Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


MLB couldn’t start soon enough

?Pitchers and catchers report in two days.?

That is one of my favorite phrases ever uttered in sports.

And while the countdown has officially been on since the
final out of the 2007 World Series, there is nothing like seeing or hearing the
countdown when there is less than a week until the start of spring training and
a new baseball season.

With the NFL season now behind us, and March Madness still a
few weeks away, the start of spring training comes at a perfect time.

The opening of camps in Florida and Arizona starting
Thursday for some teams not only means that spring and warmer weather is on its
way, but that every team enters the year with a clean slate. Yes, some teams
know entering the season that it could be a long one, but anything can happen
once the first pitch is thrown opening day.

The start of spring training also allows fans a first glance
at their favorite team.


How do the new acquisitions look? Who is going to win the
battle for the fifth spot in the rotation? What will the roster look like when
teams leave camp?

And of course, with the start of camp, we can also begin
thinking about and doing research for fantasy baseball leagues.

Despite my excitement every year around this time, this year
I am more excited for spring training to start than ever before for two

Being a Brewers fan, this spring is the first year since I
started following the team that the Brew Crew head to Arizona with a realistic
shot at making the postseason. Will this be the year Milwaukee makes it over
the hump? Only time will tell.

The Brewers have the young core intact from last year?s
squad that finished the year with a winning record for the first time since
1992. With a reworked bullpen and a starting rotation with some promise, if
everyone stays healthy, Milwaukee is poised to make a run for its first
division title since 1982.

But despite the buzz surrounding the Brewers this year,
probably the biggest reason I am excited about the start of spring training is
I?m hoping the opening of camps will take some attention off the Mitchell
report and the Roger Clemens saga.

Instead of talking about all the offseason acquisitions and
trades that went on this winter, the headlines that have dominated baseball
news deal with the Mitchell report and the latest on the Roger Clemens v. Brian

At first, I was interested in what Clemens had to say and to
eventually see if one of the greatest pitchers of all time was telling the
truth, or if he was just trying to save his reputation.

But now I couldn?t care less.

I am so sick of turning on ESPN and having to see Clemens?
lawyer Rusty Hardin talk about how his client is innocent. I don?t even care if
Clemens used steroids. I just want this story to go away.

On Wednesday both Clemens and McNamee will speak in front of
Congress, and since both are telling different stories, one will commit
perjury, meaning this case is not going to go away anytime soon. Hopefully for
baseball fans like me, spring training can bring other stories to the forefront
and push Clemens to the back burner.

Hopefully Peter Gammons, Buster Olney and other baseball
experts will begin talking about what is going on in the field again, instead
of what is going on in the courtroom.

I can?t wait until we start talking about how Johan Santana
will adjust to the National League, or if the Red Sox have what it takes to
repeat as champions.

I don?t care if Clemens? DNA matches the DNA of the blood on
the syringes that McNamee provided as evidence.

I want to know how the experts think the season will pan out
and who is poised for a breakout year, not whether or not Clemens committed

I just can?t wait until we can start talking baseball again.


Greg is a senior majoring in communication arts. Let him
know how you think the season will pan out at

[email protected].

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