An Ode to Baseball and Spring Training

First the pitchers and catchers reported. Then the rest of the position players came to camp. Now, on this fine Wednesday, the first exciting, but meaningless games begin.

New York Yankees fans will get the chance to heckle A-Rod in the Grapefruit opener, Chicago Cubs fans will reset the doomsday clock, and everyone else will practice making pitchers cry on the mound. Tomorrow morning baseball “enthusiasts” will read there first box scores since October 28, 2008, back when Bush was president and Philadelphia was rewarded with a team that did not let them down.

Chances are most fans will look at the many of the names and wonder who those guys are, but no worries. In about a month those no-name guys will back in Double A. If fans want to watch some games that are supposed to mean something with names they know, then the beginning of the World Baseball Classic is just a few days away.

For those who do not remember, Japan won the first tournament in 2006 and the U.S. failed to even place among the top four. Much has been made over the lack of participation by a number of MLB All Stars, especially on the mound.

Jake Peavy and Roy Oswalt are solid ace starters. Jeremy Guthrie is an underrated pitcher because he has the misfortune of playing for the Baltimore Orioles. Ted Lilly is a disappointment though. He is a good mid-rotation guy, but I would like to see a fourth ace there instead.

The Yankees Derek Jeter is doing his country proud and AL MVP Dustin Pedroia from the Boston Red Sox is on board. The outfield has young stars that fans are really going to question, but Ryan Braun, Grady Sizemore, Curtis Granderson, and Brad Hawpe are far from the worst outfield in the world. If a MLB team had these four guys they would be talking about future World Series runs.

Many people do not care about WBC tickets though, so for those guys who want to hurry up and start their fantasy league, opening day is a little more than a month away. Yes, baseball is almost here again and I could not be happier. I will probably ignore most of spring training and the WBC like most sane fans, but just knowing they are there is putting the scent of baseball (bad beer, hot dogs, and a cool breeze) in the air.

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