Happy Pitchers and Catchers Day!
The day has finally come: pitcher’s and catchers report today, along with a smattering of other position players reporting early. The long wait for the beginning of baseball season is over, and now we can start overhyping Spring Training in anticipation of Opening Day, which is a mere month and a half away.
It’s hard not to be excited about today, even if it technically doesn’t mean much. Spring Training games don’t start until March, but blogs like Giants Jottings keep us updated on the daily happenings in Arizona. The guy who runs the site does a fantastic job, posting full size photos of players in camp, while writing about news from camp. It’s basically the equivalent of checking MLB Trade Rumors every five minutes during the Winter Meetings, only so much more fulfilling.
With baseball set to begin, the obligatory preseason predictions are imminent. Jonathan Sanchez is rumored to have put on twelve pounds of muscle, while Travis Ishikawa could be out for as long as three months after “slipping while descending a staircase.” Freddy Sanchez’ rehab is ahead of schedule, with estimates having him back in the lineup anytime between Opening Day and June.
Now if Ishikawa is indeed out for as long as predicted, that could possibly open up a practically guaranteed roster spot for Buster Posey, who is supposed to be learning first base anyways. It’s hard to root for someone to stay injured, especially someone like Travis Ishikawa, but this does give Posey the chance to possibly get some playing time. This is of course taking into account the vendetta Bruce Bochy seems to have against the young catcher that limited him to just a handful of at-bats last September.
But I digress. Today is supposed to be a happy day, full of joy and anticipation. Baseball-related activities resume after a long 5-6 months of rosterbation and Giants withdrawal. It’s hard to judge how this team will do next year namely because the roster is full of questions more than answers. Can Mark DeRosa avoid regression into his mid-30’s? Can Aubrey Huff bounce back after a miserable 2009 campaign? Is there any chance at all that Buster Posey will be allowed to catch this season? And for the love of God, will somebody not named Pablo Sandoval please put up an OBP over .340?
Soon these questions will be answered. In a few short weeks, Spring Training games will commence, and baseball junkies everywhere will be able to get their daily fix without having to watch Bull Durham on repeat. These opening months of the baseball season embody everything we love about the sport: the building suspense, the excitement of a season full of possibilities, and the heart-wrenching pain of the reality that good things seldom happen to the Giants. Welcome to baseball season everyone–I hope you’re ready for a long year.