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Negley's Nook: Baseball springs back into ballparks


Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 09:02

It’s finally here.

The first crack of the bat. The first squish of the base and thump of a glove. An ump exclaiming “striiiiike.” 

It’s all here and it’s about time.

Spring is the season everyone looks forward to, whether it’s their favorite season or not. It means an escape from snow and roller coaster temperatures. Winter simply lasts way too long around here, even if you do like snowboarding, four-wheeling or building snowmen. 

Baseball screams spring and always makes its return earlier than we ever see spring bloom or the sun shining in New York. That’s fine by me. A four-month hiatus may be the shortest in the major sports, but it’s still way too long.

The major leaguers are finally back at work, even though their return to home stadiums is still a short while away. 

Brockport is back on the diamond, too (pg. 28). While I’m glad that’s the case, I don’t understand why we start so early since most of the early games are typically canceled. 

The return of baseball isn’t as fun when the games are consistently canned. Of course it’s also not as much fun when the major leaguers return to home stadiums that aren’t temporary homes in Florida or Arizona and those games are 40 degrees with blowing snow. 

Oh well, I’ll take what I can get. Don’t ruin the moment. 

Circling back to the moment at hand, it’s nice to kick back and watch your favorite players cozy up into their normal spots, both in the field and in the lineup. And to watch the new guys put it all out there to try and make a team and make a difference. 

I’m sure there are plenty of us out there who need someone to make a difference because last season simply didn’t cut it. Let’s go new guy, do your thing. 

One of the best parts about spring training is the dreams we all still hold, especially given the warm, sunny skies. Despite snow pounding down outside the windows, the shine of the sun onto an awaiting player at home plate makes it feel as though it’s July and our teams are still in the hunt. Again, for many that simply isn’t realistic. Ever. 

The hard part about spring training is remembering it’s just that: training. Wins and losses always matter, but at different times in varying degrees. Wins aren’t really that important in spring training because it’s more about the progress and the outlook.

I try to keep that in mind, but rarely does it work. It’s hard to pull back the anger or cheers when the lineup looks tight. Fans need to get back in mid-season form just as the players do. 

Either way you cut the ball, baseball is finally back, breathing spring air into our lungs after a long, odd winter.

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