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Hope Springs Eternal as Spring Training Begins

Finally, after a long cold winter major league baseball's spring training has begun and most every major league team, including my poor, unappreciated Baltimore Orioles, is getting ready for their drive to the World Series.

Realistically, to use the terms World Series and Baltimore Orioles in the same sentence, at least right now, is ludicrous. Until just a couple of weeks ago, the O's only had two starting pitchers -- Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman -- and fans were beginning to despair.

And, Bundy got rocked yesterday in his spring training debut; but of course, those early games don't mean anything (they say). Still, I would rather have seen him NOT get rocked!

Meanwhile, the hated and despised New York Yankees (it's my blog, I get to express my opinion here), were adding to their already potent lineup by obtaining last year's home run king, Giancarlo Stanton, and the Boston Red Sox were preparing to sign free agent slugger JD Martinez, although that was delayed today by an unexpected medical development.

But never fear, Orioles fans, the front office is determined that the club will remain "competitive" in 2018. They recently signed right-handed starter Andrew Cashner, also a free agent, and then brought back free agent righty Chris Tillman, In the video above, Orioles Manager Buck Showalter talks about the Cashner acquisition.

Cashner's not bad, with a 3.40 ERA last year, but he's no Jake Arrieta, the eventual ace they traded a few years back for a slug-a-bug rental. Arrieta is now a free agent and whatever team lands him -- (it will cost a lot) -- is going to be instantly better. It won't be the cheapskate Orioles, however.

Meanwhile, Tillman was horrible last year -- so bad that apparently his only choice was to return to the pitching poor Orioles on a one-year low-ball "pillow" contract, hoping that his 2018 performance will justify a big payday next year.

So, the O's still need to find a fifth starter, preferably a lefty because their other four starting pitchers are righties. Chances are they'll promote somebody from the bullpen or the minors and hope for the best, unless they acquire an established free agent pitcher or get somebody in a trade.

Anyway, as the early spring training games are underway in Florida, hope springs eternal. Who knows, my team could have a great year, the Yankees and the Red Sox could fold, and I could be a happy guy come October.

But...I don't think so. Most likely I'll be sitting in front of the TV once again chewing up nails as the Yankees and Red Sox go head-to-head in the drive for the American League East pennant.

Still, spring training is here. Those of us who are baseball fans can forget about politics and nastiness and just relax, listen to the crack of the bat, watch infielders dance through a double play, and outfielders race across velvet green grass to dive for a sinking line drive as we watch televised spring training games.

I'm retired now, so I can do that. And, as I write these words, all is right with my world.

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