A late Sunday night for Texas Rangers players, who were strongly encouraged to attend a dinner in faraway Scottsdale with sponsors and suite holders, resulted in the always welcomed "show-and-go" Monday morning.
Players get to show up late and not go through the normal pregame back-field work. That means the media also gets to show up late, and, in theory, sleep in.
Here at the Star-Telegram Surprise Bureau, there was a different theory involved, and it didn't involve sleeping in. The entire bureau staff, which consists of one employee, hit an area Orangetheory Fitness studio for the 6 a.m. class, and, remarkably, survived quite well.
For those who don't know or who know and are curious, Orangetheory kicks butt. It's an intense, efficient, interval-based hour-long group workout that brings out the best in everyone in the studio.
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Rangers general manager Jon Daniels knows. He's an Orangetheory member who often goes as early as 5:45 a.m.
The Star-Telegram Surprise Bureau is shooting for 5 a.m. class Thursday. No "show-and-go" for the Rangers that day.
Maybe Adrian Beltre will be playing again.
Here's the Surprise Five from Monday.
1. As opinions of the six-man rotation continue to be gathered, manager Jeff Banister attempted to tap the breaks on all the hubbub.
Basically, there isn't going to be a straight six-man rotation.
The plan, which at this point seems to be completely nebulous, is for five starters plus one. Ah, yes, the 'ol five-plus-one rotation.
Banister said that Cole Hamels, who has issued the loudest harrumph so far, will pitch on normal rest. So will Doug Fister, who said that he prefers five, and Matt Moore.
Not mentioned was Martin Perez, though he figures to stay on a normal schedule, too.
Mike Minor and Matt Bush are the two wild cards in the five-plus-one because they haven't started in some time. Minor hasn't started since 2014. Bush hasn't started in, well, ever.
"Minor and Bush are two guys that they're working on a little different rest period right now," Banister said. "We've got a ways to go. It's pretty fluid right now."
How fluid? Bush could still be in the bullpen. Maybe Bartolo Colon, who is scheduled to start Tuesday, finds his way onto the roster. Maybe an injury scuttles the whole thing.
Based strictly on, oh, the history of baseball, that seems likely.
"We could go out there today and two guys could collide or somebody could stub their toe or somebody could fire a pitch that doesn't feel very good," Banister said. "Where are we at then?"
2. Good news: Beltre was allowed to take off the bubble wrap Monday, made it through four innings in his first spring game, and didn't exit with a limp or on a stretcher.
He even collected hits in his only two at-bats in the Rangers' 5-4 victory.
The way Banister discussed the Rangers' plan for Beltre this spring, it sounded like Beltre had been on his death bed.
"I don't want it to seem that it," Banister said.
Beltre initially didn't want to take it easy this spring, but the Rangers convinced him that it was best for him and the team. If the Rangers want to win, which they do despite their snoozer of an off-season, Beltre can't be limited to 94 games again.
He wants to play 162, but knows he won't be allowed to go play every game. However, he wants to play "140-plus" at third base. He played 141 there in 2016.
That might be too many on the dirt. The Rangers have already talked about more days at designated hitter for Beltre, and he seems more open to it than in past seasons.
"Whatever happens, happens," he said.
3. Mike Napoli used to speak of "sports hate" when facing his former teams. He liked the guys he once played with but wanted to crush them.
Moore didn't feel any of that Monday facing the San Francisco Giants, but he said that he was looking forward to the game after they traded him away in the off-season.
"It's not like I had anything out for them," Moore said. "Those are the guys I sat in the dugout with for the last year and a half, and got to know them pretty well. It was fun to compete against them. It was a fun day for me overall."
The third inning might not have been very fun. Moore allowed one run on two hits and two walks, all in the third inning after retiring the first six batters.
He said that fatigue caught up to him as he closed in on 45 pitches, but was pleased with how he pitched the first two innings after a dicey warm-up session in the bullpen just before the game.
He also like having Beltre behind him, and knows now to be focused whenever the future Hall of Famer has the ball.
"I've got to get used to him firing that ball back at me. He throws really good back-seam four-seamers," Moore said. "I feel like he's going to be one of my favorite teammates. I'm already telling how the guys are reacting and the way the room feels when he's in it. Just the short conversations we've had so far, I'm going to like going out on the field with him."
4. Perez's instance that he will be ready by Opening Day appears to be a forgone conclusion at this point. He has thrown plenty of live batting practice and is taking pitchers fielding practice.
And the Rangers have given him a schedule for games.
Perez said that he will make his first spring start March 12 and pitch every fifth day, putting him in line for his season debut March 31 against Houston. That is the Rangers' third game.
He won't get the typical starter's build-up, though he has also thrown more live batting practice than others pitching now did.
All spring Perez has been excited about how well he has been throwing, and so have the catchers who have caught him. The lefty said that he feels like he did down the stretch last season, when he struck on something with his delivery and arguably was the Rangers' best starter over the final six weeks of the season.
For what must be the third or fourth consecutive spring, Perez needs to find consistency. If he does, he can be a solid starter.
But if everyone has been waiting three or four springs for it to happen, inconsistent just might be what Perez is.
5. In 2016, just before camp broke, the Rangers shook up their catching situation by trading for former TCU great Bryan Holliday to back up Robinson Chirinos and, eventually, bidding farewell to Chris Gimenez after his infected leg heeled.
Chirinos is the No. 1 catcher again this spring, and, again, another shakeup behind him could be coming.
The Rangers are scanning the catching market to add to a group of backup candidates that includes Brett Nicholas, Juan Centeno, Curt Casali, Michael Ohlman and Jose Trevino. Isaih Kiner-Falefa is on the 40-man roster but is still making the transition to catcher from middle infielder.
Some free agents are available, including Jonathan Lucroy. He likely would not be interested in a reunion because the Rangers are committed to Chirinos as the regular catcher.
Carlos Ruiz and Geovany Soto are also available, and the market will expand later in camp as teams start making roster decisions or players on minor-league deals begin to exercise out clauses.
Stay tuned behind the plate.