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Wednesday, 19 February 2020 13:47

Some sweet stanzas of spring (training)

“People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” – Rogers Hornsby

-

Sitting within winter's chilly deep-freeze

Our brains cry out for the spring's warming sun.

We search for signs that put our minds at ease

Like the sharp crack of a well-struck home run.

Our eager anticipation rises.

Whose legend begins with the year's first pitch?

Which unknown becomes the face of the sport?

This game will not run out of surprises.

It's the time when fans become truly rich;

The time when pitchers and catchers report.

Florida swamps, Arizona deserts,

Hosting leagues named for grapefruit and cactus.

Players damp from the efforts they exert

Sprinting and swinging their way through practice.

Veterans trying to play out the string,

Superstars at the height of their powers;

Faded prospects get that one final shot

While those hotshot rookies perfect their swings.

And we, the fans, can while away hours

As the game consumes our every thought.

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Baseball’s history is deep with detail,

Teeming with stories and numbers galore.

Legends loom largely with heroic scale

Epics greater than e’er we could ask for

Spring training's arrival heralds the season

Better than flowers or showers or grass -

The truest of our spring rites is baseball.

Our hopes and feelings overrule reason;

Everyone is first, and no one is last

And your team could wind up winning it all.

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Spring training means flowers, people coming outdoors, sunshine, optimism and baseball. Spring training is a time to think about being young again.” – Ernie Banks

(A version of this poem appeared in a previous edition of The Maine Edge.)

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 13:04

The Sports Edge - Cabin fever believer: Part 1

With the month of February making up for a tame early winter, we all can use a little sunshine and green grass, even if it come to us vicariously, as the Red Sox report to spring training in Ft. Myers, Florida. 

Published in The Sports Edge
Wednesday, 21 March 2012 10:06

More peerless prognostication: MLB 2012

Thoughts on the upcoming baseball season

It's almost time. Florida and Arizona are abuzz with Major League Baseball teams getting themselves ready, tweaking those rosters and making those difficult final decisions about minor league demotions and even the ends of careers.

The game is once again coming to life, but while one of baseball's hallmarks is its consistency, this particular offseason has seen a lot of change. There have been some major changes of address: Prince Fielder moves from Milwaukee to Detroit; Japanese sensation Yu Darvish will take the mound for the Texas Rangers; and St. Louis icon Albert Pujols made the move to the West Coast in joining the Angels.

However, the biggest development of all is MLB's decision to add another wild card team to the postseason. This means that five teams from each league will make the playoffs, with the two wild card teams kicking off the October festivities with a one-off, win-and-in game. This can only serve to provide even more fans with reason to stay invested in their home teams throughout the long season.

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 12:24

Red Sox owners ready to move on in 2012

FORT MYERS, Fla. - John Henry was walking off the stage after a television interview during his team's first full-squad workout of the spring when the Boston owner was confronted by a lifelong Red Sox fan holding a bright red sign with white letters.

'All we ask is that you make us proud again to be a Boston Red Sox fan,' the sign read.

'We're trying,' Henry told her.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 17:03

An ode to spring training

Sitting within winter's chilly deep-freeze

Our brains cry out for the spring's warming sun.

We search for signs that put our minds at ease

Like the sharp crack of a well-struck home run.

An eager anticipation rises;

Whose legend begins with the year's first pitch?

Which unknown becomes the face of the sport?

This game will not run out of surprises.

It's the time when fans become truly rich;

The time when pitchers and catchers report.

Published in Sports

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