At home on the roadThe first thing that catches the eye when reading the media guide bio of Jeff Baker is his birthplace Bad Kissingen, West Germany.Correct, he said. I was all over the place as a little kid.Bakers father was an Army man for 23 years, and Baker was a military brat who lived abroad and at several stops in the U.S. The bonus, though, was frequent trips to the Army-Navy football game.Baker said he would have ended up at the U.S. Naval Academy had his baseball career not blossomed in high school, despite the lukewarm support from his West Point-educated father.He was excited, but he wasnt excited, Baker said. How many cities can you call home? We were at Key West. We were at West Point. We were at Norfolk. We were in Hawaii. We were in Colorado Springs. We were in Germany, Abu Dhabi and Egypt. Do you remember Germany? No. We were only there a year and a half. The one overseas I do remember is Abu Dhabi. We had two years over there. It was an interesting place. We were there right before the Gulf War. He was setting up some missile systems and then he had to get back to run it. How did moving around help shape you as a person? The one thing I learned real quick is the one common thread through all of it was athletics, whatever it was they had on base. Thats how you made your friends and weave in and out of people. At the time, I thought everybody was doing this. I didnt realize it wasnt normal. How has it helped you in baseball? Its kind of ironic. Getting into pro ball, for me coming up I was in Low-A Asheville, then in the California League and Double A and Triple A. The one thing that helps me out is Im very diverse culturally. We have a lot of Latin players and people from Japan, and youre able to mingle and get to know guys. Its pretty seamless. And youve got the military haircut? I just keep it short. Im low-maintenance. Its not because of that. If it takes more than two seconds to dry my hair, thats too long.Injury report RHP Colby Lewis (flexor tendon surgery in July): Scheduled for 40-pitch bullpen session Sunday. OF Leonys Martin (left hamstring tightness): Returned to lineup Thursday. OF Engel Beltre (left shoulder strain): Has joined Spain for the World Baseball Classic. LHP Martin Perez (broken left ulna): Expected to miss two months. RHP Kyle McClellan (shoulder soreness): Will throw live batting practice Saturday. RHP Joakim Soria (Tommy John elbow surgery in April): Will throw a bullpen session Friday. RHP Neftali Feliz (Tommy John elbow surgery in August.): Throwing out to 75 feet. RHP Tanner Scheppers (strained left hamstring): Will pitch Saturday vs. Seattle. RHP Yoshinori Tateyama (lower-back stiffness): Will pitch Friday vs. Milwaukee. C Eli Whiteside (mild left calf strain): Day to day, could play early next week. Wilmer Font (mild shoulder tendinitis): Threw a bullpen session Wednesday.Videos of the dayHead to the Foul Territory blog to see manager Ron Washington talk about how Leonys Martin needs to learn how to manage pain, and also see Adrian Beltre talk about how he and the Rangers offense are progressing this spring.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST