If you spend your time in productive ways, you might not have heard that pitchers and catchers are in Major League camps and “officially” begin workouts today.
Down Port Charlotte way, David Price, Today’s Game James, Kyle Farnsworth, Joel Peralta, Adam Russell, Chris Archer, Dirk Hayhurst, Matt Bush, Cory Wade, Cesar Cabral and R.J. Swindle will all twirl this morning starting at 10 a.m.
That means almost every pitching-related Spring Training storyline will be on display on day 1.
Can David Price carry the team as its best pitcher?
Will James Shields ever live up to Rich Herrera’s love?
Was Joel Peralta worth all the speculation about the quality of medical care in the Mexican league?
Is Adam Russell tall?
Will Dirk Hayhurst say something witty?
Will Matt Bush wear the Rick Vaughn Wild-Thing haircut after his stint pitching in the California Penal League?
And so on.
All the same, don’t take the day off and drive to Port Charlotte. I know we, as baseball fans, are supposed to be excited about Pitchers-and-Catchers but, in my experience, it is much ado about nothing.
It sort of reminds me of the tiger exhibit at the zoo. Yes, there are real live tigers you can see at close range. No, they aren’t doing anything but lying in the sun. Yes, you get excited when they move a little or – gasp – walk.
Pitcher bullpen sessions are just as boring. Six guys you vaguely recognize will throw all at once just outside your actual field of vision. They will throw mostly fastballs and work on their mechanics while only using 75-80% of their velocity (it will still look fast). After it, you will re-encourage you will try to convince yourself you were impressed by saying “I can’t believe how tall David Price really is in person.” Trust me on this one.
If you need a little fresh air, take your kids to the park. If you are dying to get an up close look at your heroes, wait until Fan Fest. If you want to see Major League baseball, save your trips down I-75 for Grapefruit League games.
I know you have waited a long time for baseball. We all have. But sit tight a little longer. If you jump the gun on this thing, you will only be disappointed. Trust me.
In the meantime, read these two great breakdowns of the Rays 2011 25-man and 2011 lineups from Rays Index and DRays Bay. I was going to write something similar but these guys killed it and saved me the time.