Earlier today, San Francisco Giants’ ace Tim Lincecum shut down his scheduled throwing session because of a stiff back. Cue: Mass hysterics.

Okay, so maybe mass hysterics is a bit of an overstatement, but Lincecum’s preemptive departure to the training room has served as inspiration for several news reports pointing toward doom and gloom for the sinewy right handed pitcher.

This is a rite of Spring. Or more accurately, a rite of Spring Training.

News of Lincecum’s sore back only serves to forecast the numerous news reports in the coming weeks that will take a little too much glee in reminding us that forearm strain is often a sign of ulnar collateral ligament damage in the elbow joint.

It’s understandable. I know it probably doesn’t seem this way right now, with pitchers and catchers reporting after more than four months away from our voyeurism, but Spring Training is kind of boring.

How else do we properly explain the number of times “best shape of his life” is used without irony in news stories about baseball players? Or how several local beat writers will all publish similar personal interest stories on the same player on the same day?

Much like the Spring Training game results themselves, much of the news coming out of the exhibition schedule likely isn’t really worth our attention. However, we’re baseball fans, and those covering the proceedings in warmer climates are just as happy to feed our unhealthy obsessions as they are in justifying the tabs for which their media outlets are on the hook.

I’m not suggesting anyone should be up in arms over Spring Training media coverage. I’m merely encouraging all of us who are prone to obsess to take breaking news out of the the Grapefruit and Cactus League camps with the grain of salt for which they beg.

Next story: How Clayton Kershaw’s ingrown toe nail might affect his delivery this coming season.