Spring Training: Sunshine and Dreams

     Now that Spring Training is in full swing it's time to look ahead. I love Spring Training. The day that pitchers and catchers report is a happy day. Early morning workouts mean that the season is on the way. Early afternoon games played in quaint stadiums by young kids trying to make the club.

     Everything about it is new and fresh. No matter who your team is there is hope for the upcoming season. It's another part of baseball that makes the game unique. No other sport has a month like baseball's spring training. Yes, football has summer camp, but there is a quicker pace. Baseball allows its players to earn it in multiple real games.

     It's probably no coincidence that baseball is in Arizona and Florida during March. With the population in those states in the later years, spring training is the perfect pace. It's baseball, but just a bit slower. You get the stars, but they are done playing by the time dinner comes around at 4:30. Then the audience can tune out as 5 guys with uniform numbers over 75 take over.

     As far as results go, spring training doesn't mean a thing. Who wins, who loses, it doesn't matter. Heck just this year the Giants have already had 3 ties in 7 games. So if your team goes 22-8 this spring, it doesn't mean they will make the playoffs. Conversely if your team goes 9-20 it's no reason to panic.

     Only the 2009 Phillies have made the World Series with the exact same lineup they had on opening day in the last 4 years. Spring training is not the time for the team to fully form. It is the time of year for players to prove themselves. The true test of a team comes later on, and usually it looks a little bit different.

     I'm kicking back, putting my feet up, and watching baseball in the sunshine. It doesn't matter the teams or even the scrubs that get in. It's just great to have again.

Eric Nathanson