My beloved sport, Baseball, is back again with Pitchers and Catchers reporting to Spring Training today. While, my favorite team, the Mariners, have little to zilch chance of being a competitive team, I’m still very excited for the upcoming season. I’ve been able to curb my addiction to baseball during the offseason with often visits to my favorite M’s blogs Lookout Landing and USS Mariner. But, after four and half months of watching other teams in the playoffs and chatter by fans on blogs about the team, it will be great to hear the crack of the bat and the pop of the glove again. This is one of the days I look forward to most during the year, it not only means baseball is back but winter will soon be over and summer isn’t far away. It will be interesting how some of the new players will do, whether the younger guys sink or swim, and whether the older guys still have another good year left in them. The new manager Don Wakamatsu gets his first chance at leading a team, what will he do as a coach to improve the team? New General Manager, Jack Zduriencik, has the task of taking a bloated, over priced, under performing team and turning it into a playoff team. His first steps towards that goal have been promising so far. Ichiro is still firmly entrenched as the face of the franchise, although Felix Hernandez could be on his heals for that honor in the next couple years, and Ken Griffey Jr will get plenty of attention from fans and media as the prodigal son returning home. The team is not going to be all that exciting offensively with the team now built more around speed and defense, not big home runs. On the pitching side, there are about eight starting pitchers for only five spots in the rotation, and the bullpen seems to be a random smattering(!) of guys competing for spots in Spring Training, the team hoping the cream will rise to the top. I fully expect this team to be 10-15 wins better this year from last years paltry 61 wins. And while that is still under .500, its much better than turning on a game expecting to lose every game. So everyone get ready for blue skies, fresh cut grass, and warm summer evenings of baseball because its just around the corner.
I’ll leave you with this, one of my favorite movie quotes. James Earl Jones in Field of Dreams