You're criticizing my rose colored glasses, are you? Joke's on you, buddy, because I picked them out carefully and I love the look. That's right, I want to get giddy over nothing, see possibilities where others just see workouts, cherry pick results to find great meaning only where it's convenient. It's that most wonderful time of the year called spring training.
Show me a sweet swing, be it from Rangel Ravelo or Joey Wendle, and I'll show you someone who might be the best prospect you had never heard of before he suddenly became a member of the green and gold. Billy Beane is pure genius until one of them makes an out!
Pat Venditte might be the A's two best relievers, what a story! What, he's only thrown bullpen sessions 1 and 3? No matter. The guy has literally gone 5 months since he gave up his last run.
This time of year I want to ponder how quickly Kendall Graveman's new cutter shot him up through the minor leagues and how he combines Jesse Chavez's cutter and control with Trevor Cahill's sinker and Tommy Milone's health. Süperpitcher will saw off yer bat and send ye to yer grave, man!
Barry Zito has gone back to the old over-the-top mechanics he used when he starred for Oakland and I have a gif to prove it! Correlation being causation, at least in February and only when it's convenient, really the only question that remains is whether Zito will get one start in the ALDS (like he did, strangely, in his 2002 Cy Young season when he went 23-5) or two.
When an Eric Sogard or Billy Burns electrifies the Cactus League with an other-worldly showing, I don't want to remember Todd Linden or ... well ... Eric Sogard and Billy Burns. I have 6 months to think of them as they really are. Right now I just want to feel the electricity because it's hard to hit .500 even in the Cactus League and even the wind gets out of breath trying to keep up with Billy Burns.
The point is: the stories, the hope and promise, the unexpected performances, the adjustments designed to enable players to turn corners? 96% of it will vanish in the desert air, but oh that 4%. That one player whose bullpen session isn't a mirage because his stuff really is different, that one hitter who finds the ball jumping off his new bat, that young player who is the talk of camp because he really is the real deal. I want to dive into spring training believing 100% of it and know that some of it -- well a sliver of it anyway -- might actually come to pass.
"Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise."
I don't think it's naive at all to dive head first into the shallow pool that is the mirage of spring training. Sure, for the players it's mostly about getting work in and preparing for the regular season. But for the fans, as well as for some of the players, spring training is all about rejuvenation, about hope, about the quest to be "the story" and about the limitless potential of a season that is still entirely in front of us all. It's what being a fan is all about and while reality will intrude throughout the regular season, reality is powerless right now against the one foe it has never been equipped to conquer: Dawn.