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Real spring training games start today

Feb 26, 2014, 9:01 AM EDT

baseball grass

Spring training games aren’t actually real. Especially February spring training games. But they are more real than games against college teams like we say yesterday which are, in turn, more real than mere workouts which we’ve seen for the past week which are, in turn, way more real than sitting around all winter with our thumbs up our posteriors waiting for baseball.

Point is, no matter how short an outing the starting pitchers of today’s games are, no matter how many hours the actual major leaguers have been on the golf course by the time today’s games end and no matter how slow and tentative the play is compared to the actual regular season, today will feature games in which professional baseball players play professional baseball against other professional baseball players. And that’s not nothing. In fact, it’s pretty exciting.

Indeed, I just saw the lineup for the Braves-Tigers game at 1pm today. B.J. Upton is batting second. I’m sure it’s just because they want to give him more at bats earlier in the game, but I actually found myself getting outraged about B.J. Upton batting second and I complained about it on Twitter. For the first game of spring training.

Maybe that’s the definition of petty. But I don’t care. They’re playing baseball today.

  1. chill1184 - Feb 26, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    Baseball is here you guys!

    • natstowngreg - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      As another inch or so of snow falls on Washington, a sign of approaching Spring. [That, and news about our Nats (half) season group getting Opening Day tickets.]

      Thanks Craig, I needed that.

  2. karlkolchak - Feb 26, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    Thank Christ. I’m about one more BSOHL story from committing Seppuku. Not that I couldn’t stand to lose a little flab around the old midsection.

    • Old Gator - Feb 26, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      Well, you could commit symbolic seppuku, like Dr. Serizawa at the end of Godzilla. Less messy, and you wouldn’t have to suffer any unfair comparisons with Yukio Mishima.

      • pjmitch - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:14 AM

        What the hell are you talking about?

      • Old Gator - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:13 AM

        Hokay, we’ll make this sweet and clear:

        Seppuku (the written form of the spoken term harakiri or, vulgarly, “hari-kari”) is one form of Japanese ritual suicide performed by slicing open the abdomen with a dagger and disemboweling oneself. It usually requires a second, who chops off your head with a sword when you become too weak to slice yourself open any further.

        Dr. Serizawa, a chemist, was one of the protagonists of the original 1956 film version of Godzilla (pardon me for assuming you’ve heard of it). He was humiliated by a dual betrayal by his childhood betrothed, Emiko Yamane, who cheated on him with a marine officer named Ogata and revealed to her lover the terrible secret of Serizawa’s oxygen destroyer. While at the bottom of Tokyo Bay, after igniting his super-weapon to kill the monster, Serizawa cut the air hose and safety tether of his diving suit, simulating entrails, with what is a deliberate ritual suicide motion with his dagger.

        Yukio Mishima was the greatest Japanese novelist and playwright of the 20th Century, but he was also a right-wing lunatic who wanted to roll back the westernization of Japanese culture, restore the samurai (bushido) code and the imperial government. On November 25, 1970, he and his followers staged a raid on the headquarters of the Japanese Defense Forces and took a commanding general hostage. Then he came out on the upstairs balcony, delivered a fiery speech (which no one could hear due to hovering news and military helicopters and police sirens), then went back inside, committed seppuku, and had his lover chop off his head with a ritual sword.

      • natstowngreg - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        Just another fine example of the adage, you never know what you’ll learn reading HBT.

        Well, OK, it isn’t really an adage, but it’s true.

      • yahmule - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:29 PM

        If Roland Emmerich were any kind of man, he would have drove that katana into his belly back in ’98.

      • Old Gator - Feb 26, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        After first Krazygluing a leather patch over Maria Pitillo’s mouth so she would never try to act again.

        By the way, did you notice how closely Emmerich’s Godzilla resembled Don Shula?

      • donniev77 - Feb 26, 2014 at 7:18 PM

        I’m shaking my head wondering….

        Why in God’s name is a Japanese method of suicide the first thing that pops into your head when someone suggests losing some weight?

      • Old Gator - Feb 27, 2014 at 3:13 AM

        Probably because (A) it’s a parody of bariatric surgery, (B) because of the unconscious correlation with baseball in Japan, and (C) because it’s funny.If you spent less time shaking your head and more time thinking about it, it might have come to you without any need to invoke the name of the Lord in vain. Or maybe in vein.

  3. sportsdrenched - Feb 26, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    I’ll be excited about this until this time next week. Then I’ll be ready for the real-real season to start.

  4. Old Gator - Feb 26, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Craig, that was an interesting little segue into baseball ontology. You need to read some Bergson. His theory of “Das Grunt” would be helpful in distinguishing spring training games from regular season games, and both from playoff games.

  5. themuddychicken - Feb 26, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    I no longer get that excited for these games (unless I get to make a trip to Florida to go to them, which is always awesome!) I always feel let down by this time of year. Initial excitement, followed by, “oh, this isn’t as exciting as I remembered.”

    On the other hand, I have March 31 bolded and circled on my calendar, and it’s getting closer!

    • Old Gator - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:12 AM

      Spring games are fun, and it’s great to watch each year’s crop of not-quite-ready-for-primetime ballplayers come up. And of course, there’s always the precocious kid who surprised you with his hitherto unsuspected skill and enthusiasm. Like Leonardo says at the end of The Aviator, “Wave of the future….wave of the future…wave of the future….”

    • proudlycanadian - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:14 AM

      I have March 31 circled on my calendar also. I am going on the DL that day as I am having an operation. Bad timing on my part.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:28 AM

        Well, it’s bad timing but it does give you an excuse to lay around and watch baseball for days after, yes?

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:18 AM

        Not sure if I will see many games while in the hospital. Once home, I will be watching.

      • Old Gator - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:33 AM

        Hope it’s nothing too serious and that you’re up and around again soon. It’s just too bad that you don’t have Obamacare up there to take care of it…..

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:47 AM

        Ankle replacement surgery due to severe arthritis in the left ankle. The operation will be fully paid for by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. Even our right wing Prime Minister approves of our “socialized” medical system.

      • Old Gator - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        Heh – I was kidding about the Obamacare – I know the Canadian system is far superior to our absurd hybrid mess. Your right wingers seem to be a little less stupid and a bit less thoroughly brainwashed than our right wingers. A gezunt on them.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        Jays won!

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 26, 2014 at 5:36 PM

        Home run for Bautista in a rain shortened game. Happ did not pitch well. I would not be disappointed if he fails to make the team.

  6. historiophiliac - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    And That Happened:

    Was it a “real” game? No. You know this because Don Kelly was at 1B, but dangit if our 2nd and 3rd string didn’t beat those college boys like rugs (12-0)! (ahem, Yankees?) Okay, so the big boys swung for fun and sent a bunch of pop ups flying. Still, we had a couple of homers and a triple from the replacements. Ray showed some promise with 5 SO in 2 innings. Today, we see how Smyly does — I wonder if Larry will tweet any predictions on that.

    I’m jealous of my aunt and uncle in Lakeland right now, but I can’t begrudge them sun and games after 124″ of snow this winter. Not gonna lie though: I think I was a little aroused when my game alert went off on my phone yesterday. Baseball!

    • timmmah10 - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:00 AM

      Just got my Bleacher Report Lineup alert… went from 6 to midnight.

      • babyfarkmcgeezax - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:12 AM

        Do they post their lineups as click-through slideshows?

      • timmmah10 - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:42 PM

        Thank god they don’t. I HATE that about the site, but the phone app for lineups is nice. If you follow your fantasy players, it tells you if they are sitting. Nice in head to head leagues with daily roster changes.

    • NatsLady - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      So Robbie Ray strucki out 5 Division II college kids and Lombo is batting 1.000 (2 for 2 with a double). Obviously, we lost The Trade…. 😉

      • historiophiliac - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:35 AM

        Sure, rub it in. I’m just hoping it doesn’t end up being the bag of balls it seemed like. Our bullpen was bad enough that Ray could end up being a real boost…I hope.

  7. rbj1 - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Still a foot of snow covering my entire lawn, the back half of my driveway is a sheet of ice. I’ll take early spring training games.

  8. wonkypenguin - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    I conveniently scheduled a webinar in my office today that starts at 12 CST which means I’ll just have two windows open and one on mute. (You can guess which one…)

  9. ningenito78 - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    “Indeed, I just saw the lineup for the Braves-Tigers game at 1pm today. B.J. Upton is batting second. I’m sure it’s just because they want to give him more at bats earlier in the game, but I actually found myself getting outraged about B.J. Upton batting second and I complained about it on Twitter. For the first game of spring training.”

    Because you’re a doooooosh.

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