Cubs' LaHair shedding labels

MESA, Ariz. -- Lots of major league players have time-honored traditions and checklists to dispense with as they prepare for spring training each year. Maybe they take the wife out for Valentine's Day dinner, or make sure to pack their lucky socks or bring the lawn mower in for servicing in anticipation of picking it up in April. It always pays to think ahead.

Before Bryan LaHair leaves for camp, he makes sure to speak by phone with his good friend Mike Morse. The two ballplayers came up together through the Seattle Mariners' farm system and shared long, arduous roads coming up through the professional ranks. Amid the setbacks, hardships and doubts, they had ample reason to wonder where it all would lead. So they bolstered each other's spirits and made it an annual spring ritual to dream big in unison.

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