Keeping players focused on photo day tasks is no snap

February 26, 2008|By JEFF ZREBIEC

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Yesterday was photo day at Fort Lauderdale Stadium, an annual rite of spring that the players abhor.

They are expected to be clean-shaven and dressed in their regular-season uniforms by 7:30 a.m. They then proceed from station to station, performing a variety of poses while photographers snap rounds of pictures. The pictures are used by Major League Baseball licensees, baseball card companies, certain media outlets and the Orioles themselves.

But in between saying cheese and offering their best big league poses - Kevin Millar chose to flex his biceps for one shot - players wait in line, and impatience reigns. Daniel Cabrera tried to interrupt the monotony of the day and serve as a 6-foot-9 distraction by performing jumping jacks - who said he isn't athletic? - in the view of reliever Roberto Novoa, who enjoyed a laugh.

But credit injured reliever Chris Ray for the veteran move of the day. He arrived at the stadium early enough that he got through all the photo stations without waiting. So he sat in the Orioles' clubhouse doing a crossword puzzle while many of his teammates stood outside and griped.

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