The End of Spring Training, the Beginning of a New Chapter

I have to tell you guys, I’m absolutely ecstatic for Opening Day. I can’t get it out of my mind, it’s all I ever want to talk about, and after an extended Spring Training– it’s about time. 

Not that the extended Spring Training was bad or anything. I’m glad that we had it. It gave guys like Dustin who maybe start off the season a bit slow extra time to get into their rhythm. Most importantly though, it gave my projects a little extra time to prove themselves. 
That sounds weird right? The most important aspect of Spring Training being the minor leaguers? Spring Training is a time to look at the guys that performed best in the minor leagues, and see if any of them could help your team. 
Jacoby Ellsbury running.jpg
We all already know what the guys from last year could do. We know that Ellsbury is the fastest guy out there, and we know that somehow Pedroia’s strike zone has no limits. We know that Tim Lincecum has the coolest windup in baseball, and we know that Jimmy Rollins will be dancing in the dugout. 
Daniel Bard.jpg
Tell us something we don’t know, or something that we didn’t expect. That’s what Spring Training is about. It’s about Daniel Bard’s 0.00 ERA, it’s about Clay Buchholz talking to John Smoltz and then feeling a new whirl of confidence. It’s about Chris Carter dragging coaches out to the backfield to work on his defense, and it’s about the future. 
That’s why I’m a little sad that it’s over. I’m going to miss talking to all the fans at the game, and waiting for two and a half hours in the rain just for some autographs. This year, I have become much more conscious of the minor leaguers. We both have something in common: we both dream of becoming a part of the Red Sox in the future. They will be playing for them, and I will be writing about them. 
After a while though, Spring Training does get a little tedious, but only because we’re so anxious for Opening Day! It’s kind of like what I’m feeling at school right now. Spring Break starts tomorrow, and let’s just say my brain left about a week ago. 
There is a certain type of excitement that you can detect when you talk about Opening Day with people. Everyone has a reason to be excited and nervous about their team. I know that on Opening Day that I want the Red Sox to beat the Rays, and that Rays Renegade wants just the opposite. 
But both of us share one thing in common: We want baseball back, and our thirst will finally be quenched. This upcoming Monday, our nation will be united, and baseball will be the unifier. 
Chapter 10 of Their Eyes Were Watching God ends with: “So she sat on the porch and watched the moon rise. Soon its amber fluid was drenching the earth, quenching the thirst of the day”. Janie, the main character of the book, is starting a new chapter in her life, and like her, we will be too. 
2009 is going to bring about some memories that we will be able to talk about forever. We will be watching history in the making… classic games in the making. Every game means something, but like I said last October, we have to focus on winning every inning before winning the game… every at-bat, and every pitch. 
It all counts. One little mistake, and the at-bat could change, the inning could change, and the game could change. Every game counts, and every game is a step on the road to October. 
The thing about baseball is that every team has an equal chance to win a game. That is to say, there is a perfect balance in baseball. I wrote about this in my research paper a little bit. Just think about the structure of it. 
As Professor Michael Novak pointed out, “Another two feet between them might settle the issue decisively between them”. Wouldn’t another two feet between the bases significantly impact the game? There may be statistics, but the structure of the game is inherently democratic. That is why it is America’s game. 
Even though some of America’s attempts at spreading democracy throughout the world may have failed, it has given another great gift to the world: baseball. 
As Walt Whitman put it, “Baseball relieves us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set… let us leave our close rooms, the game of ball is glorious”. 

19 Comments

Elizabeth – I can not wait for it all to begin! The ending of spring training is always a little sad – the guys we’ve been watching have either been sent back to the minors or they been sent elsewhere. I will be down by Fenway on Sunday – outside only :-( – but I’ll take some pictures!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Elizabeth, that was a great post. I got chills down my spine thinking of the power of baseball and how great our anticipation is for Opening Day, no matter which team we root for. Enjoy spring break. You earned it!

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Julia: Definitely do take some pics! Can’t wait to see them!
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Jane: Baseball is so powerful… it has such a deeper meaning than simply a game.

Great blog! Love how you pull in the lit stuff. With opening day almost here, who are your picks in the various divisions? Projected starting lineup for the Bosox? How deep is our bullpen (really)? Will it be the Sox and the Rays again in October? Is Wakefield still effective (and was he in spring training)? If the old Yankee Stadium is history, is Fenway next? (God I hope not!). Sounds like you need your break, enjoy!

I have been staring at my Opening Night tickets for weeks now! SOOOOOO anxious to get going already! Loved the “perfect balance” reference! That is exactly how I will feel on Sunday :O)

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

Really good post :) I enjoyed reading it.

http://loveebaseball02.mlblogs.com/

Really good post :) I enjoyed reading it.

http://loveebaseball02.mlblogs.com/

Being well-read will take you far, Elizabeth. Keep it up!
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

Jacobyluvr: I’ll definitely address this in my next post… get ready for a big season preview :)!
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Jenn: I am so jealous that you’re going to Opening Day. I know that you will love it :)
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Sarah: Thanks! I’m glad that you enjoyed it!
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Jeff: Will do!

I don’t know if your a big fan, so I don’t want to knock the guy that bad. But I really don’t like Jacoby Ellsbury above most Red Sox. I respect you as a writer and you have a great blog, so I don’t want to trash a player on your team that much!

The picture you have posted there, makes me think about why I don’t like him. He always sticks his tongue out! Firstly, it is disgusting, and secondly ‘who does he think he is?’ Michael Jordan? Hardly, Ellsbury strikes me as just very over-confident player.

I remember he blew a little kiss at Roy Halladay in a game. It was 3-1 count and Ellsbury knew he had Halladay’s number. They didn’t make anything of it, but I swear I Ellsbury blow Halladay a fake kiss before the pitch. The next thing you know, Ellsbury doubled into the gap!

That alone, is reason enough for me to hate him, doing that to my favorite player. Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest seeing that picture. I hope he is not one of your favorites?

You can come to my blog and trash a Jays player, if you want?
http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

I think you just captured the excitement of Opening Day perfectly, Elizabeth. The offseason is just way too long. Well, for us fans, anyway. I’m sure the players feel otherwise!-Erinhttp://plunking-gomez.mlblogs.com

Almost here, almost here. Unlike Jenn above (ooh, I am so jealous right now) I will be watching on TV. There will be substantive baseball in the newspaper finally! Baseball highlights on Sports Center (instead of all those basketball and hockey plays, which frankly, all look alike to me)! The season begins anew!
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

Chris Carter-I think he’s that prospect who blew me away yesterday. He’s got great hustle. If you guys still want Miguel Montero, can we get him in exchange? :)
http://imbringingdiamondback.mlblogs.com

That was an excellent entry, Elizabeth! I can’t wait for baseball to start!
http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

Elizabeth, you are becoming quite a good writer. Keep up the excellent posts. I love reading your blog!

Steve T.
http://soxblog.mlblogs.com

You never know when those rookies might get the call up to the bigs too, so it is always good to pay attention :O) Nice blog :O)

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

Homer: Jacoby is one of my favorites! How could you?? Just kidding. I don’t think he would blow a kiss at Halladay, I mean A-Rod is the kind of guy who would do that… but I’ll keep my eye on Jacoby :).
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Erin: Yeah, especially the players who were in the WBC. Oh and Manny too.
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Caroline: We’ve figured out our catching for this year at least… and I’m pretty content with Carter :)
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Kaybee: Me neither!!
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Steve: Thank you so much, that means a lot!
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Jenn: Thanks… and I love watchin ‘em!

I think Ellsbury will have a big year. Same with Big Papi. I think the Sox are going to the playoffs again this year. They do have some serious competition though.
http://darion.mlblogs.com/

Hey, what’s up! I am commenting to invite you to a contest I am starting for the 2009 MLB season. It’s going to be a pick ‘em contest. Every Friday all us bloggers who are competing will make our picks for the slate of MLB games, and we’ll keep running totals and see who comes out on top. Should be fun, it’s only once a week so it shouldn’t be hard to keep up, let me know if you’re interested!

http://eatsleepmlb.mlblogs.com

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