It's been a long winter, but spring training has arrived.
It's time to rejoice, baseball fans. We have sat patiently through an offseason filled with PED controversies, nine-figure contracts, Hall of Fame debates, international superstars, rules changes and the Yankees somehow surprising everyone by spending lots of money. And now, those long hours of clinging to free agent rumors and prospect scouting reports have been rewarded.
The Dodgers and Diamondbacks reported to spring training on Sunday. The two clubs are playing a pair of regular season games in Australia a week before the rest of the league gets going, so they're getting started a few days before the other teams. As I am currently sitting in a rainstorm in California and am within sight of exactly zero major league players, here are some pictures from the first hours of warm-ups. Let's all live vicariously through these photos.
As you approach Camelback Ranch in Glendale, you catch your first glimpse of baseball. Far in the distance, the Dodgers are warming up on the field.
You get a bit closer. You can make out the writing on the uniforms now. Reality starts to sink in.
"Halt!" calls the sentry on his steed. "Be ye friend or foe?"
A couple of young prospects watch the big boys run by. The kid on the right is starting for the Astros this year.
With jersey numbers such as 74 and 99, these youngsters probably won't stick on the team. Especially that guy with the glove on his head.
Also, the Diamondbacks are around somewhere.
Well, not everyone is here.
Dodgers pitchers and catchers reported to spring training today. Except for Ronald Belisario. That guy is always late.— DodgerzGM (@DodgerzGM) February 9, 2014
Rumor has it that Ronald may not show up until June, when the White Sox come to town.
Get excited, baseball fans. Spring has arrived, even if your team hasn't reported yet.
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