Monday, March 16, 2009
Hope For Baseball Fans
Purgatory for baseball fans is that no-man's land between the Superbowl and March 1. If you're anywhere above the 33 parallel it's probably grey and wet and cold just so you won't forget how much you miss baseball. The only thing on TV is figure skating and bowling.......which are fine sports......they're just not played on a grassy field with the sun shining and shouts of "Cold beer!" ringing in your ears.
So when March finally rolls around, Spring Training warms the hearts of baseball fans everywhere. In places like Tampa, Fort Myers, and Clearwater hope springs eternal.
Fans can watch their favorite teams in stadiums that hold 6,000 instead of 50,000. In the breezy atmosphere, people from New York, Texas, and Colorado form an instant bond in the stands as they talk about who got traded to which team and other fine points of the game.
The Boys of Summer are more playful and relaxed in the spring. They holler and gesture across the diamond to their friends in the other dugout about going to the beach or dinner that night. Jokes and big smiles are shared with teammates and officials as they catch up on news from the off season. There are hardened veterans and fresh-faced rookies pitching the ball around, stretching, and running sprints before the game and giving each other pointers during the it. Some are on their way out while new ones are anxious to move up to the rarefied air of the majors.
It all comes together in a perfect afternoon when the baseball fan can breathe easy knowing that the season is almost here.