I usually don’t need any help getting excited about the start of baseball season. Not only has baseball been easily my favorite sport since I was my daughter’s age (9) and started rooting like mad (perish the thought now) for the Yankees, but it also means one thing — with baseball comes the official arrival of spring.
Yes, I realize there’s such a thing as spring training, and shortly before I began writing this noticed my now-beloved Twins were scheduled to face the Red Sox Friday afternoon in their first outing of their 2014 Grapefruit League schedule. But, as much as I enjoy action on the diamond, I typically don’t get terribly excited about it until the games actually count in the standings — or, for a few fleeting hours — on the night of my fantasy baseball draft.
This year, though, I might actually watch or listen to a few spring training games. It will be interesting to hear how new and returning players — not to mention guys like Jason Kubel and Jason Bartlett, ex-Twins who have been brought back this year for another shot at glory with the team — shape up. Plus, simply knowing the games are being contested under sunny Florida skies just might warm me up a bit.
I don’t mean to be yet another Daily Globe blogger to talk about the weather — Erin Trester and Julie Buntjer have already done so recently — and I have attempted to not complain too much about consistently chilling temperatures that, after all, I can do absolutely nothing about. That doesn’t mean, however, I won’t be tempted to turn on a meaningless ballgame sometime in the next few days and daydream a little bit about being in the stands, watching the action unfold under a bright blue sky while Worthington outdoor temps struggle to overtake the zero-degree mark.
I know everyone in our house is eager for spring to arrive, though each likely for varying reasons. My wife, Becca, is simply ready for winter to be over, and seeing we have a new home this year is likely enthusiastic to get a new garden going. Grace is truly an outdoors girl, but even this winter hasn’t been outside nearly as much as cold seasons past (this may be a result of a combination of repeated sub-zero wind chill factors and her possession of a school-issued iPad). And Zachary, even though Joe Mauer is still probably the only Twin he can name, is eager to get on the field to play catch and hit.
Something tells me that as soon as it’s reasonably warm out and there isn’t too much snow left in the back yard, the Z-man and I will be having our own spring-training game. There will be tee-ball this summer, too, which he has occasionally discussed even through the winter, and I know for a fact he’s hoping for another season with both his dad and Nicholas Raymo (a much more qualified baseball coach than I) leading him and his teammates onto the Centennial Park fields.
Grace, for her part, will almost surely be craving bike rides around the lake again, which is more than all right by me. She always asks about camping, too, and it would be nice to make that happen more this year. Both her and Zachary have also talked about tennis, as well — one of many other warm-weather recreational options in store.
Now, we just need spring to arrive, and it can come any day. After all, with warm weather comes new opportunities — whether you’re talking about a professional baseball team, or a family with eager youngsters.