Today is March 1st and my disposition automatically improves on this day. According to my personal calendar, today is the first day of spring. Of course, living in Denver it is cold and there is snow on the ground. But at least we are done with February, the worst sports month.
Exhibition baseball games begin this week. Here are some things you'll be reading about.
When a team scores 12 runs in a game, the manager will say, "Well, the hitters are ahead of the pitchers at this time." The next day, when his club scores 1 run, that same manager will say, "Well, the pitchers are ahead of the hitters at this time."
Another thing to look for is when some young pup, wearing #93 and ticketed for AA, belts two homers in a spring game. The writers, desperate for something interesting to write, will tell us all we need to know about this prospect who is opening eyes. Well, that prospect will be sent to the minors next week never to be heard from again.
You can also count on an aged veteran, looking to hang on for one more year, proclaiming, "I'm in the best shape of my career."
The word "If" will be thrown around a lot, especially by crummy teams. "If our young guys come through and if we hit the ball like we are capable of and if we stay away from injuries and if we catch some breaks, we can surprise people." Of course this team (Pirates? Royals? Orioles? Padres?) won't have the young guys come through, won't hit the ball like they think they are capable of, won't stay away from injuries and won't get the breaks.
Back to March 1st. When I was at Spring Valley High in NY, practice always started on this date. Technically, it was the first day of tryouts. Our JV coach when I was a sophomore, Coach Sachs, would run us like crazy. I remember one guy (not his name) who ran a sprint and kept on going. He was weeded out the first day. I think that is what Mr. Sachs had in mind.