Shovelling out batting cages for spring training
BARRIE, ONT. -- Just like the Blue Jays, the Central Ontario Reds' spring training is in full swing.
But shovelling snow out of batting cages isn't a ritual the Jays have to go through at Dunedin.
Kirby Smith, an instructor with Smith Brothers Baseball Central in New Lowell, was determined to get a move on with practice outside in the snow, rather than wait for Monday when more relaxed pandemic restrictions will allow teams to practice inside.
"I know a lot of the kids were looking forward to this, and even the coaching staff," Smith said late Saturday afternoon. "I've been out here for about five hours of training myself. I'm frozen to the bone, but it's been a very fun day."
Even with the snow and stinging windchill, 12-year-old Leif Little preferred drills on base running, bunting, and hitting in the great outdoors.
"It's a lot funner outside," Little said. "It's just easier for us to play the game because we're getting used to being outside, and we're not always steaming hot inside."
After a pandemic-shortened season in 2020, the Reds hope to throw the first pitch on the 2021 season in May.