Friday, March 14, 2008

The Dog Days of Spring Training - T-Minus 16 days until opening day

We have all reached that point. The novelty of Spring Training baseball has worn off. Back in the closing days of February, hearing that YES Network Theme music and seeing that bright sunshine in Florida had us chomping at the bit for baseball of any kind - even meaningless exhibition games.

The reward for our excitement has been an eventful Spring Training thus far. We have all seen Andy Pettitte and his apology, the players have been running a lot more, we have heard some verbal jabs thrown at the former skipper, our boy Francisco Cervelli had his wrist broken by an overzealous Elliot Johnson, and the mascot Shelley Duncan incited a near brawl.

Here is a sobering thought - all of that excitement has occurred and there are still 16 days until opening day at the Stadium against the Blue Jays. You would think all of those things to talk about would have sped things along, but instead it seems to have slowed time.

For the first week of March, I was tuning in every day at 1PM to catch that day's game on MLB.TV. I wanted to catch a glimpse of the young guys like Austin Jackson, Jose Tabata, Mark Melancon, Alan Horne in action - a rarity during the regular season. Now those guys are in minor league camp. Now I couldn't care less about these meaningless games. I read the recaps and pray every day that nobody was hurt.

So, there are 16 more days until the real games begin. 16 painstakingly tedious days of tuning in to ESPN's Sportcenter and seeing the 10 second highlights of Spring Training games as seen from some crappy camera behind a net. 16 more days where skinny-Rod is leading the world in HR's instead of A-Rod.

17 days until the Bronx comes alive again and Tampa returns to being the home of the perennial AL East doormat.

A-Rod dreaming of Yankee Stadium

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