Is it Spring yet? No, not the official calendar-based Spring, but the true, snowless, warm, sunny Spring. It's not? But wait, Opening Day is just over a week away! It must be Spring! We've already compiled an alarmingly mediocre record in the Grapefruit League and there's still six and a half feet of snow on the ground. Usually, most of us Twins fans get up from hibernation in early February, check to make sure that pitchers and catchers have in fact reported to Fort Meyers, and go back to our basements to sleep and watch college basketball. By Opening Day, the temperatures are at least in the upper 40s and we're ready to fire up the grill. But this is no normal Winter. We're living in some sort of Norse Hell.
Along with March Madness and St. Patrick's Day, Opening Day makes Spring my favorite time of year. This year however, Mother Nature seems to have foregone the whole season in favor of torturing us with record low temperatures and record highs in snow and impatience. On March 31st, the Twins will take their first official swings in Chicago in front of a half empty stadium filled with frostbitten and disgruntled White Sox supporters (everyone knows they're fair weather fans). The grass will be kind of green, the sun might be shining, but it just won't be the same.
Meanwhile, everywhere south of the Mason Dixon Line, people will be clamoring to get their tickets and sunscreen. They won't be shoveling their driveways or donning stocking hats instead of baseball caps on their way to the game. They'll be ordering cold drinks instead of hot cocoa. But man, they will never know what it's like to actually watch a pitcher's fingers break off like icicles, or what it's like to cheer more loudly to see a 50 on the forecast than for a walk-off grand slam.
Has this simply been a way for me to blow off steam? Perhaps. Has it been effective in doing so? Somewhat. But there is one thing I can say for sure: Even when we've been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention in early July, I will not take this Summer for granted. I'll be listening to every game I can, and I'll enjoy every minute of this season (it's so easy to say that in March). So, with that being said, I will now go back down to the Man Cave and watch our three remaining Big Ten teams get robbed by foul trouble, just as I have every year.