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In Orlando, on his first day in camp, Olson walked around the batting cage, wearing a dark blue warmup jacket and a cheerful grin. Charley Dressen, Washington's cocky manager, greeted him.
"Hello, Charley," Olson replied warmly. They shook hands, and then Olson went on to the edge of the cage, waiting his turn to bat.
Dressen gazed after him.
"Hey, come here," he called out suddenly. Olson turned, and Dressen led him to one side, away from the cage. "Get started right this year. Let me see how you stand."
Olson assumed his batting stance. Dressen moved the player's left foot back away from a mythical home plate. "Now bring your right foot up. Move it. More. More. Go on."
Olson, amiable as ever, complied. Dressen, enthusiastic as ever with an experiment, explained.
"Last year you stood in like this," he said, shoving his own left foot close to the plate so that a line drawn through his toes would angle toward right field. "You're all locked up. You couldn't pull."
"Doesn't Hodges stand that way?" Olson demurred gently. "The pull."
"Yeah, but Hodges doesn't stick his butt out the way you do," Dressen countered. "You get all locked up and you can't swing. Now stand the way I showed you. How does that feel?"