The official start of spring – the Vernal Equinox – is not for another six weeks, but with pitchers and catchers reporting this week, that magical spring-like feeling is in the air. Our Southern California cold spell seems to have ended as residents are packing away their blue jeans and are dawning their Bermuda shorts once again. Spring Training is almost here, and baseball fans everywhere are beginning to feel the excitement.
We’ve weathered another round of Winter Meetings, watching a few lucky players sign contracts to earn an ungodly annual salary. We witnessed the high-stakes bidding to sign Masahiro Tanaka. And we Angels fans breathed a big sigh of relief as we watched Arte Moreno and Jerry Dipoto exercise some restraint in not signing any free agents to another megadeal.
For the baseball fan, February and March are a wonderful time of year. A time when grown men turn into giddy schoolboys again. They oil their baseball gloves, draft their fantasy teams, and buy sets of baseball cards. They make plans to go to the ballpark to take in a game, eat hot dogs and Crackerjack, and follow the game on their score sheets.
It’s a time of optimism and anticipation, before the reality of unfulfilled expectations can settle in. Will our team go all the way? Will they regain the dominance they once enjoyed? Will we still be watching our team play in October?
It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.