As the mid-January chill sets in for much of the country, a certain dread comes over many sports fans. Professional football is winding down, and unless you are a fan of one of the teams heading to the Super Bowl it is unlikely you are being consumed with the hype before the game. College football is over. Hockey has just begun, so only the true diehard fans have really tuned into the games. Professional basketball is closing in on the midseason mark, but again only the diehard fans are tuning in with regularity. College basketball has not started its tournament season. These can be some long, dark days for sports fans.
Don’t despair; there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. That hope is baseball, glorious baseball. The American pastime is beginning to awaken from its winter slumber and return to the diamond.
The quest for the 2013 World Series begins on February 10th with pitchers and catchers of the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, and Boston Red Sox reporting to their Spring Training facilities. All Major League teams will have their pitchers and catchers at Spring Training by February 12th. Position players will begin reporting on February 13th for the Red Sox and Indians. Position players for the remaining teams will report by the 17th. Just hang on a little longer; Spring Training games are so close.
The first Spring Training game is on February 21st at 1:35 pm ET (for those of you who can’t wait an extra second) as the Red Sox will face the Northeastern University Huskies in Fort Myers. The next day is when Spring Training games begin in earnest in both the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues. The Grapefruit League will kick off the Spring Training action in Florida as the Atlanta Braves host defending American League Champion Detroit Tigers at Disney World. The Cactus League will kick off Spring Training in Arizona with a tripleheader as the Cincinnati Red visit the Cleveland Indians, the Seattle Mariners host the San Diego Padres, and the Texas Rangers host the Kansas City Royals.
Hold on just a little longer baseball fans, spring is just around the corner. The weather outside might be cold and gloomy but the sunshine and warm of spring and summer are not that far off. The return of baseball marks the beginning of the end for Old Man Winter.