Pitchers and Catchers
Yesterday, Valentine’s Day, it snowed for the first time in Fairfield. We didn’t get much accumulation, to be honest, but it was nice unexpectedly staying home with Deb.
Still, despite the whistling wind and white-covered grounds, our attentions were turned to a sure sign of approaching spring.
This week pitchers and catchers report. Today, the Mets camp officially opened and, more assuredly than Punxsutawney Phil, we know Spring is around the corner. In less than two weeks, the first Spring Training Games begin a promise of renewal and the National Pastime’s endurance.
For every player and every team, the slate is wiped clean, previous sins forgiven, and all hope for the best. Like the best religious rituals that promise a new, unbesmirched beginning, baseball delivers on that promise.
It gladdens the heart and makes one yearn to be in the stands, scoring a game, chomping on a hot dog. Ah, bliss.
For my beloved Mets, the new beginning comes with many question marks and leaves me more than a little concerned. Like the beat reporters, bloggers and general public, I question who will be in the rotation and if the bullpen is sturdy enough. Will Jose Valentin be able to repeat last year’s brilliance? Can Shawn Green show flashes of power now that he has adjusted to New York? Is Moises Alou at 40 really an upgrade in left? Will any rookie make the roster?
Of course, that’s what Spring Training allows the fans, a chance to ruminate and speculate. Handicapping the division and the league preoccupies our thoughts. And in my case, I continue to scout to figure out a game plan for my Fantasy baseball league’s March 31 auction.
I can’t wait.