Spring training is by far one of the best times of the year. If any of you have ever had the privilege to attend a spring training game, you have probably walked away feeling better about the game of baseball than when you arrived.
There is just something special about spring training. Get to the park early in the morning, and watch the team go through their drills. Mingling with the players, coaches, and fellow fans.
After the big club is done with their morning practice, you can stroll to one of the other fields and catch one of the many minor league scrimmage game. If you are lucky, you can catch a Major League "B" game, where the big leaguers are there getting some extra work in.
Those games don't cost a cent to watch either. It's the closest you will get to a 95 mph fastball without wetting yourself.
A month and a half of just pure bliss. For the baseball fan, nothing matches it. It is a time when even fans of the Royals and Pirates, and yes, even us Padre fans, can look ahead and think, even for a moment, we have a chance.
Of course, when the game starts, reality sets in—it takes your team 12 hits to bang out four runs, and lose the game 12-4 when the bullpen, stocked with guys trying to make the team, show us why they really shouldn't.
But hey, it's only spring training right? Where the losses don't mean as much, and the wins, even if they are too few and too far between, still make the future look like October is a real possibility.
Why worry? The weather is great, "seats" on the lawn usually go for a few bucks, and the beers taste great when you're sitting on the grass in the warm sun.
Spring is almost over, and the real season begins soon. I suggest, for those who have not done it yet, get your butts out to Arizona or Florida. Better hurry before reality sets in, and your team is so far underwater that no stimulus package will be able to get them out.
It's a time where you can just go out, enjoy the game for what it's worth, and not have to look at the box scores or standings the next day to be reminded how bad it all is.
Hell, we all can't be the Yankees or Red Sox. The world needs ditch diggers too, and for those of us who are fans of the ditch diggers of MLB, spring training is the best time of the season.