I’ve got my tickets for a weekend trip to Fort Myers–March 16,17—and I’ve got Spring Training Fever. Looks like it’s been quite a few seasons, since I had that fever or at least since I opened up this blog.
As much as I feast on the detail of the Spring developments, I wish the media would avoid contriving the news. Like the morbid details about the clubhouse rules. Like the silly exchange about whether Jeter was out of position during a play he made eleven years ago. Like who is going to apologize to whom about clubhouse behavior in September. These reporters sound like a klatch of middle school girls digging up dirt and spreading rumors. And their problem is the same. Too much time on their hands and not enough hard news to go around.
Occasionally Spring Training reporters feature a new player on the squad or the comeback of an old one. Now that’s interesting. The Red Sox faithful would like to hear about players who were not on the roster last year. The uncertain prospects in the outfield also make for good news–Crawford’s rehab. A Cody Ross or a Ryan Sweeney sighting. That’s good for one day. The progress of the lame, the halt and the blind the Sox recruited for the bullpen. How are their arms performing? That’s another good day of news.
Here’s an idea: interview the veteran reporters who can compare this team with previous ones. I always like to hear what Peter Gammons, Dan Shaughnessy, or Roger Angell have to say. They won’t hand out the tired cliches and the faint praise you get from the coaches and the manager. They can and will say what they think.
What about this new park? Does it really resemble Fenway? Does it have a Pesky pole or an under-developed foul territory? What do the players think of it? Inquiring minds want to know.
Well, it may not be hard news, but it would be worth reading, and it suits the speculative frame of mind we’re in as Spring Training rolls in. And it beats running back and forth between training camps trying to start a feud over nothing or trying to deconstruct off-the-cuff remarks like they were the words of the prophets.
Let’s read about baseball and not who broke up with your sister’s ex-boyfriend.