Adam Lind is so damn honest it is almost comical.
The 28-year-old has been going about his business here at Toronto Blue Jays spring training sporting a big band-aid on the back of his neck.
When asked about it, Lind responded that he got cut.
While many players would have supplied a ready excuse about how they sustained the injury - got cut shaving the back of my neck, bee sting, struck by an errant golf ball - Lind wouldn’t say anything more.
He was concerned to do so would be like turning over state’s secrets or something.
The next day, Lind ran into this reporter in the clubhouse.
“It was a cyst,” he blurted out.
“What?” I replied, in a fog because it was still well before 9 a.m. and, to be honest, had kind of forgotten the conversation.
“My cut,” he replied. “It was a cyst. I had it removed.”
Apparently Lind had contacted The powers that be to see if he could reveal that he had a cyst removed.
Alex Anthopoulos, the Blue Jays general manager, laughed when the story was related to him.
“That’s Adam Lind,” he said. “He is the most honest person I’ve ever met.”
Which brings us to the state of Adam Lind’s back.
After starting last season at a new position at first base, Lind was doing just fine for about a month when he was sidelined with a sore back.
Lind was batting fourth in batting order, a key spot as he followed slugger Jose Bautista in the order.
Pitchers are not be so quick to pitch around baseball’s leading home run hitter knowing there is also danger lurking on-deck.
At the time Lind was hitting .313 with an on-base percentage of .343 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs.
The back strain kept Lind out a month but when he returned he wasn’t as dangerous with the bat, hitting just .229 the rest of the way. Lind did club 19 more home runs but his OBP dipped to .279.
Sources within the Blue Jays clubhouse suggest that Lind’s back bothered him more than the player or the team ever let on. And the player himself is loath to use that as an excuse for his second half production decline.
But you listen to his answers about his back and how it is even today and you come away with the impression it remains an area of concern.
“It would depend on the day,” Lind said when asked if his back acted up on him last year after he returned to the lineup. “Some days it was there, some days it wasn’t. Even now, some days I can feel it. Some days I can’t.
“But I’ve done all I can do to make it feel as good as I can.”
Lind said he enjoys batting behind Bautista and providing protection for the game’s most dangerous hitter.
“I look at it as a privilege, he said. “I think it’s exciting to have the best seat in the house every time, the best hitter in baseball is in the batter’s box. And I think it’s an advantage because if he doesn’t hit a home run he’s on base somehow.”
If Lind could return to the level he reached in 2009 when he hit .309 on the year with 35 home runs and 114 RBIs Toronto’s chances to compete for a post-season spots would jump significantly.
Lind said he is ramped up about the team’s chances this year.
“It’s the first time I’ve been around that I think everybody’s enjoying each other’s company and we don’t have any egos that are out of this world,” he said. “ I think we’re all regular guys that enjoy each other.”
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