THINGS THAT HAVE ME EXCITED ABOUT SPRING
1. Spring Training
I have to be honest. Spring Training has never really done it for me. It’s so far away, and we don’t get many Cubs games down on the bayou. But last week I read a column by Smiley Anders in Baton Rouge’s Advocate that really got my blood pumping. It was about the Cubs, LSU, and crawfish – the three things that may be my very favorite in the world.
Apparently Dusty Baker and some Baton Rougeans with the team contacted Charlie D’Agostino, an LSU administrator, for help with getting crawfish, shrimp, and gumbo to the spring training clubhouse in Mesa, AZ. Dusty said he wanted to keep his Louisiana players happy. There are currently three LSU players up with the team – Todd Walker, Mike Fontenot, and Ryan Theriot. I’m with you guys – there’s nothing better than the start of crawfish season…except maybe the start of baseball season.
Anyway, Smiley’s column was cute. He talked about the fact that the Astros and Braves get a lot of Louisiana fans because of their proximity, but that there are at least as many Cubs fans in the area. When I wrote about being a Cub fan in Louisiana, I was flooded by responses from others all over the state that claimed the same passion for a team so far away. I see more Cubs hats than any others all over town – the mall, the grocery store, campus. But Smiley was right. Around here a lot of people pass up big league teams for the local Tiger team.
I guess spring training fever has caught up with me. I just watched a few innings of a Mets/Indians game at lunch. I love to catch a game during my lunch break. The lunch of choice: hot dogs, of course.
2. World Baseball Classic
I started off feeling the same about the WBC as I have about spring trainings past. But I’m starting to buy into the hype. I even caught myself watching China and Chinese Taipei the other night. Everyday makes me a little more excited about the U.S., Venezuela, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. I even look forward to seeing how Italy plays. Of course, watching the Cubs in it will be fun too, as long as they don’t get hurt.
3. The Trip
I just booked a trip to Chicago for ten days in April. I’ll be there for opening weekend at Wrigley, which just happens to include my birthday. It seems that I will be at three games during my time in town. If the excitement around Wrigley during a September game is any indication, there should be an unimaginable amount of energy in the air. I somehow managed to win a trip to Chicago from a BR radio station. Maybe my luck is changing.
4. The Move
If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be able to make my move to Chicago in June. The trip in April will give me a chance to look into some things up there. I have to say that I wonder about how the move will change me. So much of my personality is wrapped up in being a baseball fan in a city with no team. Right now I’m working an extra job to save up for the move. In fact, it seems all that I do is somehow in preparation for moving. The fact that June is only three months away is still mind boggling to me.
4. One Month
The winter is usually long. There is very little reported about baseball, and most of what’s there is not worth waiting through the hockey highlights. But I’ve started to see more and more in the news everyday. Baseball is creeping back into our lives. It’s hard to believe that opening day is in less than one month. That means it’s time to start watching Sports Center and Baseball Tonight. It also means day games during lunch breaks, hot dogs, cold beer, box scores, and games on the Internet during work. And with the trip and the move, it also means Wrigley Field in the summer.