Spring is in the air. The crunching sound of metal spikes on concrete while players make their way from clubhouse to diamond is only days away. For baseball fans, it’s the time of year where everyone’s team is undefeated. The fantasy of your team winning the coveted World Series ring is just a daydream away. And let’s be honest, it truly is anybody’s ring to win, except maybe for the Giants, because we all know they won’t be making a run, it being an odd numbered year and all.
Pitchers and Catchers are reporting over the next couple days. Why do pitchers and catchers report early you ask? The simple answer is, so they have an extra week or two to get there arms in shape before spring games start. But let’s be honest, if they are not already in shape by the time they arrive at camp, they’re going to be behind the eight ball.
It also allows pitchers and catchers a chance to run drills geared towards their specific positions. A classic example is pitchers fielding practice (PFP’s.) How often have you seen a play during spring ball where pitchers totally botch up a bunt, or forget to cover first base? PFP’s go over coverages and bunt defense, among other things, so pitchers can be prepared for any situation throughout the regular season.
Games start the first week of March and if you have never made the trip down to Arizona or Florida I strongly suggest you do. Spring training is a baseball experience like none other. It’s a chance for you enjoy your team in the sun soaked beautiful weather of a tropical paradise, or immerse yourself in the dry heat of the desert, all the while enjoying a brew and a dog in the bleachers. Could it get any better than that?
Probably my favorite part about spring training though, aside from the weather, is the crop of fresh talent from the minor leagues. This grants you an in-depth look into what your minor league system has to offer. Does the future look bleak or bright? A question that can only be answered after you have a few spring games under your belt.
Of course there’s the veterans too. After all, they are what you really came down to see. You think; hopefully our stud catcher has recovered from last year’s injury, or is that trade we made in the offseason going to pan out? What about that free agent signing? All questions that can be debated amongst fellow spectators.
So I bid you a fond farewell, for now. I cannot urge you enough, book your tickets people. Get out of that dreary, cold and blustery place you call home and into the sunshine.