Friday, February 15, 2013

How Deceptive are "Pitchers and Catchers Reporting"?

This week, some of the best baseball writers out there--Tom Verducci, Tim Kurkjian, and Steve Rushin (in Sports Illustrated)--dug into the baseball writer cliché cache and each wrote an article about the beauty of "pitchers and catchers reporting" to spring training.

While I did enjoy aspects of each article, the essential message was incorrect.
Verducci: "Boy, if ever we needed spring training none too soon, this is the year. For the quick demise of winter, look not to Punxsutawney but to Arizona and Florida. Snowmelt for a baseball fan begins this week with the sweetest three words this side of a Valentine's Day card: pitchers and catchers.
Kurkjian: That's why it's our favorite time of year. It makes you feel young again, no matter how old you are, no matter how many times you have been...It is a sign that the long, cold winter is nearly over and that sunshine and summer vacation is on the way. It is a time for optimism, a fresh start and hope. No one has lost a game, the rookies have so much promise, and the veterans believe it will be their best year."

Rushin: It's called February, when pitchers and catchers have just reported, and green fields, garishly lit, are about to blaze on TV, and the Cubs are momentarily unbeaten, and the Mets might yet find three outfielders.
FranT: "Hey, it's basically summertime because pitchers and catchers reported! Time for skinny dipping and Fourth of July fireworks!"

Yeah, no it's not...

And it's still going to be 22 degrees where I live for the next two months!
There are still two months until baseball season actually starts and just less than five months until summer.  While baseball is part of some of the best clichés in American culture (a culture that's "as American as baseball and apple pie"), these writers need to stop. You can tell spring training stories (Kurkjian) or look ahead after a rough offseason (Verducci) without telling us that "pitchers and catchers reporting" is the most wonderful time of the year.

Um, guys? February sucks. March would suck if not for St. Patrick's saving grace.
You get to go to spring training; most of us don't. Your jobs are awesome; ours are jobs. You're very good-looking; we're not very attractive. We get it.

So you tell me: Do you enjoy reading about spring training destinations that only a fraction of the population get to visit, or can the summer baseball stories wait until at least April?

How deceptive are reports of "pitchers and catchers" reporting?

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