Spring Training Game Eve

After weeks and months of pacing the floor during the off-season I have nearly worn a pathway in the living room carpet that is an exact replica of the dirt path between the pitcher’s mound and home plate at Chase Field.

I have been somewhat impatient waiting for the beginning of baseball. There are of course minor milestones to mark off on the calendar to try and get you through the darkest days of winter. The post-season helps. Even though your team may not have made the play-offs it is still baseball and any baseball is better than nothing at all.

Spring Training EveOnce the World Series ends most of the country goes baseball dormant. Fans in Arizona have it a little easier with the Arizona Fall League. The AFL gives you an opportunity to see the next generation of potential stars before the make their mark on the major leagues. That still will only get you into the middle of November at which point baseball is officially over unless you can somehow find your way to a Winter League game in some foreign country.

The General Manager’s and Winter Meetings give you a brief reprieve from the cold and snow that covers much of the country. While there is no actual baseball played there you at least get baseball news, which acts as a lifeline of sorts.

As the new year dawns we get the annual announcement of the Hall of Fame ballot which is good for a couple of weeks of debate as you try to understand how the writers could have somehow been so uninformed that your favorite candidate was passed over yet another year.

Finally February rolls around and pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. At long last we once again have baseball. Well, sort of. Fans can get excited for a few days watching players play catch with each other or even take batting practice but practice is just not the same.

So we now find ourselves at what would seem to be the longest day of the year – Spring Training Game Eve. This is the day before the official start of Cactus League and Grapefruit League games begin. You’ve watched just about as many pitchers’ fielding drills as you can stand.

For the next 24 hours you will look at the clock about every 30 seconds almost willing it to move faster so that you can finally walk through the turnstiles and find your seat along the third base line.

The sun will fill the stadium and as you put on yet another layer of sun screen you will wonder how those people not in Florida or Arizona can possibly be surviving the end of winter and not be at a ballgame.

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