It’s a phrase that gets hauled out in the very purplest of purple prose to describe mild, temperate places, green little Edens for thin-blooded folk.
But for Sox fans?
Just at the moment, “eternal spring” describes spring training that would not end, the seemingly interminable wait for Baseball That Counts, a wait so long we’ve all long-since gnawed through our remote controls.
Oh, spring is a glorious time.
Spring, that season when appetizer-baseball rules the day: a nice starter, but it only leaves us hungrier.
Spring, when players are getting back into shape – and so are the scorekeepers. (When it takes the better part of a game for someone to notice it was Josh Bard, not Daniel Bard doing the catching, or when the scoreboards show the wrong counts about 40% of the time.)
Spring, when we cheer every little victory, because we might as well, and claim that each is a sign of things to come. And when, if a pitcher has a bad outing or a prized slugger struggles, “it’s just spring training. It doesn’t matter. Better to save it for the season.”
Yes, there’s a lot to be said for Spring, this fount of optimism, this training ground of patience for baseball addicts. . .
And that patience is getting put to the test. Just when anticipation reached its peak, the green “rain” zones on the weather maps loomed over New England like the Blob, huge, round, and definitely ominous. And the Blob won: the schedule reads "PPD."
But what’s one more day of waiting? What’s a little extra water for the Fenway grass? What’s one more day to ponder exactly which is the right pair of lucky socks to wear for the first real game?
What’s a little more time for Pedroia to hone his cribbage skills against Tito, and for Youk to get the new season’s beard just right? And how many years do we get to celebrate two Opening Days in a row? That’s a special treat, right?
Right?? You’re completely convinced by this, no?
But I’ve already gnawed through my remote. And I’ve worn a hole in my mouse pad, clicking on every Red Sox link, willing real baseball to happen. I fell asleep with my Sox hat on last night, and no doubt I'll do it again.
Yeah, there’s a lot to be said for spring training.
And there’s a lot to be said for the end of it. Bring on the sun, and the Rays!