GLENDALE- The catcher in charge of the Los Angeles Dodgers' vaunted pitching staff spent part of his offseason learning how to squat.
Don't worry, Dodgers fans. A.J. Ellis still remembers how to play ball after his first full big-league season.
But after a slow, winding path through the minors led him to one of the majors' highest-profile catching jobs this spring, Ellis always wants to improve. So he worked on the mechanics of squatting, standing and even sitting in a chair back home in Milwaukee during his recovery from offseason knee surgery, determined to reduce wear and tear with help from a therapist who used video to demonstrate his mistakes.
"Basically, every time I went down before, I was putting stress on my meniscus," he said Wednesday. "I didn't even know about it, so now I'm just letting my knees stay in line with my toes at all times."
Until last year, Ellis was a depth catcher - a safety net, or a backup plan. Now, the Dodgers are so confident in Ellis that they haven't chosen a clear backup for him.
Garagiola ends broadcast career after 58 years
SCOTTSDALE - Joe Garagiola, the ballplayer-turned-announcer who was honored by the Hall of Fame for his on-air work, is ending his broadcast career after nearly six decades.
Garagiola, 87, said Wednesday that he's retiring as a part-time television analyst for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He said goodbye at a 30-minute news conference at the team's spring training facility.
Garagiola spent nine seasons in the majors as a catcher. He had worked at selected Diamondbacks games for the past 15 years.
Cabrera 'disappointed,' 'surprised' by PED link
PEORIA - San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera says he was "a little surprised" and "disappointed" by a report that his name was listed in the records of a now-closed Florida clinic at the center of a Major League Baseball investigation into banned performance-enhancing drugs.
ESPN reported Tuesday that Cabrera, who played most of 2011 with the Tucson Padres, was on a list as having received performance-enhancing drugs, although the network said the documents are not proof he used or received them.
Cabrera declined specific comment on Biogenesis of America, the closed anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Fla.