He brims with confidence--no reason to smile unless you give me something to smile about-- no need to brag, just let my actions speak for themselves.
Last year, at this time, we were introducing Shed Long to Seattle as the Mariners' trade piece in that weird 3-way trade that saw Sonny Gray land in Cincinnati. He was sold to us as a former catcher with a bag full of various shaped gloves and real offensive upside.
We witnessed that upside in September. So much so that the Mariners informed Long he need only bring one glove to camp. He's a secondbaseman now, and infield coach Perry Hill's new pet project. Tirelessly working on ground balls thrown against a wall, Long gets in extra work off the field, honing his new full-time craft, seeking advice from wherever he can get it, including his mentor and soon-to-be predecessor Dee Gordon.
"We'll always be brothers," Long told us. "Dee had to replace a veteran on his way up, too."
The job is Long's now, and the Mariners believe he'll remain there for years to come.