It’s raining. It has always been raining. The fake news about the drought was a conspiracy. It will never not rain. We will all wash away in a river of rain and regret.
Except, waaaaaait a sec, what’s this? It’s news about the Giants reporting to spring training! It’s in five weeks. Five weeks! Then we can set the rain on fire. Don’t laugh: I have a plan.
Pitchers and catchers will report to spring training for the Giants on February 14:
Mark your calendars: MLB announces #SpringTraining workout dates for all 30 clubs. pic.twitter.com/HiSwkAg1rd— MLB (@MLB) January 10, 2017
The first workout for the full squad will be Feb. 17th. Big deal, you say. It’s just spring training. Who cares?
Shame on you. I would like you to consider Andres Torres, random minor league free agent. In the spring of 2009, Torres hit .400, with three homers, two triples, and two doubles in 70 at-bats. He made the team and had a fine season, eventually becoming a trusted backup and eventual starter on a championship team.
If Torres hit .200 that spring, maybe he doesn’t make the roster. He probably doesn’t make the roster. If a random 21-year-old with zero command plunked Torres on the elbow in the seventh inning of a meaningless 13-3 game, ending his March, he probably doesn’t make the roster.
If Torres isn’t on the 2009 roster, Aaron Rowand finishes 2010 as the starting center fielder.
If Rowand gets an extra 300 at-bats, and the Giants lose Torres’ brilliant five-win season, the Padres win the West and the World Series.
If the Giants don’t win the 2010 World Series, they panic and sign Carl Crawford for $145 million. Then they trade Brandon Belt for Josh Willingham.
The Giants, picking 25th instead of 28th, select Sean Gilmartin in the 2011 draft instead of Joe Panik.
The Padres sign Cliff Lee and win in 2012 after trading for Marco Scutaro. The Giants tumble below .500.
When the Padres defeat the Royals to win the 2014 World Series, we just assume that the universe hates us, not that Andres Torres was prevented from saving us.
It all started with 70 spring at-bats in 2009. This whole thing. So, yes, spring training matters. And it all begins on Valentine’s Day this year. IT ALL BEGINS ON VALENTINE’S DAY.
Man, I need a drink.
Also, an important part about pitchers and catchers reporting is that it’s a sign that baseball is near. Don’t forget that it’s really People Tweeting Pictures of Pitchers and Catchers Reporting day and that nothing really happens, but don’t pretend that it’s not a little cool, either.
Pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 14, everyone. Hopefully, they see their shadow and the even year lasts another six months.