Monday, February 18, 2008

Spring Training Excitement is here

Spring Training Baseball, Can't you just smell it?

From your hotel window you can feel the excitement building. Spring training is a time when veterans stretch while rookies hustle. Equipment managers sort out the bats, the ball, the baseball gloves, the protective helmets, all of the gear you'll need to make that major league dream come true.

If you're like me, you've spent the winter listening to baseball talk on satellite radio and preparing your fantasy teams for the big draft. You bought your son a new glove to put under the Christmas tree and the two of you have been playing catch ever since.

Now that pitchers and catchers have reported for duty, perhaps you've been thinking about taking a vacation to Florida or Arizona to watch your favorite teams in action. You'll need to check the road atlas or perhaps the airport schedules, then rent a car, get a hotel, get tickets, and the thrill of baseball will be yours again.

Who are the players that will make a big splash this year? You’ll know before your buddies do. A trip to Spring Training will give you the insight that the other members of your fantasy league might never experience. Stay late into the seventh inning of a B squad game and you’ll know that the pitcher from AA just might have a shot at the starting rotation. Dazzle your friends with your inside knowledge of fastballs, sinkers, and whiffs all while enjoying the sunny weather and pleasant temperatures of Florida and Arizona in March.

You might even come back with some valuable autographs and stories of meeting famous athletes who are dining in the same Tucson or Kissimmee establishment as you are.

Baseball spring training is my favorite time of the year. I hope you’ll catch the excitement and I’ll see you standing next to me at batting practice this year scouting the prospects and analyzing the vets. Watch the thrill in your son’s (or daughter’s) eyes as the snag that foul ball or watch a coach yell at a famous player for not running out the ground ball. It’s a baseball education in itself.

So get out that ball and those gloves and get yourself ready to experience Spring Training excitement.

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