I watched the first spring training baseball game on the Major League Baseball Network yesterday, between the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets. It was a raw, windy day in Port St. Lucie, on the east coast of Florida. A cold front had just come through, dumping rain across the entire Sunshine State, and the Mets decided not to send their regulars out to play on the slick grass. They still won the game, 4-2. It didn't mean anything, of course, since it was just an exhibition game, but it was an opportunity to see a couple of the Braves' top young players in pitcher Tommy Hanson and rookie outfielder Jason Heyward. If you're a baseball fan, you'll be hearing those names a lot in coming years.
More importantly, especially for those who live Up North, the beginning of spring training baseball means that winter is probably on its last legs. And given the historic severity of this winter, its demise will no doubt be welcome from sea to shining sea. Baseball means that there's a warm, sunny light at the end of the tunnel.