The 5 Best Things About the Start of Spring Training
Spring training is awesome. Unofficial, non-authoritative lists of stuff are fun. Let's do this.
1. Your team is undefeated.
While this may seem obvious and even a little cheesy, you know it feels good that your favorite team -- whether it's last year's world champs or a perennial cellar dweller -- is sitting pretty right now, without a single official "L" on the books. Anybody who knows anything about math would laugh at you, but in some far corner of your mind, 162-0 is still possible (what if...?) for your boys. Who cares that this imaginary winning streak probably won't survive the first series of the year? For now, the dream is alive -- and sweet perfection is yours to savor.
2. Televised spring training games make perfect background noise.
Whether you're working, studying, eating, or napping, there's nothing like the calming sound of a meaningless spring training broadcast in the background. Spring training marks the return of that comfortable subconscious rhythm that baseball brings, the reassuring feeling that wherever you are, and whenever you need it, there's a ballgame on. Never mind the preponderance of "some dude" action (some dude delivers to some dude, who grounds out to some dude); year in and year out, spring training games continue to offer the world's most refreshing and rejuvenating source of white noise.
3. You and your friends can have your annual "We should totally take a spring training trip one of these years!" conversation.
Sure, we believe you. One of these years, you and all your pals are going to book some flights, pack the sunscreen, and spend a week in Florida or Arizona, doing nothing but soaking up rays and innings. Like true superfans, you won't miss a minute of BP, bullpens, or exhibitions -- and the baseball gods will of course reward this exceptional fandom with abundant good October karma. This year is tough, though. With work, class, and that other spring break trip, you all agree that the stars just aren't aligning. Just like you tell your squad: There's always next year.
4. Your mind is filled with warm-weather thoughts.
Those of you who live in places that enjoy year-round 75-and-sunny bliss, skip to #5. For the rest of us, spring training warms our hearts and minds while our hands, ears, and butts remain solidly frozen. As you catch more glimpses of green grass and cloudless skies, visions of grapefruits and cacti begin flitting about in your head. Suddenly, those snowbanks outside your window don't seem quite so depressing, and the brown slush that still fills your dugout doesn't look quite so formidable. Every year, without fail, the return of baseball arrives just in time to restore your waning faith in Mother Nature.
5. Opening day is finally within reach.
Remember running the timed mile in gym class? Unless you were born with the disposition of Steve Prefontaine, you probably hated it as much as we did. But there was something about rounding the turn and starting that fourth and final lap that was ever-so-slightly less terrible than the first 1200 meters. The moral is, we all get excited when the end is in sight. And if you can't get romantic about how opening day marks the official end of the cold and darkness, well, then you should probably find a different blog to read. (It's not personal, it's just baseball.)
Don't agree with our choices? That's awesome, because we love a good baseball discussion, so shoot us a tweet describing your favorite thing about spring training. (We're happy to chat -- or argue -- about other lists, too, of course, like the best burgers in St. Louis, or the best hotels for people who love yoga.)
The Buckler team