Vizquel passing on wisdom to Halos infielders
Angels coach, 11-time Gold Glove Award winner eyes Major League managerial job
Angels fans were overjoyed when they signed Josh Hamilton this offseason, as were the players, but a new addition to the coaching staff has the infielders excited, as well: Omar Vizquel.
Vizquel has worked predominantly with the Minor Leaguers thus far, but it seems like every infielder on the squad is hoping to take something away from their newest coach, an 11-time Gold Glove Award winner in his 24 seasons played for the Mariners, Indians, Giants, White Sox, Rangers and Blue Jays.
"To have a guy who is arguably one of the best defensive shortstops of all time -- to have him work with you, and being able to get around and pick his brain and pick up as much as you can -- if you can't learn something from him, you probably can't learn nothing at all," second baseman Bill Hall said.
Many of these players grew up watching Vizquel's sweeping range and deceptively strong arm that helped him make plays that dropped the jaws of the men he had just denied access to the bases.
"I can remember going to the field to watch him play when I was young, and my dad would be like, 'Watch how he does it, see what he does and try to mimic that, do the things he does.' To have him here with us is a whole new aspect," said shortstop Andrew Romine.
And as Vizquel passes on his defensive wisdom, he has to adjust the way he views this Spring Training compared to the 23 others he endured since his Major League debut.
"As an active player, you prepare yourself. You go in the gym, you go through your program and try to get ready for the beginning of the season. Now, your preparation is a little different," said Vizquel, who retired in 2012. "Now, the mental part of the game has a lot to do with the things that you have to accomplish and how you prepare the infielders, in this case."
And as the players learn from him, Vizquel hopes to learn from manager Mike Scioscia and the rest of the Angels' staff in the first step of his journey to lead a ballclub of his own one day.
"Obviously, the final goal is to manage one day in the big leagues. It's a very nice first step to start here, but obviously you've got to learn how to coach, and how to do things -- a lot of paperwork, a lot of reports, situations of the game, and that's something I really like about this game."