Spring training is an oxymoron.
No, I’m not calling Uncle Charlie a mean name.
Here’s the definition of oxymoron: a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect.
All right, you do understand figure of speech, something like Burrell can’t hit a slider. And you do understand a self-contradictory effect, like awarding Howard with a $900,000 contract.
Are you with me on this?
Here are a couple more examples of oxymoron: Colossal shrimp, or thunderous silence, cruel kindness, or a poor little home run hitter.
Florida in the spring—at least before Al Gore made up this global warming stuff—is a wonderful time of 75 degree days, cool evenings, girls in bikinis, the sun glistening off the Gulf, marlin fishing—Dontrelle not included—then smackkkkkk--following a tee shot down the fairway into the deep blue sky, and drinkin’ with LA till 3 in the morning at the 19thhole.
Training; well, you get the picture.
So spring training is an oxymoron. And what exactly do they do in spring training? They stretch out doing these little exercises where you lift your arms up over your head, then bring them down. Wow, tough.
They play in B games--which means if the A games didn’t mean anything, the B games sure as hell don’t either. Pitchers throw a couple of innings working on arm speed and location. When they get hammered, they say it doesn’t mean anything cause they are gettin’ ready. If they pitch a three-inning shut out, they want to renegotiate their contract.
Sometimes they don’t want to go to away games because they have to ride in a bus. Listen, when you are making $15 million a year, you don’t want to ride in a bus, you want the whole freakin’ field to come to you! Sometimes they get a little muscle twitch and sit out for a few days. If your last name is Gordon, a little muscle twitch and they are flying you back to Philly to get reexamined. I wonder if he flew first class?
Hitters face pitchers workin’ on arm speed and location.
Some guys take advantage and actually hustle and do well in spring training, knowing it means nothing except to the wife and kids back home in frigid Philadelphia following you in the box scores. Chris Coste hit .450 in spring training last year and when camp ended he was shipped to Scranton-Wilkes Barre. I wonder where Gregg Dobbs will go this year? He likes moose hunting so maybe he’ll end up in playing in Ottawa.
Well there you go, another oxymoron: Spring baseball in Ottawa, Canada.