Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Best Thing About Spring Training

Spring Training represents many things.  It is the literal beginning of a new year of baseball but it is really so much more.

Spring Training represents hope.

It is the hope that your favorite team will be better this year.  It is the hope that your favorite player will finally prove they are as good as you've always thought.  It is the hope the maybe this season will be special.  Every World Series champion has to start somewhere.  The team has to bond and become that succeeds through whatever adversity the season may bring.  The 50+ players that arrive in camp will go through workouts.  The pitchers will all throw seemingly "successful" bullpen sessions and the hitters will claim to have fixed any holes in their swings.  The games will start and players with unfamiliar names and numbers reaching the 90s will get a chance to play.  As the size of big league camp shrinks the names sound more regular, although there are still a few unrecognizable names mixed in.  Shortly the exhibition games become boring and there is no way to know if your team scoring seven runs a game is actually going to be a regular occurrence during the season or if the other team's pitchers are actually minor leaguers. Before you know it there are only 25 names left.  The one or two previously confusing names are now familiar.  This is okay because these players made the team by proving they were good enough.  There is no reason to believe they won't be good enough for the rest of the year.

And through it all there is the hope that this Spring Training means something.  The hope that those no-names will soon be recognized by the rest of the league.  The hope that the hard work of the rest of the team will be rewarded.

This year the Mets have already been given plenty of reasons to lose hope for the year.  Lucky for the Mets, management is not who actually goes out and plays the game.  The players are there no matter who owns the team.  Baseball will be played and that in itself is a reason to have hope.

Let's Go Mets!

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