After a 2010 that Curtis Granderson synopsized today by saying "It had some ups, it had its downs,” the centerfielder is ready to get going on 2011.
“It’s always great just to get outside again,” said Granderson, who spoke to hitting coach Kevin Long earlier in the week to start mapping out his spring training schedule. “The gym is great, I can do everything I need to. But it still doesn’t simulate the sky and the size of the field and the intensity of the coaches and other players. It’s always good to get down here.”
Granderson said he's more comfortable coming into spring training than he was last year.
"I started talking about it about a week ago and everyone goes, what are you looking forward to?" Granderson said. "I go, all those firsts are done with. I know the guys more. I know the facility more. I know the coaching staff more. There's not that anxiousness of, how's it going to go? I always want to know what the 2011 season is going to be like, but just the fact that I can kind of go back to it. Last year was very similar to my first big-league spring training. This year will be very similar, in mentality, to every other spring training except for last year. I'm excited about that, that everything just is normal again."
He hopes to build on the end of his regular season when he finished strong after Long remade his swing in mid-August. Granderson hit 10 of his 24 homers and drove in 26 RBI over his final 30 regular season games, then had a torrid postseason, hitting .357 (10-for-28) with a .514 on base percentage and .607 slugging percentage.
Granderson is excited about continuing that, as well as the rest of the team's makeup.
“There’s a lot of pieces that aren’t here that everybody in baseball would have loved to had, for example Cliff Lee or [Andy] Pettitte,” Granderson said. “But I feel the moves we made were great. I feel what we had last year, in coming up short against Texas, is pretty much coming back again with a couple added pieces that should hopefully get us over that hump to put us where we want to be.”