Even though we’ve been getting “reports from the Fort” all week (including sound bites from and cell phone photos of, well, pitchers and catchers) today is the official reporting day for pitchers and catchers. Baseball is finally here! Sort of.
Spring Training is an odd time for me as a fan. I love seeing all the guys show up and ready to work and I enjoy finding out about the new kids on the block and getting an idea of what we’re going to see in Pawtucket and Portland and Lowell. But I always find it difficult to get truly amped up over Spring Training games – admittedly I think I enjoyed NESN’s coverage of the workouts more than I did some of the games. I just prefer the games to have genuine meaning once they’re over. So as much as I’m thrilled, and I am truly thrilled, that Spring Training is finally upon us, I’m really still just counting the days until April 4th.
Doesn’t mean I won’t be enjoying all the local media has to offer in regard to coverage, though. Right now, I have to tip my hat to Peter Abraham over at boston.com (I know. No one is more surprised than I am that I’m sending you all over there!). His updates on the Extra Bases blog have been interesting, peppered with photos, and pretty much snark-free. He’s been a joy to read this week. I hope it lasts.
This week we’ve learned that Clay Buchholz has put on weight, we got the annual “Josh Beckett has a belly” photo (notices the asses at boston.com use the word “gut” to name that file) along with our first look at some of Boof Bonser’s tattoos. It was reiterated that Tim Wakefield plans to be a starter and Terry Francona is already planning on how to handle the old guys (in Lowell and Wakefield) who probably won’t be as useful to him as they once were. We also found out that Daniel Bard wants to be the closer some day and that the geniuses in New York took this to mean that Jonathan Papelbon will be pitching in pinstripes soon. We also learned that Cinco Ocho obsessed on how the Sox left the playoffs in 2009 as much as any fan did. It’s only February 18th and we’re already gearing up for drama all through Spring Training.
To get you in the mood, NESN is airing 3 games from the 2009 season today from 1pm-7pm leading into their 7 o’clock Spring Training coverage. We get the April 24th, walk-off win against the Yankees (probably the best game I attended all season, which is telling in regard to the season, huh?) at 1pm. At 3pm they’re showing the Nick Green walk-off game against the Braves from June 21st and then at 5pm it’s the August 14th game against the Rangers where Clay Buchholz got thrown out at home but a six run ninth inning helped us forget that. Three games that were nail-biting, head-banging, breaking things around the house exciting. Enjoy them while you can watch games that we know the outcome ahead of time! Soon we’ll be biting our nails again for real.