For those of us who love baseball above and beyond any other sport, the most wonderful time of the year is coming, and it starts with that magical day when pitchers and catchers report to spring training.

Baseball season... for me... should last nearly year-round. I'd be happy to give them a couple of weeks break to rest up after the World Series before they start again, but no more than a month. Baseball on my tv gives me a sense of peace and calm in the world. I'll watch any game. The Seattle Mariners vs. The Arizona Diamondbacks? I'll watch it. The Toledo Mud Hens vs. The Columbus Clippers? You bet! College World Series? Absolutely. Little League World Series? I watch at least parts of it every year. Those kids are the future after all.


I'm a die-never fan of the Kansas City Royals. I grew up near KC and have bled blue since I could throw a baseball. Until last season 'we' were bad for most of the last 27 seasons. Before that my team won 7 division titles, went to two World Series' and won one championship. The 70's and first half of the 80's were a great time to be a Royals fan. Since then... well I'm still here waiting... and actually believing that after missing the playoffs by only 4 games last year and improving our team 'on paper' in the off season, 2014 is going to be a break through year. If we don't win the American League Central Division then we'll at least get a wild card and playoff baseball will be back in Kansas City in the greatest stadium in all of sports. This is our year.

Before any of this happens though, spring training has to take place and the signal of that starting is almost here. Pitchers and catchers are about to report. My Royals' pitchers and catchers report on Valentines Day, February 14. I'm convinced that means us Royals fans are going to 'LOVE' this season. Don't take that goofy idea away from me please.

Of our regional teams, the St. Louis Cardinals pitchers and catchers report on February 12, the Chicago Cubs on February 13 and the White Sox on the 15th. The rest can be found here.

So here's to the crack of the bat, the smell of freshly cut ball fields, and the sound of public address announcers introducing your teams starting line up. Here's to getting there early to watch batting practice and staying late trying to get an autograph. Here's to keeping your own scorecard, foam fingers and one last beer at the 7th inning stretch. Here's to baseball... and me once again forgetting that there are also other things on tv during the season.

No matter what happens with my Royals this year, one thing never changes... There's always next year. In the meantime I'll have another stadium dog, thank you... and don't be stingy with the mustard.

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