The beginning of spring training is all about hope and promise. Each team is in it for now. Arriving players look good and feel strong after a winter of rest and workouts. You hardly ever see reports of guys showing up weighing three bills with spaghetti sauce on their shirts. I, too, am filled with hope that the Braves can make 2011 a magical year, however a more prevalent emotion is stronger inside me right now: Hatred.
I hate the winter. February, the shortest month of the year feels like a whole season unto itself. Nothing against reading about what’s going on at the Disney Complex in Florida—Fredi’s first days in uniform as the new manager, Martin Prado and Chipper Jones looking healthy after late-season injuries and Kenshin Kawakami being “stuck” in Japan (I am thrilled about that one). With camp now open, I hate having to wait for spring games to start (and once they do I will hate that I have to wait for REAL games to start). It’s nice to be a spoiled American with nonsensical hatred and inconveniences.
I also hate the fact that the Phillies have added to a dynamite rotation, making Joe Blanton by far their weakest link in it. Good news is the Braves only have to face these guys 18 times in the regular season. Bad news is The Phils may go 144-0 in the rest of their games. They have had health issues in their lineup over the past few seasons, and though I don’t root for players to get injured (unless they are in my DL pool), I certainly won’t feel bad if they happen for HATED rivals.
I hate the fact that the Braves don’t travel to New York until the first week of June. I do also hate everything about Citi Field. I hate Mets fans. I hate the usher who removed my friends and me from Citi last season for wearing Mets Suck shirts (right after the Braves took a lead). (His name is Kevin Anderson and I wish I had his personal phone number to list.) I am willing to put all this hate aside to watch live Braves baseball. Wow, that was a lot of hate right there
I hate that Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche signed with the Nationals. It was a good news/bad news situation with Werth; he left the Phillies, but the Braves are still going to see him for 18 games this season. LaRoche is an all-around good guy and when he gets on a roll, you can’t get him out. I’d rather see them both in the AL. I would hate them less there.
I hate Tim McCarver and Joe Morgan.
I hate that Albert Pujols is acting like the greediest guy in the game. It is sickening that he would even consider leaving St. Louis after how he’s been treated there the past 10 years. That city worships Pujols. All you have to do is walk through the Busch Stadium concourse to see how beloved the guy is. It makes me thankful that Chipper (obviously not Pujols level) was never like that.
I hate Astroturf and the designated hitter.
Finally, I hate that during the season I take for granted how much I love baseball. There are 162 regular season games and in the dog days of summer, I can get complacent. There is a game almost every day so it becomes commonplace; normal.
It’s so true how you don’t realize how much you enjoy something until you don’t have it anymore. Missing a game in August seems almost meaningless, but on February 3rd, I’d give my arm to watch that game. Well, I guess I’d better be careful what body parts I offer-up after last season…
Well, until next time…Go Braves!