Its 8:30 on Thursday night, and it’s snowing.
Before you check your local weather channel while muttering ‘how did I miss reports of a SoCal snowstorm???’ I’m not currently on the left coast. A business trip turned into a chance to remind myself how cool a snowstorm can be if you’re not stuck in it. And reaffirm why living in the desert isn’t such a bad thing.
It also served to remind me of a key reason why Spring Training continues to allure. It’s the chance to escape the last remnants of winter. It’s a reminder that actual spring is right around the corner, and right after that, summer.
It’s probably true, pitchers and catchers report meant more once upon a time. Back when St Louis boasted was the furthest south (and furthest west) franchise, every city that supported a team felt the hard edge of winter. No playing football on Christmas Day in board shorts and t-shirts there. People looked forward to spring training, reminding themselves that once long tossing started winter was truly almost over. Punxsutawney Phil would have better predictive success if he would shag the occasional grounder. Winter’s over! Grab a fungo bat.
Those of you who’ve endured a lot of snow this winter don’t need me to tell you how desirable a short vacation to Jupiter sounds. As I stare at my parked rental car that needs to be dug out, and realize bringing only tennis shoes to go with my dress shoes wasn’t the smartest decision I’ve ever made, I better understand where you are coming from.
The stories that will come out of Cardinals camp, and the intrigue, will come. What will the Opening Day rotation look like? Will Jhonny Peralta hit? How is Allen Craig’s foot? Will Oscar Taveras make the team? The beauty of it is, we don’t have to wait a month for the answers. Pitchers and Catchers have reported. Games start in less than 3 weeks. It’s baseball season, finally.