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Waiting For Spring Training…

(Originally posted on February 20, 2000. Reposted to new site on December 19, 2008.)

I’ve said before how I “can’t wait” for the season to start. (Or even for Spring training to start!)

But now I know I have it bad. Well, not that I didn’t know before, but yesterday I went to new extremes for my baseball fix. I knew that Mariano Rivera, Yankees closer, had his arbitration hearing Thursday, and that the answer would be delayed until Saturday. Yesterday I diligently checked my usual spots, several times, The Sporting News online,, etc… and still no posting of the story. Many of the stories that run on these sites come from the Associated Press. So I went straight to the AP site, and voila, not one but three articles about it…! Ahhhh, at last.

(In case you don’t know, Rivera lost, and as a result will only make $7.25 million dollars next year, be the highest paid closer in baseball, and has the highest salary ever awarded in arbitration, even though he lost. His agent wanted $9.25 million. Rivera’s was the last deal the Yankees needed to wrap up in core players–everything else from here on out is what non-roster and minor league guys will make the team during Spring Training. But that’s not important right now.)

Anyway, teams are working out on sunny fields across Florida and Arizona, and there’s snow on the ground in Boston. It’s fourteen days until I leave for Tampa!

Going to see games at Spring Training is something that, when I was a kid, I never thought I would get to do. We would see little news bits about it on tv, and for some reason I had it in my head that only a few really special people ever went to Spring Training. Now I realize it’s the special few who either live in Florida, or who can surf the Internet for tickets months in advance, take time off to fly down there, and, as the Nike commercial says, “Just Do It.” There are serious advantages to being an adult and not a kid anymore…

Here’s what I’m going to do over the next fourteen days:

  1. Print Out Blank Scorecards (just in case)
  2. Print Out Spring Training Previews on the Opposing Teams
  3. Launder My Yankees Shirts (I own two, both Xmas gifts this year) & warm weather clothes
  4. Visit Mapquest and get driving directions to all the ballfields
  5. Fax Rick Cerone (Yankee Press Relations) re: freelance article I’m working on
  6. Check for any last minute available Braves or Red Sox tickets
  7. Load laptop with web connection software (so I can keep checking while there, and add entries to this journal!)
  8. Read Tampa area restaurant reviews (gotta eat sometime!)
  9. Pay Cell Phone Bill
  10. Find Cat-sitter
  11. Confirm Reservations
  12. Gloat to friends
  13. Find sunglasses
  14. Rub hands with glee

Oh, sure, before I go, I’m also going to put in about 140 hours at my desk, plus some 20-25 hours working at the tae kwon do school. And I’ll probably sleep about 100 hours, too. Nothing important, in the fanatics’ scheme of things.

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