On Signs of Spring

Today’s a little dreary in Baltimore. It’s overcast. It’s a little chilly. The air feels like snow. I want spring. I want it now.

Fortunately for me, the first signs of spring have arrived.

Spring training games began yesterday. And in the game that mattered to me, the Cubs :cubs: triumphed over the Dodgers at HoHoKam Park, 5-3.

Baseball!

Earlier this week, I took a look at the Washington Nationals’ schedule, to see when the Cubs would be playing in the nation’s capital. The weekend after Shore Leave, in mid-July. And like last year, tickets for the Cubs series at Nationals Park are classed as “Premium Games,” meaning they’re more expensive than the norm. :/

Such is life.

I’ve wondered if work will be offering free Orioles tickets this year. I’d love to see the Indians when they’re in town at Camden Yards, on the chance that Kerry Wood would be pitching for the Tribe. I’ve no fondness for the Indians — EB Games offered to move me to Cleveland back in 2002, and I couldn’t think of anything appealing about the move, going so far as to denigrate the Indians — but it would be fun to see Woody in person taking the pitchers mound to put the Orioles away. Woody may not be a Cub anymore, but deep down he bleeds Cubbie.

The Orioles themselves have a bevy of ex-Cubs this year. Felix Pie in the outfield, Rich Hill pitching. I’m curious to see if Hill can get his head together and get his career train back on the track. Here’s hoping.

I’ve decided I’m going to follow the Nats this year.

Oh, they’re going to be terrible, there’s no way around that. Like the Toronto Blue Jays, they have the misfortune of playing in a really tough division. (Unlike the Toronto Blue Jays, however, the Nationals are not likely to be good. But it doesn’t help the Nats that they will be the whipping boys for the Mets, the Phillies, and the Braves on a regular basis.)

But I’ll be reading Federal Baseball every day, to suffer every sling and arrow.

See, here’s how my thought process went. European football fans have a “big” team they support like Arsenal or Liverpool or Man U that may be far away and that they’ll never, ever see. (Okay, a lot like American football fans, then). But then they have some local team, who may be so abysmally bad they’ll never see daylight, that they root for as their “other” team.

This season, then, the Nationals are my “project” team. They will never, ever eclipse the Cubs :cubs: in my heart, but I’ll pull for them all the same.

Baseball is here. Spring training games have started. Like the flowering of spring, hope springs.

Baseball!

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