Well, Cub fans, it is almost that time of year again: Spring Training and the hope that 2014 will bring a better Cubs team to the Friendly Confines. I don’t know about you but there is something almost mesmerizing about this week every year and it’s not the kind of “love” that fills the air with overpriced boxes of candy, low quality roses and packed restaurants (Sorry lovers of Valentine’s Day). It’s a love for the game of baseball and this winter, at least, a sure sign that the bitter cold and brutal wind chills will soon come to an end (We’ve had snow and school cancellations in Metro Houston, so it has been a weird winter).
For me, Spring Training – and more specifically, the day pitchers and catchers report each year – always leaves me with the smell of freshly cut grass in my nose. Maybe I am too big a baseball fan, but you know on some level, this happens to you as well (Go ahead and admit it. It is okay. I will tell no one.)
Even knowing that 2014 is another rebuilding year, I am optimistic that signs of hope will spring eternal for our Cubbies this year. Hopefully Starlin Castro will be a little more comfortable now that Spanish-Speaking Rick Renteria is manager. I can certainly see how this might take his natural talent and ability to shine to a whole new level. Bold predictions mentioned to start 2014 showed hope that the strengthening of the bullpen might allow our Cubs to blow less than 17 saves this season and possibly (hopefully) even avoid the fourth straight 90 loss season.
Even if a Cubs World Series in 2014 is likely something only a fiction novel can provide, I am excited for what the coming weeks and months have to offer. Really, without hope, what else do we have?
Ahhhh…. here’s to the smell of freshly cut grass.