We made it! To opening day! That’s fantastic! But…what happened to the fields in Arizona? Florida?… What happens next?
Truth be told, I love Spring Training. Whether it’s in Florida, or in Arizona, for some reason, the excitement and anticipation just bleed through every pitch. From the veterans who’re just working on their swings, to 18 year-old rookies who are trying to make their dreams come true. It never disappoints. However there is one thing that bothers me. The fact that it just…stops.
The start of the regular season is great and fantastic, but I always feel unfulfilled, and almost abandoned. I understand that once ST wraps up, the bags are packed, and extended ST begins. So really, there is no end to it. Though I would appreciate some sort of “final game” or “final ceremony” to cap it all off.
I am not saying there needs to be a nationally syndicated program all about the final game like the closing ceremonies of the Olympics, but something would be nice.
The thing is, I highly doubt I am alone in this thought process. To me it was always confusing. There is so much lead up to the beginning of Spring Training, such as social media campaigns. But when it’s over, it’s almost like people just abandon the parks overnight. You’d think they’d want SOME sort of closure. Or maybe not.
Maybe it’s just better to move on, and not dwell about the warm weather of our past.
Well, it’s that time again. All the snowbirds head down to their choice of warm and sunny paradise – Florida or Arizona. Whether you are a fan of the humid, sticky swamps of the Florida lowlands, or the hot and dry sands of the Arizona desert, most people agree on one thing – Spring Training is fun to watch.
To some people, Spring Training seems like a “boring” adventure. Games where after the 5th inning, the players are people you have never even heard of, and probably won’t for a long time. However, if you’re a super-fan, this time of the year means something entirely different. It’s a time when summer is finally around the corner (the best time of the year) and the game we all love so much finally returns.
If you’re lucky enough to live near one of the ST hotspot areas, you’ve probably enjoyed a beautiful March game with a smaller crowd and lower gate prices. Relaxing, watching younger players try to make their way onto the field of the Majors. Something that has been their dream since they were a kid. Once the season starts, the crowds will commence, the prices will be raised, and you most likely won’t be on a sunny beach or desert. It’s also great to watch if you aren’t able to travel. Games that are nothing but slow paced entertainment that lets the mind, and the body, slow down for a few hours. This is party the reason Spring Training games have gained popularity in the past few years.
It’s not because the obsession of baseball is growing, but because people are beginning to appreciate the games more. Spring Training games are nothing but fun, and it almost makes it seem like you can play again (I have thought about this more than once), because you actually get to see people make mistakes.
Spring Training is also important, not just to the fan to watch some exhibition games in the sun, but for the players. Not just for the rookies, but for the veterans as well. It’s one of the few times you will get to see veterans make mistakes, and that can actually be nice to see…oddly. It makes the players seem human, and you can actually watch them work on things, something that really isn’t seen in other sports. As for the rookies, well, they make mistakes too… but that’s okay. These players, some which are as young at 18, get to play with players they only dreamed of playing with as a kid. Sometimes, in the 9th inning of these games, you get to see young kids come up to the plate, smiling ear to ear, as their dream of playing in the big leagues is finally drawing near. That, is something to see.
So enjoy it. Soon, the games will actually mean something, stats will be important again, and you will probably have to go back to a place that doesn’t have a beach. There’s nothing better than relaxing and watching a baseball game in the sun, and Spring Training is just that, and more.