Baseball fans, get ready for a brand new day: spring training has begun in Arizona and Florida for all thirty MLB teams. As a baseball fan, I’ve been counting down the days until pitchers and catchers report to their respective camps; it is here where questions and speculations get answered. Who’s going to lead the rotation? Who’s going to play first base on opening day, and who’s going to start the season in AAA? Who’s going to bat leadoff? Will Yoenis Cespedes measure up to the hype? All of these questions will be answered by the end of March when the spring training games have been played, but for now, the players are gathered only for team workouts.
For these first few weeks, it’s just players taking their cuts in the cage for batting practice, and pitchers limbering up throwing off the mound, but for fans, this is enough. The baseball season ended in October (September if you’re a Braves or Red Sox fan, May if you’re an Astros fan), and through the winter all that was available to talk about was what happened in the season, what your team needed to do over the offseason, and then count down the days until spring training started. And now, the days made for nine inning escapes from the daily grind are back.
Baseball is a special sport because it never stops. If games aren’t being played, then teams are trading players, and when teams are trading, fans have something to talk about. With the start of spring training, we now sit at the start of the cycle, which holds all of the hopes and none of the crushed dreams that the end of the regular season holds. At this point, the division is still winnable, the League Championship Series can still be reached, and the World Series can still be captured- in theory, of course.
So sit back and enjoy the promise of the season ahead. Your team is still in first place, and your seat in the stadium is waiting to join with the masses in singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”