“Honey we are planning on having a baby shower at the house on Saturday are you going to be around?” my wife asked.
Was this a trick question? When I hear the words “baby” and “shower” even remotely in the same sentence is makes my legs quiver and I get an uncontrollable urge to stuff disposable diapers in my ears to drown out the sound. I am pretty sure that if there is a baby shower planned at my house that will be the last place I will be around. “Oh darn, Saturday was the day I promised to drive to Salt River Fields to cover the Arizona Diamondbacks Spring Training workouts.” I said sounding as journalistic as I could.
Spring Training workouts? Oh man there is no way she is going to buy that. I can’t believe that was the best I could come up with. I quickly added, “You know it is the first day minor league camp and they will be doing PFPs and maybe LBP and there’s that prospect I have been dying to take a look at. It’s purely scientific. If there are injuries on the 25-man roster I’d like to know whether the WAR value on that outfielder is as drastic as the numbers suggest.” Oh yeah, that definitely sounded a lot more convincing. I looked up and my wife was staring at me.
“So basically you are going to drive 30 miles to go watch 2 guys who don’t even know you exist play catch.” Wow, that one cut pretty deep. “No I’m sure they know who I am, I have a Twitter account.” Yeah I didn’t even believe that last one.
She shook her head and walked away. I was not about to stick around and see if she bought my story or if she was going into the other room to retrieve the gigantic Honey-Do List Baby Shower Edition to have me sweep, mop, dust, or worse move my bobbleheads to the other room to make room for the shower. First off, the bobbleheads were here way before the mother-to-be and second, in the event that no one shows up to the shower they can at least arrange the bobbleheads in a circle to make it seem like it is a packed crowd.
I grabbed my camera, my Diamondbacks hat, and my car keys and ran for the door before my wife could get back. I set my phone on low vibrate just to give myself a little plausible deniability if she happened to call wondering where I went.
It was a beautiful day for a drive to Spring Training. Temperatures were in the low 70’s and there was not a cloud in the sky. By the time I arrived at Salt River Fields major league workouts were finished and the minor league players were not yet on the field. I wandered around and waited for the players to arrive. As I sat there on the bench I took a deep breath. Baseball was finally back. Sounds of lawn mowers were going in the distance and somewhere there was a lone player in the batting cage hitting off a tee. I was at peace knowing the off-season was now a thing of the past.
I watched as the minor league ballplayers made their way to the field and went through stretching drills before breaking up into several stations. I watch batting practice where Evan Frey stroked balls to the outfield wall. His swing looks good and he was keeping his head still during his swing. I then walked over and watched pitchers fielding practice (PFP) just in case my wife asked. Mark Grace was at first base working with the fielders during drills.
All-in-all I spent three peaceful hours wandering around the minor league fields watching the future of the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was the perfect day even if I did miss seeing grown women sitting around talking about how large another woman’s stomach was or what odd food cravings they each had during pregnancy. Baseball is not just a game; it’s the perfect alibi to getting out of a baby shower.