BRADENTON, Fla. -- One of Spring Training's formalities the morning of the first full-squad workout is a full-squad meeting giving the general manager a rare chance to address the team.
Neal Huntington did so on Friday morning, talking to the assembled about "how we plan for things to play out."
"I try not to make a big deal of it," Huntington said of the opportunity to stand in front of 60 players. "It's a chance to share some thoughts, plans and expectations, and to communicate some messages about things they need to get done and things we can do to help them."
Manager Clint Hurdle also took a turn, wasting no time bringing up the collapse of last season (and of the season prior) in a constructive context.
"We want to work hard to get better every day," Hurdle said, paraphrasing his message to the players, "to make sure that when we get to the challenging point of the season, we control the grind and not get caught up in it.
"We have to become extraordinary at the ordinary. We want to make sure we're all playing for a cause greater than any individual. It's a game of individual responsibility, but toward a collective gain."
And with that, the Bucs dispersed across Pirate City's four fields, with the exception of utility man Brandon Inge, who was completing his drive from Michigan, and right-hander Stolmy Pimentel, whose departure from the Dominican Republic had been delayed by visa issues. Both are expected in camp for Saturday's workouts.