Thursday, March 01, 2007

Hooray! Spring Baseball is underway!

The temps are in the mid-80s, the ball is cracking off the bat, and things are so wonderful here in FLA that not only did Manny Ramirez forgo his trip to Jersey, he actually reported to camp a day early. Which was still 6 days later than anyone else, but hey, give the guy some credit.

The 2007 baseball season is officially underway as the first meaningless spring training games have finally been played. And the football hunger pangs just lessened up a bit.

Six games kicked off the schedule yesterday, including the Sox and Twins in the Battle of the Fort, as well as four other Grapefruit League contests and one Cactus League tilt.

In the Sox game last night Curt Schilling took the mound for what could be his final spring opener in a Sox uni (how many times do you think we'll hear "Schilling's last blank as a member of the Sox..." if his contract situation gets uglier?) Despite controversy and conditioning issues the 40-year-old hurler pitched like, well, the ace of the staff. Schill threw 2 innings of 2-hit ball, with 15 of his 19 pitches finding the strike zone. Not bad for a mouthy, overweight, unhappy camper. Perhaps he is just setting an example for his Japanese protege and fellow media magnet, Dice K.

So the first sign of spring in Florida has come to pass. While the rest of the country is still battling cold and snow and rain, Florida is basking in the glow of open air, fan-friendly baseball. And with a major basketball tournament, golf tournament and auto race plus spring break coming to the Bay area in the next month, this is truly the best time of year to live on Florida's Gulf Coast.

Pass the sunscreen.

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