Yesterday’s first day of Spring Training in Clearwater brought us many things:
Feelings, again. Images of the sun. Cliff Lee, smiling wildly as his bullpen session goes explosively well. Faraway glimpses of Jimmy Rollins, powering through a sprint on the warning track, and flashing a private grin at the thought of one more go at October.
But most stunning of all were some of the numbers.
Forty-five of 60 players have already checked into Phillies camp.First workouts Wed for pitch and catch and Sat full squad #Philliestalk
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) February 12, 2013
45 out of 60! That’s far better than my score on the final exam at Phillies Blogging Academy. Which I of course cheated on.
Now, while it is impossible to identify everyone who has bothered to show up, we can use deductive reasoning and some pictures that are easily accessible via the internet to confirm that Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Phillippe Aumont, Michael Stutes, Cliff Lee, Rich Dubee, Charlie Manuel, some more guys I can’t recognize after hysterical blindness caused by hysterical, high pitched baseball-squealing.
Roy Halladay has of course been there since the last appearance of the Comet Hale-Bopp.
Yes, Spring Training has begun, and we have nothing to do but allow ourselves to succumb to the hopeless optimism of the season. Maybe Chase Utley will play all year. Maybe Michael Young can move laterally. Maybe the outfielders will have a proportional amount of gloves to players.
All we have to do right now is gaze at the images before us and smile and nod, as if under the combined spells of nostalgia and ignorance.