The “Spring Training Makes Everybody a Kid Again” Fan of the Game

I’ve had this picture on my phone for a while, waiting for the perfect time to post it.

It was sent in by loyal 500 Level Fan reader, and brand new Vancouver-ite @TheCraiger, a shot of him as a baby, being brought up the right way – as a Jays fan.

(As an aside – his love for the Jays didn’t last, as he somehow fell in love with A-Rod and the Yankees. Poor Sauny. Poor, poor Sauny.)

Well, that perfect time is now.

Put aside all the speculation about the rotation. Forget about the ongoing closer merry-go-round. Stop thinking about who will play third, who will play first, who will DH.

Most of all, drop all the negativity and sense of doom surrounding Jose Bautista’s looming arbitration case and how it will affect the slugger.

It’s time for Spring Training.

Spring Training is the best time of year. It is the unofficial end of Winter. It is a time for hope, a time when even fans of the lowly Pirates, Royals, and Mariners can muster up a thought of winning. Everybody is a contender in February.

But the best thing about Spring Training is that makes everybody feel like a kid again.

This was always the time of year when I’d bring out my glove and a tennis ball, brave the last gasp of the winter chill, and head to the driveway. With each throw against the house I was a different Blue Jay. I was Tony Fernandez fielding short hops, or I was John Olerud snagging line drives.

This has always been the time of year when my child-like love of the game is at its fullest. Baseball is a game again. There are no thoughts of arbitration, of contracts, of wins and losses, of trades, free agents, waiver claims, statistics, injuries,

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call-ups, or standings.

No, it’s all about the game. It’s all about the crack of the bat, the smell of the grass and of the leather mitt. It’s all about the feeling of catching and throwing a ball and of swinging a bat.

It’s all about being a kid again.

A kid with an old-school Blue Jay cap and shirt.

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