Ah, March - the month in which we baseball fans can stop focusing on reporting dates and start focusing on meaningless games!
Here's a look at the month ahead:
Thursday, March 4 - First Spring Training Game! It's across town at Boston, with a return date against the Sox at home the very next day.
Sunday, March 7 - First split-squad day. Half the team gets to stay in town and play against the Yankees. The other half has to endure a two-hour bus ride to Bradenton to play Pittsburgh. It's always fun to see which team hopefuls get shipped off to bus purgatory on the first Sunday of the schedule.
Monday, March 8 - Date by which the following players had best have their stuff proverbially together, lest they get buried by Gardy: Alexi Casilla, Daniel Valencia, Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing
Saturday, March 13 - BASEBALL ON TV BASEBALL ON TV The game's in Clearwater against Philadelphia at noon, but it's on both Fox Sports North and the MLB Network.
The rest of the spring TV schedule, in case you were wondering:
On or about March 21 - Date by which most fans will be in full-blown panic mode, should Joe Mauer not have a contract signed
Wednesday, March 31 - Last day to release players without having to pay them for 2010. I can't imagine who this fate might befall. (Which I say only to avoid the appearance of jinxing anyone.)
It'll be a fun month. Baseball is well and truly back. We have missed it so.