So pitchers and catchers are set to report this week — Spring Training has begun! Mitts will pop, bats will crack, the grass will never been greener. I know I should be excited about this; after all, it means my beloved Mets baseball season is just around the corner. Yet once again I find I couldn’t care less, and even less so this year.
For some, Spring Training is the best part of the year. It has just never done it for me. Obviously I prefer the actual season, but I also love the intrigue of the off-season trade mill. Some people find that tiresome, with its endless rumors that never come to pass. I also like awards season and the Hall of Fame voting, which others don’t. To each their own, I guess.
Maybe I do not like Spring Training because it does not mean anything. The games do not count. And usually those games are filled with no-name minor leaguers whom we will never see again. The major leaguers take one at bat and spend the rest of the game clowning around in the dugout, especially in the early weeks of training camp. I’m supposed to sit through three hours of that?
But here’s the big problems with this year’s Mets Spring Training in particular — there are no jobs up for grabs. In the grand scheme of things, that is probably a good thing, but it eliminates the only interesting story line of the spring — who will make the team. It means that even if Noah Syndergaard or Steven Matz have a Dwight Gooden circa-1984 spring, they will not make the team. So why bother at all?
I’ll continue to write throughout the spring on the lame story lines that develop. And I will watch the occasional game if I am home and there are no reruns of “South Park” or “Pawn Stars” on. But that does not mean I have to like it.