It's here! It's here! Mabel, get my baseball cap out of the cedar closet and dust off my novelty foam finger! Spring training starts officially this morning as pitchers and catchers for the Cleveland Indians are s'posed to report to camp this morning at 8AM local time in Goodyear, Arizona (which is right now!) The Indians spent the last fifteen years screwing around in Florida's Grapefruit League but made the jump back to Arizona this spring; they trained in Tucson from 1947 to 1992. Next spring, the Reds will make the jump to Goodyear and join up with the Indians so that all the baseball fans and hausfraus in Ohio can plan one easy vacation destination each March.
The team's first workout at the new Goodyear Park won't be until February 21st, but that's not stopping Indians beat writer Paul Hoynes from getting excited about the Tribe's chances in aught-nine:
The Indians are loaded with lefties including (Cliff) Lee, Aaron Laffey, Jeremy Sowers, Scott Lewis, Zach Jackson and Dan Haren among the candidates for the starting rotation. Among lefty relievers scheduled to report are Perez, Rich Rundles, Tony Sipp and Ryan Edell.
Wow! The Indians picked up Dan Haren from the Diamondbacks in a trade so surprising, absolutely nobody in the entire baseballblogosphere picked up on it! I kid, of course. But really, there's nobody on the active roster or the list of non-roster invitees whose name could be easily mixed up with Danny Haren. Heck, maybe Hoynes is onto something that we don't know.
So congratulations to the early bird Indians for being the first squadron to force their pitchers and catchers to clock in. Your reward was a short, snarky blog post that pointed out your local beat reporter's snafus and foibles; for you other 29 teams, don't expect the same treatment since y'all pretty much show up tomorrow or Saturday.