People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.
- Rogers Hornsby
Forget the groundhog. We all know spring really arrives on the day that pitchers and catchers report to spring training. That time has arrived and a young man's fancy turns not to love, but to whom will make the opening day roster of their favorite major league team. The one cliche that is true? Hope springs eternal. Yes, even Cubs fans think their team will make the World Series, even though they haven't since 1945. Soon, weekend afternoons will be spent in front of the radio listening to the first spring training games, not because they're so important, but because it's been 4+ months since the last time you heard the modern day equivalent of Tinker to Evers to Chance. But for now, the skies are still gray, the ground is still frozen, the grass is still sleeping, and the boys of summer are off in sunny Florida or Arizona fighting for the chance to step out on the diamond on opening day and live out the dreams of little boys all over the country.
So, for the next several weeks, we'll sit and watch. Will the rebuilt Red Sox staff be enough to win the pennant? Will a new star be born in Kevin Youkilis? Will Coco Crisp make Red Sox Nation forget about that rat bastard Johnny Damon? And of course, we have May 1 circled on the calendar, when the Evil Empire makes the first trip of the season to Fenway Park and we'll remember all over again just why we love baseball.