THE CATCHER’S MITT: Baseball’s Future Lies in Arizona and Florida
Now that Spring Training games have officially begun, baseball is back! This means new hopes, expectations, and dreams for every team. With an offseason full of trades, signings, and retirements, teams have fresh rosters to start the season.
During Spring Training, big names are getting back into the swing of things (literally). If you have ever been to a Spring Training game you know that these big names, who make up the face of your favorite club, are probably playing a mere 3 or 4 innings per game. That means someone has to take over for Zack Greinke in the 3rd inning and it’s probably going to be some guy you’ve never heard of. Cue last season when ESPN aired a game where a minor league baseball player came in to pinch run, and instead of captioning his name, he got “minor league guy” on 3rd airing across the bottom of your TV screen. Whoops.
Going into draft day, you would think ball players are probably hoping to be taken by their favorite team, one of the legendary teams that write the history books in the world of baseball, or even whatever team has been doing well in the past few years. This is not the case for the rookies who want to make a career, and more importantly want to get there quickly. “Minor league guy” on 3rd base isn’t going to be as common at a Yankees game as he is during a Houston Astros game. Not saying anything about any team’s level of play, or payroll, but I mean when is the last time you saw someone climb up the farm system to be a starter in the Yankees lineup…and stay there.
The point is that minor league players have a shot during Spring Training. This month long period is the time for them to prove themselves. These guys, waking up at 5 or 6am every day, getting to the field, working out, playing a game, and doing it all over for that month want to prove that they can make it at the next level. Whether they break camp with the big league team or the Double A team they have a goal. This is their shot to prove they have what it takes. Perhaps they will step in during the 7th inning of a late Spring Training game that will let them prove they can make a difference. Maybe that one inning, during that one game, will show you the next Derek Jeter. Spring Training is the perfect time to see your favorite players as well as the future of the baseball world. Ready to get out there and see for yourself? Don’t worry, there are daily flights to both Florida and Arizona and you still have time to get there!
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(Photo Credit: Desiree Christine/2013)
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