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Spring Hopes Eternal

Disclaimer: I have about 3 minutes and 12 seconds to write today, so I'm not going for "ZOMG, what a post!" Just some observations you can use as a springboard for discussion, or find a way to turn into meta:

* I love the optimism that goes with late February. So far, Daric Barton has added muscle and should be good for 25 HRs to go with his usual .390 OBP, Conor Jackson has gained back the 20 pounds Valley Fever stole and should be ready to OBP .360 in 150 games, Brandon McCarthy should be the ace by year's end as he is throwing hard and wowing his catchers -- almost as much as Josh Outman who is wowing them almost as much as Fautino De Los Santos -- and Coco Crisp has already predicted that Trevor Cahill will outperform Tim Lincecum in every conceivable stat.

So I have us down for 121 wins.

* Meanwhile, some actually good news you might actually want to get excited about. Sean Doolittle has been cleared for all baseball activities, after being seriously injured (knee) and then forgotten and not discussed seemingly forever. Doolittle was once a heartbeat away from the big leagues, with scouts suggesting he was ready to make an impact at the big league level now...And then his knee went boom, splat, pop.

Given the state of the A's farm system, a healthy Doolittle and a fully recovered De Los Santos could go a long way to restoring some hope and respectability to the farm. Let's hope that these are two guys where the eternal hope of spring is well founded.

What are you legitimately excited about so far, and what do you think is just absurd February hype?