Spring teasing


Every year, thousands of Major League Baseball fans, myself included, get a rush of excitement upon hearing that pitchers and catchers have reported to Spring Training. It signifies the start of yet another baseball season, but also serves as a way to plant ideas in the heads of fans that this is the year their favorite team will win the World Series. 2016 will be no different.

All 30 teams in the MLB have already sent portions of their roster to begin their season of work, and have turned everyday citizens into anxious fans counting down the days until the long awaited first series of the regular season.

Already, baseball supporters have taken to the Internet to share their way-too-early predictions for the upcoming season and bathe in the constant media stream that comes from Florida and Arizona during these early workout sessions.

Every year in late February we hear about Player X being in the “best shape of his life” or Player Y being poised for the breakout season that he’s been showing flashes of.

I am unashamedly part of this group that craves new information about potential sleeper teams and hidden gems that will take my fantasy baseball team to the promised land.

Spring Training is obviously fun for me because I can see my hometown Seattle Mariners take the field together for the first time in a given year, but also because it gives me the comfort that some sort of baseball activity will be happening across this country until October.

On the other side of that coin is the unsettling reality that the beginning of Spring Training is actually quite far away from Opening Day. For instance, the Padres ordered pitchers and catchers to report to the team’s camp in Peoria, AZ on Feb. 19 despite the fact that they won’t play their first game of the 2016 campaign until April 4.

With the MLB schedule already covering 162 games over the course of seven months, why add another 45 days of tedious workouts and drills?

If Spring Training was shortened, baseball fans could finally stop torturing themselves by believing that the mere arrival of the players to their team’s practice facilities means that the season is right around the corner. Because in truth, that corner is more like a long hallway with a series of annoying doors in the way.