The two weeks before pitchers and catchers report marks the worst period in a baseball fan’s life.
Think about it; almost every high-profile signing or blockbuster trade has already been made. The lame-yet-readable arbitration process has wrapped up. And any welcome winter distractions such as holidays or the NFL playoffs are long gone (the Winter Olympics don’t count, as they totally blow). From the beginning of February until that fateful day of camp reporting is like the December 20th of the Christmas season, the second-band soundcheck of a three-band concert, Thursday morning.
Making this terrible time ever more frustrating are the fluffy non-stories that baseball beat writers churn out. I don’t blame the writers, as there’s next-to-nothing to report, and — unlike me — real beat writers can’t just take six weeks off in favor of becoming a regular on the drunk karaoke circuit and training to best their personal beat-off records. Yet, it doesn’t make it any less of a cocktease to go online and see a new Brewers story — only to find a feature about Ryan Braun making the right decision to quit soccer and focus on baseball.
Yeah, it’s semi-interesting, mostly because Adam McCalvy can make even the most boring items readable, but I want some real news. Some insight to how players look at the plate, interviews, speculation on 25-man rosters. I get a story about soccer. A look around some of the other teams sites yields GRIPPING stories about:
â€¢ Kuroda feeling fine: Was he not during the 2009 playoffs? That was six months ago. I don’t remember.
â€¢ Phillies single game tickets on sale: Sweet!
â€¢ Jack Wilson and Jose Lopez are a DP combo: Most SS and 2B are.
â€¢ Francona ready to open camp: A great quality in a manager.
â€¢ Rays unveil new Sunday alternate jerseys: Light blue, you say? Holy shit!
… and so on.
I can’t tell you how happy I am that players are now reporting, and that every team will have at least something going on in its camp by the end of the weekend. Even the tired (and ever-alternating) storyline about Prince Fielder either losing or gaining back a shitload of weight will be a welcomed read for this fan.
Happy camping, all!