Still talking baseball

Before I move on to the next subject, I wanted to thank everyone for the kind words and encouragement regarding my spring training coverage and color analyst debut on MASN.

I'm probably one-and-done with the TV gig, but I had a good time. And I was very fortunate to work with so many professionals, and friends, who bring each telecast to life.

The behind-the-scenes work is truly amazing to me. The seamless transitions from one topic to the next, matching up with the images and graphics on your television screens, don't happen by accident.

I couldn't address all of you individually on the blog, so I wanted to toss out a big "thank you" for your support last night and throughout the spring. This school only rocks (and Rochs) because of you.

Mike Gonzalez remains a popular subject around here. It only took a few minutes for his name to surface in manager Dave Trembley's pre-game media session.

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"Well, he got the save," Trembley said. "I'd certainly like to see him get them a whole lot cleaner, but you get the first one under your belt and now the next one's got to be a little bit easier for you."

Trembley also talked about Garrett Atkins, saying the first baseman has gotten into a "pretty good routine" with hitting coach Terry Crowley.

"I think you'll see him continue to get more comfortable," Trembley said. "He got an awfully big hit last night, his batting practice has improved. You know, we need him. We need production out of him and we need production out of all the guys in the lineup, but where he's hitting, I think that's particularly important that we get some production out of guys hitting in the bottom of the lineup. Kind of spreads it out for everybody. But he looks comfortable. His swing has improved in batting practice. I think he's got a real good rapport with Crow and he's got a chance to put together a real good year."

Trembley checked on Will Ohman last night and determined that the lefty was good for one hitter, which he retired, because he also pitched in the first two games.

"He said every manager he's ever played for has always asked him the same thing - 'Are you ready to go tonight?' And he really doesn't want to hear that question. He wants the ball every night," Trembley said.

"Whether Ohman pitches today or not, I'm not so sure if I would do that. We'll see how the game plays out. It certainly would be nice to give him a day. We have another lefty down there. (Mark) Hendrickson hasn't pitched yet. I wouldn't be reluctant to get him in."

One thing I forgot to mention last night: Catcher Matt Wieters called for both pickoff throws from starter Brian Matusz that caught Tampa Bay runners breaking too soon for second base.

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