20 February 2012

OMFG! Spring Training!!!

© SB Nation Bay Area 2012
Alright, everybody. Take a deep breath... Hold it... Now let it out, slowly... There, doesn't that feel better?

Every year around mid-February, I'm consistently shocked by how shocked I am that fans get so damn hyphy for the beginning of baseball operations in Arizona. Seems like there's enough hunger among the faithful to rival a medium-sized third-world nation – or Detroit.

Obeying Newton's laws and taking advantage of today's 24-second news cycle, the beat writers come along for the ride, tweeting and blogging updates every time Brian Wilson blows his nose or Tim Lincecum ponders an In-N-Out run.

Today was a prime example, as Giantsland was rocked by news of Wilson throwing off a mound for 15 whole minutes, Charlie Culberson dropping a weight on his finger, and Ryan #Vogelstrong tweaking a muscle in his back and coming down with a cold.

It's enough to make you wonder: Does the media obsess over this stuff because we do, or do we obsess over this stuff because modern technology makes it so darn obsess-ible? I mean, accessible.

I know it's difficult for some of us to remember what sports fanaticism was like before the advent of the Internet, smart phones, and social media. But from my experience growing up as a Giants fan way back when morning newspapers and subscriptions to Baseball America were the only ways to really follow the sport, Spring Training was always a mystical time of the year.

Way back then, the Mercury News, Chronicle, and Tribune all published special full-color sections on the season's outlook for the local nine (or 18, if you count that team from Oakland San José). Now, we're lucky if we get a story in the travel section — and the Merc and Tribune have become pretty much the same paper. The real action is online, and there's a ton of action for anyone who's interested.

But allow me to risk my fan credentials by saying I couldn't give two shits how many pitches Brian Wilson threw today, whether or not he's throwing tomorrow, and how soon we'll be able to see him in a fake game against half-interested hitters who are only trying to get their timing back.

What does it matter if the dude's throwing without pain on February 20th? I only care about April 6th. If he's still feeling it from his funny bone when the Gigantes touch down in Phoenix for the opening series with the D-Bags, then we can talk. Until then, sorry, but who gives a shit?

And it's not just Weezy. Understandably, Gerald Posey is the number one story in Giants camp this season. But do we really need three sidebars and a blog on his decision to go with the two-piece mask? Or valuable time and space spent on Buster's tips for new parents?

All of this hyperbolic sensationalism over what amounts to nothing more than working out is enough to make me shut down my browser and deactivate my Twitter account until Opening Day. Seriously, folks, can you imagine anyone getting this excited about your last trip to the elliptical machine at 24-Hour Fitness?

But of course, I'll keep listening, reading, and watching every last bit of Hot-Stove-Spring-Training-Cactus-League-wall-to-wall coverage. After all, what the hell else am I gonna do to get my sports fix? Watch the Warriors? Please...



— Can something be done to get Marty Lurie out of our lives forever? Whose dick did this waste of human genomes have to suck to get a seemingly lifetime gig on THE Sports Leader? Lee Hammer will have to explain to me why Marty and not Urbs will continue to serenade us on the long drives home after crushing, late-inning Sunday defeats. If you can't understand my loathing of all things Marty, you really have no business reading this blog. You will not enjoy it.

— Finally cut my check for season tickets, and boy, is my hand tired from writing all those 0's! It's gonna take a goddamn public relations genius to make the case for raising ticket prices after a season like we had to endure last year. The least Mr. Baer and his Super PAC could do is throw in free lap dances on Orange Fridays or half-priced Anchor Steams and Cha-Cha Bowls at designated weeknight games. But I guess we're paying for the opportunity to see Melky Cabrera try in vain to replicate his career year. Just another sad reminder that this game is a business, not our personal joy toy.

— Since the rest of this post has been so damned uplifting, I thought I'd end on a high note: Marc Kroon. If that dude doesn't make you feel a glimmer of hope for the human race, I don't know what will.

With that, I'm out like Ricky Martin. See you on the flip side...

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