Every baseball fan knows the agony that is winter. With baseball ending in late October/early November, fans desparately search for anything related to baseball. Some closely follow team transactions that occur in the offseason. Some (like me) heavily follow the Baseball Hall of Fame debate/vote on who gets enshrined into Cooperstown. Others still resort to baseball in other countries such as the Australian Baseball League or the Carribean Winter Leagues. Sure, this is able to sustain us for a significant portion of the winter, but it’s not enough. We still crave that smell of the ballpark. we crave the sound of the crack of the bat or of a pitching thumping into the catcher’s mitt. We crave relaxing in the shady stands on a lazy Sunday afternoon while watching our favorite team (go Orioles!) take the field. We crave talking with our baseball friends and pals at the ballpark about some obscure player taking the field or reminiscing on some players we’ve seen in years past.
It’s still February and it may seem like spring/summer is far away. But to us baseball fans, spring is just beginning. Because today, we get to say/hear our favorite five words at this time of year and no, it’s not “Thank God Super Bowl’s over” (although I have to admit that the second half of this year’s Super Bowl was amazing). Today, we get to say the following:
Pitchers and catchers report today!
Now you may be thinking “Does that mean baseball season is starting?” Well, sort of. Typically baseball as we know it starts in early April. But players need time to refresh their baseball skills and build up stamina for the long season (remember they have been off since October). Teams therefore have “Spring Training” for their players where they can get back into baseball shape and get to catch up with former/new teammates. Historically spring training has taken place in Florida although most western teams now have spring training in Arizona. And who are the first people to report for spring training? Pitchers and catchers. Pitchers especially need time to develop pitching stanima for the season and catchers…well, someone needs to catch the pitchers while they train. It varies between the teams about when pitchers and catcher report, the Baltimore Orioles (again, my favorite team) have their pitchers/catchers report today.
- Sunday, Feb 12: Cleveland Indians, New York Mets, Tampa Bay Rays
- Monday, Feb 13: Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals
- Tuesday, Feb 14: Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers
- Wednesday, Feb 15: Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals
This is the one time of year all baseball fans can agree on something. Yes, something that even Red Sox & Yankees can agree on or Dodgers & Giants fans: baseball is back!
I want to thank you for taking the time to read this article. While my father will do most of the writing on the blog, I want to contribute as much as possible (school is the main thing that may get in the way). For the rest of this spring training, I am planning on writing up some general overview on the “projected” starting nine for the Baltimore Orioles as well as projected starting pitching and relief pitching. If I find myself with extra time, I may write up some overviews on other American League East teams and / or National League East teams.