Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s okay, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
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Did you miss baseball? You're reading this right now, so the answer is probably "yes." There is good news for you today, on this first day of March: baseball is back, and it's even baseball you can watch. There are four games on Tuesday's schedule that involve two major league teams facing each other, and if you have MLB.tv, you can see them for yourself. There are also two teams facing college clubs, but you might already be tired of that game by this point. It's time for the pro teams to face other pro teams.
It's far too early to be thinking about which pitching matchups you might want to see or anything like that, but you'll be able to get a baseball fix by watching any of these four day games, and that's something in itself. Try not to think about how there is another entire month ahead of you before you get to see any baseball that counts. And try not to remember that what you're seeing now is mostly players going through the motions to get back into the literal swing of things. It's baseball, okay! Baseball!
At least you can see the finish line from here. Sure, it's far enough away that you need binoculars, but April 3 is right over there on the horizon if you squint, and then we won't just have baseball, we'll have baseball that counts. For now, just remember that spring training is a time of hope. The entire American League looks like it has a chance at contending, and while the National League has some garbage teams this year, there is also a whole lot of talent and some historically unsuccessful clubs looking real good. Hope can sustain you until April's reality, and having watchable baseball won't hurt, either.
- Would you like to see James Shields flip his bat while screaming after launching one during BP?
- Remember a few sentences ago, that whole "the National League has some garbage teams" thing? Grant Brisbee tried to figure out which of them was going to be the most watchable in 2016, and it's a tougher call than you'd think.
- The current Hank the Ballpark Pup is apparently not the original Hank the Ballpark Pup. Please, please tell me Hank I is on a farm where he can run and play all day.
- Speaking of unsettling animal stories, Yoenis Cespedes bought a grand champion hog. Whether he wanted a pork-based friend or a pork-based meal is unknown, but Cespedes' origin story suggests a barbecue is coming.
- It's still hard to see sustainability in the White Sox after their winter.
- The Cubs warmed up with a clap circle around a dancing clown after Joe Maddon drove to camp in a van dressed as a hippie. If you want to root against the Cubs this year, no one will blame you. Well, maybe Cubs' fans, but they're desperate and indoctrinated, so don't let that stop you.
- MLB keeps making more and more money, which means that, within six years, we could have two new franchises to pay attention to.
- Bo Jackson admitted he got himself ejected once so he could spend time with his daughter. Don't worry, it was likely during a spring training game.