SURPRISE, Ariz. The ball is hanging in the Arizona sky, a white speck in a cloudless blue, hurtling into the distance. Did you see that one? It clears the fence in right-center and keeps going, leaving onlookers to gawk and guess. How far did that one go? Had to be 425, right?Another pitch, and the same sound, a pure crack straight from Hollywood sound effects. This ball is moving in the opposite direction, a screamer toward left-center, a one-hopper against the fence. Eric Hosmer recoils, loosening his muscles for just a second before returning to that familiar pose. Hands back, knees bent, bat pointing slightly back, ready to strike. Its a warm Arizona morning in early March, and the Royals will play a spring-training game in a few hours. But for now, they are here, taking a few hacks on the clubs main practice field. Hosmer looks at the pitcher. George Brett looks back at him. Batting practice continues.
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