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Figgins works out for scouts, shows passion in comeback attempt
There was the workout. And there was the speech.
By all accounts, Chone Figgins made a strong impression during his audition for nine clubs Wednesday in Tampa. But he made an even stronger impression afterward, speaking from the heart while giving an impromptu address to the assembled scouts.
“I basically told them, ‘You can go back and tell your bosses that you saw it for yourself – you saw it on the field and you could see it in my eyes.'”
Figgins, 35, went home after getting released by the Miami Marlins last spring. His goal now is to return to the majors, and he said that the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays both contacted his representatives after his workout.
Scouts saw Figgins run, hit and throw; he said it was the kind of routine that high-school prospects go through when they are trying to get drafted. Figgins was a man on a mission, alone with his coach Gregg Parrish, who has been with him since 1997.
“A lot of veteran players really wouldn’t go the route that I did,” Figgins said. “It was a full workout – running, throwing, swinging. I wanted them to see personally what I was feeling, that I could still contribute to a team, that I could still play.
“I wanted them to see how easy it was for me to run (60 yards in) 6.4-6.5 (seconds), then throw from the outfield, show how good my arm is from the outfield and infield, shortstop and third base.
“Then to hit and show I’m driving the ball again ... I feel I can get back to doing that, hitting some triples, maybe popping a few (home runs).”
And his speech?
Figgins said he spoke for 5 to 10 minutes. He reminded the scouts that even in limited playing time last spring, he was 8-for-26 with three walks for the Marlins, demonstrating that his skills were still intact.
“I was thinking about thanking them beforehand for coming out,” Figgins said. “But I thought, ‘I’ve got something to prove today,’ so I would talk to them all afterward. And after I had a good workout, I wanted them to feel what I was saying.
“It could have been all prepared and rehearsed. But once it was all said and done, they had seen it for themselves. I knew I had a great day. First of all, I wanted to thank them. But I also wanted them to understand where I was coming from.”
End of workout. End of speech.
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