Spring Training: When The Melancholy Of Winter Starts To Turn Into Hope

Your team didn’t win last year. But hope is alive, at least for the next 60 days that your boys could win it all this year. Photo by David Dehetre

It’s been a long, hard winter for many people in this country for a variety of reasons including personal, professional, political, etc.

But after every winter comes spring.

Spring: It’s the rabbit in front of the greyhound that makes us keep trying even though we’ve got two animals crowding our space and some four-legged schnauzer keeps kicking sand in our snouts.

It’s also the time Major League Baseball spring training begins. I start counting the days roughly a month before pitchers and catchers report, “Hey, Paul! Twenty-two days ‘til pitchers and catchers report!”

Every year I find a little joy in knowing the sun is out somewhere and the grass is green and mowed, bats and gloves are back in their bags and their cubbies and players are testing whatever injuries nagged them through the fall.

I’m content to catch glimpses here and hear rumors there of some kid who’s got an arm or a retread who’s crushing the ball.

It’s not spring yet, but I know it’s near. The days are starting to lengthen and the temperatures are starting to warm.

And pretty soon, my team will have a fresh start, a new beginning, new hope. Maybe this year, my team will finally win it all.

I’ve never been to Arizona or Florida for spring training. I hope to someday. I hope to look at the bank balance and know there aren’t any emergency shark-fighting or break-dance-injury bills looming on a credit card somewhere that must be paid off. I hope to go with my friends and soak up the sun and some beers and enjoy whoever the hell happens to be playing that day.

Because, after awhile, getting kicked in the teeth and finishing fourth sucks.

After awhile, winter sucks.

Let’s play ball.

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