Spring training is finally here

Feb. 25, 2008

by Aaron Schultz

Finally, after an eventful off-season, the Minnesota Twins and the rest of Major League baseball has opened up spring training.

Every February, one of my favorite parts of the month is following the Twins at spring training.

From reading about the young players that may make the squad to seeing if some old veterans are going to be able to hold on for another year, it’s all good.

This year, more so than any other year I can remember, am I excited spring training has finally arrived.

Why? Well, it is simple. Something other than steroid talk to discuss in the baseball world.

Sure, the Twins had anything but a stellar off-season, losing Torii Hunter and Carlos Silva to free agency, and the biggest joke of all, the trade of Johan Santana to the Mets.

As disappointed as I was with the Santana trade, I’ll take that 100 out of 100 times over the having to watch the Roger Clemens fiasco.

All the talk and news coverage the Clemens’ hearings on Capital Hill got concerning his reported steroid use made me sick.

Is it a story? Of course. But when it is on every news channel, along with ESPN, it is just too much.

As for myself, I’d prefer to bury my head in the sand and never hear another mention of Clemens, Bonds, steroids, the Mitchell Report, or anything else related to the subject.

Yes, the whole steroids issue is a huge black eye for baseball, and I’d like for nothing more than for it to go away for good.

By all accounts, testing now-a-days is pretty good, making the game as clean as it has been in some time.

So can we please just get back to talking about the great game of baseball and why it is so great?

Spring training, opening day, the All-Star game, the playoff chase, the playoffs, and finally the World Series, all are some pretty good reasons to just forget about steroids and focus all of our attention to the game.

I have a true love for baseball, yet everytime some talking head gets on the radio or TV and starts his/her talk with steroids, the dial gets changed.

This is killing me, as I seem to be getting less and less information about baseball. It needs to end, and hopefully with the start of spring training, it will – at least a little.

Top 100 movie quotes

The top 100 movie quotes picked by ESPN continue, with quotes 45 through 41.

• 45: “Uh, Lord, hallowed be thy name. May our feet be swift; may our bats be mighty; may our balls be plentiful. Lord, I’d just like to thank you for that waitress in South Bend. You know who she is – she kept calling your name. And God, these are good girls, and they work hard. Just help them see it all the way through. OK, that’s it.”

A great quote from a great movie, “A League of Their Own.”

I would probably have this quote in my top 10, it is hilarious.

• 44: “People always say to me, ‘When you get to the NBA, don’t forget about me.’ Well, I should’ve said back, ‘If I don’t make it to the NBA, don’t you forget about me.’”

This comes from the movie, “Hoop Dreams.” I haven’t seen the movie, but I really like the quote.

• 43: “You never played for Charlie Comiskey.”

This quote comes from the fantastic movie “Eight Men Out.”

Although the movie was awesome, the quote doesn’t do much for me, and I’d probably not even have it on my list, moreless this high.

• 42: “If you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best that you can be, I don’t care what the scoreboard says. At the end of the game, in my book, we’re gonna be winners.”

Yet another quote from the movie “Hoosiers.”

Like the quotes that ran from “Hoosiers” in previous weeks, this one is also very good, and deserves its fairly high ranking.

• 41: “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.”

We’ve all heard this quote from Yankee great Lou Gerhig, when he said it upon his retirement from baseball in Yankee stadium.

The story of Gerhig was told in the movie “The Pride of the Yankees,” where this quote comes from.

While this is probably the most famous sports quote ever, it originated from real life, so I’m hesitant to allow in on this list.

But, what the hey, it is such a famous quote, it might as well be on this list.