Originally posted on Metstradamus  |  Last updated 2/23/12

You know, it was ridiculous when it was being tossed around last season, and even without the hyper-critical masses it's ridiculous now. But here we are, the reason I hate spring training ... too big a deal being made out of somebody not showing up to camp early. This time, the "culprit" is Ruben Tejada. And the man partly responsible for turning molehill into mountain: Terry Collins.

"I am a little surprised. A lot of it is just selfishness on my part. I take great pride in the game itself, and respecting the game. I wish everybody had the same respect for it to want to get started as early as possible. So I know Ruben will come in great shape. I know he'll be ready to go. I just wish he was here."

"Obviously I want him here (...) I'm well aware of all the dynamics of trying to get those players out of the Latin countries and get them here with visa issues. I understand that those guys have to pay out of their own pockets if they come over here early. I want to get him in here. ... It's never too soon to start working on your trade, especially with a new second baseman. There will obviously be a lot of work to do when he gets in."

"I didn't spell it out. I pretty much suggested to get down here early. I probably should have spelled it out."

It already was spelled out. Let's see if I can do this from memory: F-E-B-R-U-A-R-Y T-W-E-N-T-Y F-I-F-T-H. That's the day that position players are due to report, and it's also the day that Tejada is expected to be there after his embassy opens and he can finally leave. I mean, for the love of hump let me paraphrase from what I wrote last year: four flippin' days with the regular shortstop isn't going to be the difference between 65 wins and 81 wins. It isn't going to be the difference between 10 errors and 25 errors at shortstop. And it sure as hell isn't going to be the difference between Daniel Murphy being a gold glover and Daniel Murphy praying for the National League adopting the D.H. in June.

And to drive home the point, Ruben Tejada will still be on time to training camp. 

Let me give you a quote from last season from a player who showed up five days early to camp:

"Definitely, I'm looking forward to a new year and to go out there and see what I can do. I just got a chip on my shoulder that I want to be here, I want to get my stuff right and show people I can play."

And from said player's manager: 

"I just see a guy who's focused and is driven right now. I love the idea that he feels as though he needs to go out there or wants to go out there and prove something. It's going to benefit him and us."

Yup. Everyone pumped that this guy showed up five days early to camp. Ready to find out who that player was?

Manny Ramirez.

How'd that work out? 

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