I hate winter. It's not just because it's cold, or because it seems the sun is never out long enough to do any good, but because there's just no A's baseball. Try as I might, the NBA's just not cutting it, not even when I got to see Lebron James take on the Big Three and the Celtics last night here in Boston. A's baseball, of any type, is better than the best the winter sports have to offer. But today! Today is the day!
After months of waiting for the baseball headlines to be more about kids getting a shot than about old cheaters getting multiple shots, we get to see the once again refreshed "new look" A's take the field in a real game against an opposing team. And taking the mound for the "new look" A's will be a familiar face: Joe "I'm still here" Blanton, who looks to get the year off to a friendly start against the Milwaukee "we switch leagues when we feel like it" Brewers.
It's often thought that a team's Spring Training records don't mean all that much, and while they certainly don't have much impact on a season's final standings, seeing a young team win in a year where many don't expect them to do all that much could be incredibly rewarding. The more jaded among us also are pleading, internally and externally, for an injury-free Spring. After a few seasons where we were more likely to see A's highlights on ER than on SportsCenter, we're looking for a cure to what ails us.
We're dreaming of what could happen if we saw a full year with a lineup that included Barton, Buck, Cust and Suzuki. We're dreaming of a rotation that includes healthy arms by the name of Harden and Duchscherer. We're eager to show that the A's "Rebuild Different", and that this season could be better than anybody ever anticipated. But more than anything, we're ready to realize the nightmarish months without open game threads here on AN are coming to an end.
I welcome 2008 Spring Training. Game time starts at 12:05 PST. Play Ball!