2014 spring training schedule: Cactus, Grapefruit Leagues begin play

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball has mercifully returned... kind of.

[It] went away and you hung around
And bothered me, every night
And when I wouldn't go out with you
You said things that weren't very nice

My [baseball]'s back and you're gonna be in trouble...

Those modified lyrics were sung, appropriately enough, by The Angels. While the song may concern a boyfriend instead of a way of life game, the point still holds as baseball serves as a wonderful significant other for at least six months of the year. Well, baseball is back. Finally. Starting today, we get major league teams squaring off against each other in a (semi) competitive manor.

In the humidity of Florida, we have Grapefruit League action highlighted by Brad Ausmus and the Tigers taking on the Braves in the team's first game sans Brian McCann at Disney. The Blue Jays visit another managerial rookie as Ryne Sandberg and the Phillies play host in Clearwater, and the Pirates begin their campaign for a second straight playoff appearance by taking on the new-look Yankees in Bradenton. The Marlins host the University of Miami in the only non-MLB game of the day.

In the dry air of Arizona, the Athletics will kick off the bay area rivalry by visiting the Giants in Scottsdale, while the Dodgers and Diamondbacks renew their rivalry without a pool available at Salt River Fields. The state of Ohio will be focused on Goodyear as Cincinnati will take on their in-state counterparts when they visit Cleveland.

Grapefruit League

1:05 p.m. ET: Detroit Tigers vs. Atlanta Braves at Disney
1:05 p.m.: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Philadelphia Phillies at Clearwater
1:05 p.m.: New York Yankees vs. Pittsburgh Pirates at Bradenton
1:05 p.m.: University of Miami vs. Miami at Jupiter

Cactus League

3:05 p.m.: Oakland Athletics vs San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale
3:05 p.m.: Cincinnati Reds vs. Cleveland Indians at Goodyear
3:10 p.m.: LA Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields

Hey-la-day-la my [baseball]'s back

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