CHICAGO -- Expectations aren't a topic that manager Clint Hurdle likes to spend much time on. But when the discussion turns to conditioning and work ethic, be sure that Hurdle has made his expectations known.
Following a spring that many players noted was as intense of a camp as they had ever been a part of, the work isn't going to stop. The focus on fundamentals will continue to be a regular part of the players' pregame preparation, and extra early work will be required as is needed.
"At this level, to be successful you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable," Hurdle said. "And when you can physically condition to the best of your ability -- every player is different -- that goes hand-in-hand with your mental toughness. You can't get to the point where you're tired and say, 'I'm tired.' No, you have to push through that. That's how you build endurance. Our guys have built their share of endurance."
Though the work continues, Hurdle expressed satisfaction with the effort put in so far.
"They have worked so hard," Hurdle said. "One of the challenges that we put out there is that we're going to be the best conditioned team in the National League when we break camp. There might be a team in as good of condition, but I'd be hard-pressed to think there is one in better condition."