be in the rotation. Clueless meaning, three of about seven, but usually it's three or four and we take the other one and use him as a mid-week. We haven't seen these guys in the so called 'fun' situations, which is the 7th, 8th, and 9th and we're anxious to see how they respond and we're gonna try to put them in those situations in practice.
What about guys like Hunter and Scott that have been here, what did they do in the offseason?
Hunter has worked very hard at dropping some pounds. Scotty's done the same. Hunter's lost a lot of weight. Scott lost some, but he didn't need to lose as much as Hunter did. Both have shown good leadership skills in the way they're showing the freshmen the expectations of the program. Both of those guys need to have good years for us to be successful. They're both gonna be looked at in important roles, whether it's a start, reliever or closer.
Talk about James being the leader of the team.
Great question, because we were talking about that today. We had a freshman outfielder that wasn't very impressive and all of a sudden, Ramsey started saying things to him and the kid's gotten better and better and better and I wont mention his name, but its really been fun to see a senior taking care of a freshman and that's not the first time that's happened, but at the same time, it's so encouraging to see a young man grasp an opportunity and that's what this kid has done. He was not even gonna travel, now, we'll see what happens, there's not the opinion right now that this kid ain't got a chance to help us - it's golly, this kid's come a long way, in a short period of time. It's because of what James has done.
Is it just conversations James has had with him?
Mostly the way he goes about his day on the field, whether it's getting good jumps on the ball and saying something to the young man, like 'this is what you need to do or you're not doing that' and we can coach all day long and Matt deserves a tremendous amount of credit, but James Ramsey showed his leadership qualities by reinforcing what Matt was telling him. And it's amazing how young men listen to their peers.
James said the big motivation was the way things ended last year, being so close and losing at home. Have you seen that chip on their shoulder?
Oh, they'll remember that until we open up. You have that taste in your mouth of we were so close and it didn't happen. So we will use that to the best of our ability, but I assure you that in the middle of March, nobody will even be thinking about what Texas A&M did to us. And I'll forget all about it, too, in 2018.
You still liking this field?
Unbelievable. Yesterday we had a water deal, it broke, the cupper cracked and water came up and man, it was unbelievable. And within five minutes we got it cutoff. I watched it from upstairs and I came down an hour and a half later and I promise you, I could not find where it was had I not seen it from upstairs. It was dry as a bone. When we took the tarp off this morning, there was a lot of water on the tarp and within minutes, you could see it just going down. So there's no way we're gonna see our athletic director in the outfield with a squeegee in his hand moving water cause there ain't gonna be any water out there. This field literally is unbelievable.