Buster Olney begins his column this morning by waxing poetic about the beginning of Spring Training.

There is no greener green than the green of baseball fields at the start of spring training. They are untouched, mostly, except for the regular washings they receive from sprinklers.

The fields aren’t the only thing that’s greener than green at the beginning of the Spring.  As baseball fans, our collective hopes have yet to be inundated with a 162 games of soul killing errors, poor bullpen management and players swinging at baseballs outside the zone with a 3-1 count.  The saying goes that hope springs eternal, and it’s no coincidence that hope and Spring are mentioned in the same breath.  Every year, we begin the baseball season with optimism, forgetting the frustrations of the previous season, and holding out hope that this year, yeah this will be the one where our team finally does it.

Here’s a chart of the reporting dates for each club:

Organization Pitchers & Catchers Position Players
Arizona D-Backs Feb. 13 Feb. 18
Atlanta Braves Feb. 14 Feb. 18
Baltimore Orioles Feb. 13 Feb. 20
Boston Red Sox Feb. 14 Feb. 18
Chicago Cubs Feb. 14 Feb. 18
Chicago White Sox Feb. 17 Feb. 21
Cincinnati Reds Feb. 16 Feb. 19
Cleveland Indians Feb. 16 Feb. 19
Colorado Rockies Feb. 14 Feb. 21
Detroit Tigers Feb. 13 Feb. 18
Florida Marlins Feb. 18 Feb. 21
Houston Astros Feb. 15 Feb. 19
Kansas City Royals Feb. 14 Feb. 18
Los Angeles Angels Feb. 14 Feb. 18
Los Angeles Dodgers Feb. 16 Feb. 21
Milwaukee Brewers Feb. 16 Feb. 21
Minnesota Twins Feb. 16 Feb. 22
New York Mets Feb. 16 Feb. 20
New York Yankees Feb. 14 Feb. 19
Oakland Athletics Feb. 15 Feb. 20
Philadelphia Phillies Feb. 13 Feb. 18
Pittsburgh Pirates Feb. 13 Feb. 18
St. Louis Cardinals Feb. 13 Feb. 18
San Diego Padres Feb. 13 Feb. 18
San Francisco Giants Feb. 14 Feb. 18
Seattle Mariners Feb. 13 Feb. 18
Tampa Bay Rays Feb. 15 Feb. 20
Texas Rangers Feb. 16 Feb. 19
Toronto Blue Jays Feb. 13 Feb. 18
Washington Nationals Feb. 16 Feb. 21

And The Rest

It’s time to play Choose Your Own Adventure: Joe Maddon’s Big Night.

Albert Pujols rejected the first contract offer he received from the St. Louis Cardinals.  Pujols’ self imposed deadline is only two days away.

Would you prefer to read an interview with the same old Billy Beane or the new Billy Beane?

The success and failure rates of MLB prospects gets the graph treatment.

Newsflash: The Mariners will look to improve on last year’s offense.  The most shocking news of the Spring so far.

Larry King was introduced to Bernie Madoff through the Mets owners.

Do the New York Yankees need to look at their draft picks differently?

The New York Times Sunday Book Review takes a look at Scorecasting.

Why the Minnesota Twins shouldn’t trade Francisco Liriano.  But Michael Young is available!

According to Murray Chass: one win equals $2 million.  According to me: one win would be for Murray Chass to stop writing and that would be priceless.

Allow me to present Mr. and Mrs. Kay, okay?

Finally, a very happy birthday to Strat-O-Matic.