Baseball’s All the Valentine I Need

(Photo from Boston.com)

I’ve had yesterday marked on my calendar for a while now. Not because of the hearts and heartache holiday because if you know me at all, you know I don’t much go in for that sentimental, lovey dovey crap. (Also, I don’t believe it’s officially a holiday unless you get a day off from work). But if there is one thing that gets me misty-eyed, it’s pitchers and catchers reporting for Spring Training. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the sweetest thing a girl can hear.

Something else to chalk up to the “We don’t know it’s true but we KNOW it’s true” list is Jonathan Papelbon’s reaction to opening the season in Japan. While Paps admits that he loves his Japanese teammates and he loves Japan (never having been there but reasoning that that’s where his “homies” come from so it’s gotta be a cool place), he’s not much looking forward to the sushi. Color me surprised. Oh, Jonathan. Don’t ever change.

I’ve said it before but it’s worth mentioning again, I’m really excited about this coming season and this team we’ve fielded. And this time, it’s not because we have to force ourselves to be excited as a kind of salve to the past season’s failures. Quite the contrary. The excitement this season seems organic. We’ve got all these new kids. Let’s see what they can do!

Normally, the Schilling Shoulder of Mystery would bother me but because Theo and company had the foresight (or incredible luck, one or the other) to not trade away Lester and/or Buccholz, we’ve got at the very least, two kids who can step up and ably fill Schilling’s spot in the rotation. So, you know, I’m rolling with it.

Center field is still not set in stone but does anyone really think that Coco won’t be traded before Opening Day?

And who else is looking forward to rookie hazing where they make the young bucks run wind sprints in their underoos or some such nonsense? It can’t possibly just be me.

Also, and this is not specifically Red Sox-centric but at the bar last night (yes, I spend Valentine’s Day at the bar, what of it?) I saw an interview with Pedro who was most excellently sporting a sweat band and what appears to be a burgeoning afro of Biblical proportions. He was also pretty damn excited about his new friend Johan. Johan who, I hasten to point out, Amy, Greta and I decided – should he ever feel the need – would make a pretty, pretty drag queen. And also he’s going to tear apart the National League probably. So that’ll be fun to watch.

I’m headed to New York this weekend and hopefully I can get into some barroom discussions with excited Mets fans and report back. I wonder what they’d think of this cross-dressing Santana theory.

This is why I love Spring Training. We can talk about things like whether or not Santana would look better in silver or red sequins and what’s going to happen when someone tells Jonathan Papelbon that Pictionary is not an effective method of getting around the language barrier. Let alone the look on his face the first time he’s presented with spider maki. Good times.

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