Written by Billy Wichterman
Every March it begins. No, I’m not here covering “March Madness” when NCAA Basketball teams narrow down their field of 64 (+1) for the Tourney. Rather, March is also when baseball teams who’ve trained for weeks in Florida and Arizona begin to play head to head with other teams in their Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues, respectively.
Spring Training, like April stats, rarely ever give us any insight into a teams season-long success, or lack thereof. But hey… it’s baseball, and we’ve been without it since autumn. So it’s still exciting watching or at least listening; okay, so not many spring training games are broadcast, but at least they show us our boys are gearing up for the season.
From my perspective, here in Philadelphia, I’ve been just as excited every March. It’s the start of a new beginning, which during the late 1980s and mid to late 90s is all a Phillies fan could ask for. Nowadays, it’s maybe (haha) even more exciting going into the season. My favorite team, my sports blood (yes, we all bleed red, but I bleed Phillies red) is about to embark on their third consecutive NL East Division defense and back-to-back National League Championship defense. Only the 1990s division rival Atlanta Braves could claim anything near that in recent history.
Now, I’m not here to start comparing the Phillies of the new millennium to the Braves of 1990s. It’s senseless; times have changed and the power has shifted, not just in the division, but in the National League and entire MLB. So now that your blood is pumping Phillies red, let’s root for our boys to survive the month of March unscathed and safely get to Washington DC for the first pitch April 4, 2010 at 1:05 PM! That’s when every pitch begins to count.