Solochek: Spring training fun for no one

first_imgWhen pitchers and catchers begin to report this week, to many, it is a sign of good things to come.Reporting day means it is almost time for baseball season to begin. It means spring is almost here and, for those of us who are still in school, it means we can see the light at the end of the tunnel as summer break approaches.However, each year, we are always disappointed come spring training.We’re in that void between the end of the professional football season and the beginning of March Madness. This time in sports can be less exciting than actually doing homework on a Sunday, instead of watching almost eight straight hours of football.The day pitchers and catchers report could be one of the most overrated days in sports. It’s like a freshman hearing about the riots happening in Madison during Halloween only to find out you have to pay to get onto a street you walk down every day.Getting excited for pitchers and catchers reporting and spring training is like getting excited for the NFL Combine or Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament. You go in with such high expectations only to be let down by reporters overanalyzing a player’s performance or over-speculating how a team is going to do the following season.Spring training means watching the guys who you know are going to start get about three at bats a week until the final days before the season. It means watching guys who will disappear into the minor leagues hit triples, then never hear from them and hearing the same reports on “Baseball Tonight” again and again.This year will be no different than years past. Every year, the same storylines are repeated on a daily basis to the point of nausea. This spring, there is no doubt all eyes will be on Yankees’ spring training. With almost half a billion dollars invested in three players and Alex Rodriguez going from A-Rod to A-Roid topping headlines, we can count on hearing hourly reports from the Grapefruit League on the status of CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett.Of course, news of steroid scandal is also nothing new to spring training. In the past, we have been used to daily reports by Pedro Gomez covering Barry Bonds and how he deals with allegations of using performance-enhancing drugs.After Rodriguez’s admission to using steroids, there have already been daily broadcasts from the Yankees’ spring home in Tampa, Fla. Shortstop Derek Jeter has already deferred to talking to the media after practices have started, trying to avoid the daily onslaught of press and attention.But, of course, the focus won’t solely be on the Bronx Bombers. The attempt to sign Manny Ramirez by the Los Angles Dodgers has been futile due to the left fielder hold out for money and the organization not willing to pay top dollar for the 36-year-old. Things are sure to be resolved in the coming weeks, especially because both Adam Dunn and Bobby Abreu signed, which will certainly lead to more pressure being put on the Dodgers to sign Ramirez.While spring training does have its perks, namely going to cheap games and watching baseball from a lawn on a beautiful Florida or Arizona spring day, only those who can afford such pleasures can benefit from the enjoyment of spring training. For the rest of us, we are usually stuck in the cold, watching athletes who earn more than we can imagine enjoy the southern sun.With the Yankees and Ramirez sure to be the hot topics of spring training, other subjects are sure to come up. But, as we watch highlights from games in late February and early March, there will really be nothing to get excited about until opening day in the first week of April.Once the season actually starts, attention will surely switch to the NFL Draft, which is almost equally overrated as spring training.Ben Solochek is a senior majoring in history and journalism. Hate spring training, too? E-mail him at [email protected]last_img

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