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It’s here. Baseball is right around the corner and before you know it, you’ll be in dad’s box seats on the first base side with a tall, cool Bud heavy in your hand and a wad of Grizz between your gum and cheek, watching the boys of summer. But before any of that can happen, the players have to get “ready”.
Of course, Spring Training is a legitimate time for ballplayers to get back into baseball shape and find their feel for the game. But with the way today’s athlete trains year-round, Spring Training has become a more of a formality than it has been in the past.
One of my favorite parts of spring ball are the player interviews. You’ll usually have some fat journalist sweating all over the player, asking the standard “how are you feeling?” question. Right on cue, the player will crack a sly smile and say, “I’m in the best shape of my life. Never felt better” It’s quite hilarious. Instead of “Best shape of my life”, the more honest answer would probably be “Drank three buckets of Corona after playing 36 holes yesterday and had sex with my masseuse all night. How do you think I fuckin’ feel?”
Major Leaguers live the dream. They get paid millions of dollars a year to play a boy’s game, all the while being able to play at a high level while maintaining average body types (Lance Berkman, anyone?). These guys treat Spring Training like a mini vacation before the long haul of 162 games in 90+ degree heat.
Ballplayers are afforded the opportunity to “train” in the picturesque locales of Arizona and Florida. It’s pretty tough to stay focused on baseball when you can’t walk 15 feet without stepping into some kind of box, tee or otherwise. It’s pretty simple, most ballplayers do take Spring Training seriously, but once they’re out of the complex, it’s free reign. With instructs and drills ending before noon every day, these guys hit the links. It’s pretty blatant by their post workout attire. Polo, shorts, and a Titleist ball cap with shades on top. You think Justin Verlander is headed back to the gym wearing that? Didn’t think so.
Then you take into account the locales that spring camps are held. Florida and Arizona? I’d put those two states right into the top 10 of the best states in the union. Where else can you get 80 and sunny every day in February and March? The locales are enough to draw even the most frugal of snow birds out of hibernation to spend a week playing golf, drinking margaritas and trying to plow every blonde with a fake pair of tits. If you’ve ever been to spring training, you know what I’m talking about.
But the best part about Spring Training is that it signals the unofficial end of winter and the welcoming of the frattest seasons of all: spring and summer. I don’t know about you, but I wake up every morning and stare longingly at my pocket tees, khaki shorts and summer Sperrys, waiting for that first trip out to the ballpark with the boys.
Soon, you’ll be playing Louisville Chugger in the parking lot, cranking tunes out of the back of a truck, wondering if this is the year your squad brings home a pennant. But hey, even if they don’t, it’s still going to be another summer of booze, baseball and girls in short shorts.
Get ready fellas. Baseball is here. Prepare accordingly.