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Spangenberg shares joy in holiday Q&A

Infielder balancing upcoming nuptials, workouts at third base and holiday traditions over busy offseason
December 20, 2017

In more ways than one, it's been a busy offseason for Cory Spangenberg. He's looking to lock down a place in the Padres' infield, honing his craft at third base after his first full season there.And his holiday season figures to be more eventful than most. Spangenberg is getting married

In more ways than one, it's been a busy offseason for Cory Spangenberg. He's looking to lock down a place in the Padres' infield, honing his craft at third base after his first full season there.
And his holiday season figures to be more eventful than most. Spangenberg is getting married on New Year's Eve in his native Scranton, Pa.
MLB.com caught up with Spangenberg, ahead of an action-packed couple of weeks.
MLB.com: This offseason, have you been able to be more locked in at third base? And do you think that will help going into next season, being able to have that focus?
Spangenberg: More reps always help. Third base sort of came as a surprise last year. I wasn't ready for it in terms of repetitions, so I think a whole offseason of grounders over there -- and some at second, too -- that'll go a long way.
MLB.com: There's a logjam right now in the infield after the Chase Headley acquisition. For now, how do you view that competition? Is it something you relish?
Spangenberg: If you run away from competition, you're probably not going to be in the big leagues in the first place. It's something I've had every year. It's a lot of fun to compete with teammates, especially when they're good.

MLB.com: Switching gears a little bit, what are your holiday plans?
Spangenberg: We'll be going to my house, going to my fiancee's grandparents' house, running all over the place, seeing everyone you don't always get to see.
MLB.com: Do you have a favorite holiday memory from when you were growing up?
Spangenberg: It's really just every [Christmas] morning, coming down the stairs, spending time with your family, whether it's opening gifts or seeing someone else get that gift they want. Really, it's about spending time with the family.
MLB.com: What was your family's routine growing up, in terms of giving gifts or getting gifts?
Spangenberg: We'd do family gifts on Christmas Eve, then on Christmas Day we'd come downstairs and the presents are under the tree. Then we'd sort the presents, open them, then go to both grandparents' houses. It was really a full day. We'd start at my house, then go to my Grandpa Spangenberg's house and then my other grandparents' house at night. We'd have lunch at Grandpa Spangenberg's, then dinner at the other grandparents.
MLB.com: I know this holiday season is particularly busy for you, right?
Spangenberg: Yeah, I'm getting married on New Year's Eve, so right after Christmas, there's no time to breathe or relax. It's another big party. My fiancee has been doing a lot of that, running all over the place, and she's been great. It's allowed me to do what I need to do to get ready for the season. She's been taking care of that for the most part.
MLB.com: When do you get out to Arizona to start that process for Spring Training?
Spangenberg: I usually head out about 10 days before pitchers and catchers, so this year, I'll probably head out around the 5th [of February].

MLB.com: Any specifics on where you've been trying to improve this offseason?
Spangenberg: Everywhere. [I] hit, field every day, working on those crafts, and I'm in the weight room Monday through Friday looking to get stronger. Really, the offseason's about getting better in every aspect.
MLB.com: I know you train a lot with your brothers. How does that work, and how do they push you?
Spangenberg: It's competition, it's someone to work with, someone to push you. At the end of the day, you're spending the time with your family, so you can't really beat it.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.