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Camp Cora builds anticipation, maybe teamwork

Those close to Joey Cora think he got a raw deal when neither the Mariners nor the Brewers wanted to hire him as their manager. Their losses are our gain, because thanks to Camp Cora, we get video of White Sox running through drills a month before pitchers and catchers report.

Whether or not Camp Cora -- which, as J.J. reminded me, turns out to be more than Cora hitting Josh Fields in the shins with a fungo bat -- actually works is up for debate. Best as I can tell, here are the attendees each year:

  • 2009: Josh Fields (Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo also were said to have worked with Cora, but not the way Fields and the world's tiniest mitt did).
  • 2010: Ramirez, Viciedo, Gordon Beckham and Alex Rios.
  • 2011: Ramirez, Beckham, Viciedo and Brent Morel.

As fun as it would be to read into Mark Teahen's absence, he wasn't in attendance because he just got hitched.

Fields obviously didn't really benefit from the training, although he didn't stick at third because he couldn't hit a fastball down the middle. But Ramirez has developed into a Gold Glove-caliber shortstop, and Beckham adjusted to a new infield position pretty well.

At the very least, we can probably say it doesn't hurt. It might mean nothing, but it sure looks nice this time of year.

Gordon Beckham provided the most meat (yeeeeah) with his first quotes of the new year: Brett Ballantini and Doug Padilla were all over it.

*On his 2010: Beckham called himself "mentally frustrated and mentally tired," and "went into panic mode" during his first-half struggles. "It was the worst mental state of my baseball life."

*On his hand: He said his his badly bruised right hand was bothering him just as recently as last month, but he had the scar tissue broken up, and hasn't had issues since.

*On Oney Guillen: Beckham didn't come out against Open Oney the way with the same heat of Matt Thornton, but seemed to speak for teammates when saying, "We don't want outside drama [to] fill our locker room this year."

*On Alexei Ramirez: If you thought the Missile was looking a little beefier in the video, you're not wrong. He packed on some muscle.

In case you're wondering, 31 days until pitchers and catchers.