"In the beginning, there was no baseball, but ever since, there have been few beginnings as good as the start of a new baseball season. It’s the most splendid time in sports." Writer B.J. Phillips
Just a few more days until our trek west to Spring Training. The California leg of our trip has been canceled but we are still going to Surprise. In fact we are going to add a few days to the Arizona trip. I think Tuesday through Saturday should be a great time. I really do not want to travel on Easter Sunday, but hey sacrifices must be made.
"A hot dog at the ballpark is better than steak at the Ritz." Actor Humphrey Bogart
As with all Ranger teams, the biggest question coming out of spring will be starting pitching. It is a broken record that we keep playing over and over again. It will all hinge on Millwood, Padilla, and Jennings. So far 2 of the three are performing great. Hopefully Millwood can get over the hammie and get on track.
"You can’t sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You’ve got to throw the ball over the plate and give the other man a chance." Orioles manager Earl Weaver
The biggest joy of the spring is Josh Hamilton. I cannot wait to get to see him play. Ian, Josh, and Michael are tearing the cover off the ball. Michael got off to a slow start this spring but now he is on track. If Hank Blalock can get into a good groove and Laird give us anything better than last year, we should be in good shape offensively.
"Baseball is one of the arts." Boston’s Ted Williams
Defense, Defense, Defense. With a struggling pitching staff we need better defense. A good solid defense can make a mediocre pitching staff look good. The outfield has already been improved over last year. Laird is an excellent defensive catcher and the infield is in great shape. Who knows, maybe our pitcher can benefit from the defense this year. Problem is that there is not defense for the walk or home-run.
"You may glory in a team triumphant, but you fall in love with a team in defeat." Writer Roger Kahn
All in all, I feel good about this year. I do not believe the team is as bad all that. In fact I think there might be a surprise or two in store for Ranger fans. It’s spring and hope springs eternal.
"Spring is a time of year when the ground thaws, trees bud, the income tax falls due, and everybody wins the pennant. Writer Jim Murray