"What I'm excited about is tomorrow. I'll play some golf now and come to play tomorrow. I try to take it that way."
Maddux is entering his 22nd season as a Major League performer, so there isn't much new other than the uniform and the people surrounding him. He has thrown at least 200 innings in 18 of the past 19 seasons, missing by two outs in 2002, and he gives every appearance that he'll be able to fulfill the year plus the option he holds in San Diego.
"I like to have fun, I've always liked San Diego and I like baseball, period," he said. "One of the perks of being a free agent is [that] maybe you'll end up in a place where you like to play and get paid well. If you're lucky, you'll get both."
Maddux is pitching for a manager he once faced. He squared off against Black on June 11, 1991, when Black and San Francisco beat Maddux's Cubs, 8-6, with neither pitcher figuring in the decision at Wrigley Field.
Black lasted 6 1/3 innings and Maddux only 4 2/3. Black was hitless in two at-bats against Maddux with a strikeout, and Maddux was 0-for-1 against the southpaw.
"I've always admired and respected him from the other side of the field," Maddux said. "I've never had a pitcher manager, or a manager who pitched before as a manager. I'm looking forward to it. You never know when you're going to pick up a good tip. I'll do what I can to keep my eyes and ears open."
Black felt that his first day on the field as a manager went without a hitch.
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"Guys got their work in, and all the drills went well," he said. "I thought the pitchers looked ready for what we asked of them."
Black said that he made a point during his address to the club that he'd pitched against a few of them and with one of them, having gone to Toronto in a trade from Cleveland late in the 1990 season, joining a staff that included a youthful Boomer Wells.
"The thing I remember was he was exuberant," Black said. "There was a playfulness to him -- and there was a confidence you could see."
On the mend:
Cesar Carrillo, the club's first-round pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, is testing his right elbow after a strained ligament shut down his season last year, when he was pitching for Triple-A Portland.
The Padres are being careful not to rush Carrillo, one of the gems of their farm system. Carrillo worked his third bullpen assignment on Friday and reported no problems with the elbow.
A former University of Miami standout who grew up in Chicago, Carrillo is 6-5 with a 4.10 ERA in 22 Minor League appearances, striking out 108 while walking 34 in 110 innings.
He's ticketed for Portland again, and there's a chance he could find a spot in San Diego by the end of 2007 if he jumps back on the fast track.
Clay Hensley and Chris Young extended their 2006 seasons by touring with a team of Major League stars in Japan. With their starting jobs assured, both can pace themselves this spring.
"This was the third time I've thrown off the mound," Hensley said following Saturday's workout. "I'm taking it a little easier than before. I'm getting ready for April. Being in Japan added a little to the season, so I needed to rest a little more than I normally would in the offseason.
"I'm excited. I'm really looking forward to this season, seeing what we can do as a team and what I can accomplish as a full-time starter."
Hensley made his first start last year on April 18 after opening the season in the bullpen.