All posts tagged: Spring Training

The Best Words of Winter

  Pitchers and catchers report today. With those words, the end of winter is in sight.  SpringTrainingCountdown.com no longer has a daily tracker at the top of its site.  The baseball writers climb out of their caves.  Play ball, indeed! More to come… DJB

Hope and Redemption

This Wednesday features a coming together of events that cannot be a coincidence.  For those who believe in romance, the 14th of February is, of course, Valentine’s Day.  On the same day, Christian believers — especially of the liturgical persuasion — will observe Ash Wednesday, the first day of the penitential season of Lent leading up to Easter.  And for those like Annie Savoy* and me who worship at the Church of Baseball, February 14th is when, as spring training begins, we hear those magical words “pitchers and catchers report” that take ever-optimistic fans into flights of fancy about the prospects for their favorite team. I’m going with the thought that this particular February 14th is a harmonic convergence of Hope and Redemption.** I was thinking of those two themes and how much impact they can have on our lives as I’ve been reading  Ron Chernow’s new biography of Ulysses S. Grant.  Chernow is one of the few historians who, through deep scholarship and powerful writing, can drive the country toward a full reappraisal of …

My Own Personal Spring Training

As I post this, the clock on Spring Training Countdown (motto:  Winter Bad. Baseball Good.) reads:  4 days, 7 hours, 37 minutes, 7 seconds.  It is clear I don’t have much time to get in shape for the season! My own personal spring training generally consists of reading a new baseball book and re-watching Bull Durham (best baseball movie ever).  However, our tape/CD player is broken (I know, we’re old school), and so I had to improvise and instead read two baseball books.  It is tough duty, but sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to get into shape. I began with 2015’s Big Data Baseball: Math, Miracles, and the End of a 20-year Losing Streak by Pittsburgh writer Travis Sawchik. This is a terrific book about how the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates, stumbling along in a 20-year losing streak (remember Sid Bream and Barry Bonds and Skip Carey’s classic 1992 “They may have to hospitalize Sid Bream” call) turned around their fortune as a baseball club.  The Pirates did it using big-data …

Pitchers and Catchers Report in 14 Days

On the weekend of the Super Hype Bowl, the Washington Nationals web site notes that we’re 14 Days and 13 Hours (as of this posting) until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  To celebrate, let’s check out question #1413 from Obsessed With Baseball. Which one of these Hall of Fame pitchers did NOT reach 300 career wins? A.  Mickey Welch  B.  Early Wynn  C. Robin Roberts  D. Kid Nichols And the answer is….C.  Robin Roberts Spring is around the corner. More to come… DJB