Just as spring (the season) is getting underway up north, spring (the training) is coming to an end down south. Our favorite baseball teams (and the Rockies) are starting to leave Florida and Arizona, rosters are being finalized, (even Andruw Jones got a job!) and players and fans alike couldn't be happier. Spring training was really long this year, y'all!
This past week, you could palpably sense players muttering under their breath, "don't get hurt, don't get hurt". Ryan Braun must have shit his pants when he thought he broke his thumb this week. No worries, it was only a bruise, but Braun, who also suffered a repeat occurrence of intercostal tightness, is just glad to get out of Arizona alive. All the cows who gave their lives to feed In 'N' Out burgers to the beat writers weren't so lucky.
Then you've got other players and pitchers who, like Braun, spent a couple weeks futzing around with the World Baseball Classic. Think Baltimore pitcher Jeremy Guthrie who only threw 3 and 2/3 innings for the United States yet allowed fourteen hits and ten runs. He went back to Florida, head hanging in shame to his Orioles teammates, where he has proceeded to throw 15 more innings of batting practice. Guthrie has started 4 games and has a 1-2 record with a 10.57 ERA, allowing 31 baserunners and three ding-dongs. Is he hurt? Did the WBC stress him out? Or is he the sort of pitcher who needs to open his Easter basket before he gets his shit in gear? These are the questions that spring just can't answer.
For fans, though, we're just happy to pull ourselves out of our winter malaise. Football is long done, college hoops is coming to its finale, and DEA: Newark ended on Tuesday night. Face it: television sucks now and other sports are snoozy. Give me some competitive baseball already!
But it's coming. It's almost here. Within four days, you're going to be Ted the Baseball Freak and even the most meaningless at-bat by scrubs like Nick Punto are going to make you crazy. By Sunday night when you rejoin us for a Phillies-Braves semi-glog, all of those wintertime dalliances with semi-competitiveness will be long gone from your memory banks. It's time to start hating
(I have taken the liberty of borrowing that photo from Flickr user shoothead)