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Pro: With Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and John Sickels all releasing books, there isn't a better month to go to the bathroom. I don't refrigerate my cold cuts during February, in an attempt to get more alone time with the books.

Con: No baseball at all. Bleah. The tease of spring training is just around the corner, which makes the itch impossible to ignore.


Pro: Spring training! Pitchers pitching! Hitters hitting! Games! Roster moves! Debate about roster moves! Discussion of roster moves!

Con: Meaningless games. More debate about roster moves. More discussion of roster moves. More meaningless games. You don't get to watch these games. Enjoy the four paragraph recap on, which you could have written yourself based on the box score. Occasional radio of the meaningless games.

Hopefully, this is the last year I'll be forced to write about March baseball in abstract terms. February is often the cruelest month for the baseball junkie, but March can be overrated. I love baseball on the radio, even if it comes once a week in March, but I need to see the games every now and again. I know players like Nate Schierholtz, Dan Ortmeier, and Jonathan Sanchez only from their statistics. I know Lance Niekro is hitting the ball well, but I'm not sure how he's doing it. Is he spinning on inside fastballs, waiting patiently on breaking balls out of the strike zone, or inflating the batting average with bloop hits? I need to see for myself, dang it.

The excitement of March fades quickly, and a whole new itch starts. In today's Chronicle, Jamey Wright credits a lot of his spring success to ditching a mediocre slider, and relying more on a cut fastball. What does this cut fastball look like? I'm going to guess it makes Mariano Rivera's look like a Mark Dewey special, but that's only a guess. That guess could possibly be wrong, but a guess is all March allows. Next spring, I intend to be in Scottsdale to find these sorts of things out. It's been too long.

Without the in-person or televised observation, it's easy to lose sight of what I'm actually waiting for. I'm not waiting for the shuffling of players and the accumulation of box scores, I'm ready to watch baseball. This slipped my mind until I watched a Baseball Tonight fantasy baseball special, of all things. The show wasn't really my cup of tea, as everyone on the show seemed like they were being paid by the exclamation point, but they started showing small videos. Jason Schmidt blowing someone away with a high fastball. Barry Zito ripping off a curve. Brad Wilkerson hitting a home run. It all pushed some button in my subconscious.

I paid too much money for opening day seats that are as far from home plate as Mays Field allows. I'll have to duck after the national anthem, lest I be decapitated by an F-15 flyover. It was a panic move, and I was regretting it up until this silly Baseball Tonight special. Now, I don't care if the former Snow Pack denizens laugh at my seats. There's six days until the season starts, and eight days until there's a regular season game in San Francisco. Baseball baseball baseball. Some weird groundhog chemical in my brain was released last night, and I'm finally ready for the season to start.