Today is the day baseball fans have been waiting for since November. Pitchers and Catchers across the MLB have finally reported to Spring Training and the 2018 baseball season has officially begun!
If you’re new to the game, this concept can be a tad confusing. I mean, it’s not Opening Day and games haven’t even begun, right? Right. But that doesn’t mean baseball fans can’t get excited!
Seriously. This is just the beginning and part of the fun is hearing all the stories of what players have been doing during the offseason. Things like injecting yourself with bone growth medicine, not getting signed, or hitting a tire with a big hammer. I mean, what’s not to love about these stories!
The other things we get to witness are the new hats and warm-up uniforms the players will be wearing this spring. In this case, New Era has strayed away from their Diamond Era Batting Practice hats and have moved to a 100% Polyester material, the New Era 2018 MLB Spring Training Prolight 59FIFTY Cap. What does that mean? It’s like essentially GoreTex. It feels like a windbreaker for your head.
Along with the new design and material, New Era also brings out new logos color schemes. For example, check out the Colorado Rockies Spring Training look.
Another interesting thing to watch is how the Los Angeles Angels and Shohei Ohtani handle training camp. Normally, there are two separate groups during Spring Training, one for the hitters and the other for the pitchers. The reasoning behind Pitchers and Catchers coming early is to get work in sooner and to develop relationships between the staff.
You’ll see this as we move into Spring Training games, but Pitchers don’t last very long. You’re lucky to see a starting pitcher go more than four innings in Spring Training. Why is that? Well, for starters, the season is 162 games long. It’s a literal marathon, not a sprint. This is also one of the only times you will be able to have actual game environments to experiment with, without having to replicate them.
Does Pedro Strop struggle with righties when there’s a man on third? Can Greg Holland become a set-up guy? Can Shohei Ohtani pitch in the majors? These are the questions you can find answers to in Spring Training. Pitchers need development, they need watchful eyes. Ask any Mets fan if they wished someone was keeping tabs on their pitching staff and their development last season.
An oddity for this year’s Spring Training, the newly announced Free Agent Camps. That’s right. The MLB has seen such a lack of offseason signing that enough players to warrant their own separate training camp. That’s going to be an interesting site to see, especially since it’s more or less a free workout for any team interested. It also has a zoo like feeling attached to it, which as you can imagine isn’t good.
There’s also a Tim Lincecum Showcase happening this week. So things are already buckwild. #TheFreakness #WhatHappenedTimothy?
All of these things aside, what today means is that baseball is back in our lives. That cold breeze you felt on your face this morning? That’s baseball weather. That icy puddle you stepped in on the way to work? That’s a baseball puddle. The driver you screamed at for cutting you off this morning? That was a baseball scream, and you’re just trying to help them realize their potential this year. Baseball actually is all around us.
It’s here. It’s back. It doesn’t go away until next November.
How do I know this? One simple reason…
Pitchers and Catchers have reported to Spring Training.
Happy Baseball, Everyone!
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