Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

Monthly Archives: February 2012

When Does the Season Start For YOU?

As part of my Numbers Nerd ways, I am constantly counting down something. Days until Christmas. Hours until the weekend. Weeks until the end of the school year (yes, teachers count those too). But once the clock turns midnight, the champagne has been toasted, and the confetti has been cleaned, chances are there is one countdown that I think about more than others.

When is the first day of the season? What is that day exactly?

For me, we just passed that milestone. Saturday pitchers and catchers all arrived at Jupiter, refreshed from a busy offseason and ready for baseball again. As soon as I start hearing whispers of player X has arrived at camp in the best shape of his life, I know that real live baseball news is right around the corner.

The United Cardinal Bloggers are at it again with their roundtable discussions. My question to them this time around was simple: When does the season ‘begin’? Here’s what they had to say…

Dathan Brooks: Cards Tied For First

For me, it never ends.  It just has various cycles.  I’ve often said that the offseason is exciting for me, just as is the regular season, only in different ways.  But, for me I don’t really “feel” like the season has begun until I’ve seen a game at Busch for the first time that season.  Sometimes that’s Opening Day, sometimes a little later, but that’s my short answer.

Daniel Solzman: Redbirds Fun

Opening Day.  I don’t have FSN Midwest and MLB TV costs me an arm and a leg.  It certainly does not help that the cable company and MLB have yet to come to any kind of an agreement to air MLB Network on TV.
If I want to watch baseball on TV, I am limited to ESPN, WGN, FSN Ohio, and TBS.  It’s sad.  Plus, being a college basketball fan, it works out perfectly.   Opening day, at least this season, is two days after the championship game.
Christine Coleman: Aaron Miles’ Fastball
Officially, Opening Day. Spring training is great, but it’s not real for me until the games matter.
Diane Schultz: You know her…
Opening Day is the first day the season officially begins for me. Spring training for me is like Advent (the countdown to Christmas) and Opening Day is like Christmas Day.
Ray DeRousse: Stl Cardinal Baseball

I guess when anyone does what we all do – namely, cover the team – the seasons seem to blend from one phase to the next.

Spring training is wonderful, a welcome ramping up of festivities and a fresh renewal, but nothing beats opening day for sheer excitement and hope. That’s where it really starts for me.

Daniel Shoptaw: C70 at the Bat

I’m with Ray on this one.  When I see the pictures on the Post-Dispatch website, when that bit of warmth pervades the winter (such as it has been this year), when I see baseballs being tossed back and forth, that’s when the season starts for me.  It means less fumbling for topics on the blog, which helps, but there’s news constantly then.  Opening Day is great and obviously that has a lot of import, but baseball is back for me when there’s a couple of guys in Cardinal uniforms playing catch.

Tyler Giles: Rally Birds

The season begins with the first exhibition game of the Spring… but the season OFFICIALLY begins with the first Major League baseball game played where the result stays in the W/L column for the next 6 months.  I’m feverishly excited when Spring exhibition play begins, but it’s like that fever breaks as soon as real baseball is being playing across the United States and I can just bathe in the excitement of baseball like Scrooge McDuck swimming in his vault of gold coins.  God, I cannot wait for that moment…

Rodney Knuppel: Saint Louis Sports

For me, opening day is that time.  Spring Training is nice and all, but the first real game is when they blood really gets flowing.

Matt Whitener: St. Louis Sports 360

Like a few others have said already, it never reallys ends for me. The offseason is just as active of a time for me in following the game, and perhaps even more so sometimes, just due to the mass amount of information that flies around during the Hot Stove season. Spring Training is nice because of the buzz of the team getting back together, but the games don’t really mean much to me. Moreso, the news & player evaluations/status that comes from it is what I check for. It’s kind of like an extension of the winter mostly. Opening Day I really enjoy overall, because it’s back to everybody having a shot again, and how can you not love that. But overall, it never feels like the season ends to me, just moves in different shifts.

Aaron Hooks: Cards Diaspora

I don’t care about the Cardinals teams in Memphis or Springfield or anywhere else for that matter. I hope that a few of the guys playing on those teams make it to the St. Louis Cardinals and kick ass, but the teams I could care less about.

In the same light, all the hot stove, Winter Warm-Ups, and Spring Trainings are nice touchstones, but they don’t mean  squat until the games count. At least for me.

Opening Day will always be the perfect St. Louis day.

Mark Tomasik: Retro Simba

The first spring training game makes me feel that baseball is back. Seeing the batting order in the boxscore, checking on which prospects get used late in games, feeling the old familiar pit in the stomach, even though an exhibition loss doesn’t count, and experiencing that wonderful emotional ride when the Cardinals play well and seem to have all the potential in the world.

Bill Ivie: i70 Baseball

The season never ends for me.  Sure, I miss live games or consistent news, but with today’s day and age of multimedia access, constant chatter via social media, winter leagues, and much more, the game just never stops for me.  There is not a day of the year that I don’t find a way to have a baseball related discussion.  To me, this game is a year-round event.

Mary Clausen: MLB Voice

The first day of baseball for me is “pitchers & catchers report” day.  It all just falls in right after that. I love every single bit of it!

JE Powell: Stl Fear the Red

First day that pitchers and catchers report starts the “regular” season for me. In baseball there is the “Regular Season” which starts with pitchers anc catchers reporting and ends when the Cardinals season officially ends (whether it’s the last day of the actual regular seaon or the final playoff game) and then there is the “Off Season” which still has quite a bit going on most of the time. So, the answer to the questions is both Pitchers and Catchers Reporting and It Never Ends. Not a very good answer, to be sure, but it’s the only one I’ve got.

Christopher Carelli: Redbird Rants

I’m of the mindset that baseball is going on around the clock. I never stop thinking about the game and there are endless discussions about it daily. Baseball has four seasons which blend into one another; spring training, regular season, post season and hot stove season. Can’t get enough!

Chris Reed: Bird Brained

In the past, it was always the day pitchers and catchers reported to  Spring Training. But I would also get a return of that “New Season”  feeling when I’d hear the first radio broadcast from Florida, then see  the first telecast, etc. And that hasn’t really changed since I was a  kid. Over the last two years though, thanks to I-70 Baseball, I’ve  been able to cover the Winter Warm Up as a reporter and that has  become the true start of the new season for me. It’s the first  official Cardinal baseball event after the calendar flips to the new  year. It’s the first time since the end of the previous season that  most of the team is all in one place. And throughout the day, many of the guys talk about when they’re heading down to Jupiter. The St. Louis Cardinals Winter Warm Up is my first real “baseball is back” experience of the new season.

Nick: Pitchers Hit Eighth

Clydesdales and red sportcoats.

I just love Opening Day at Busch.

Now you know their thoughts. What are yours? When does the season start for you?

Happy Spring Training Day!

As the calendar turns the corner into the New Year, baseball fans begin to see the light at the end of winter’s tunnel.  Like the countdown to midnight on New Year’s Eve, we baseball fans begin the countdown to the first day of spring training, and we at Diamond Diaries have been counting the days too, as you can see in the sidebar to the right of your screen. After Opening Day, the first day of spring training is the second most important day on the baseball fan’s calendar.  I am celebrating the first day of spring training by wearing my World Series T-shirt, my Cardinals watch and my Cardinals necklace. :)

Although it may be cold and snowy where you are, in Florida and Arizona, where spring training is headquartered, the weather is warm and sunny, reminding us that spring and a new baseball season is right around the corner. “Pitchers and catchers report” are the words that get me through a cold and gray February.

On the first day of spring training, all teams are on equal footing.  Fans of teams who made the playoffs and World Series will dream of repeat appearances.  Fans of perennially losing teams will wonder, Is this the year? Could it all gel together this year?  (In the case of the Cubs, probably not.) Cardinals fans have a lot to think about this spring training season.  Let’s take a brief look.

1. Subtractions.  The first big loss was when manager Tony LaRussa announced his retirement.  The Player Who is Not to be Named defected to the Angels.  Then Dave Duncan decided to take a leave to take care of his wife.  Those losses could take down a less disciplined team than the Cardinals.

2.  Additions.  Tony’s replacement is Mike Matheny, who is a well-loved former Cardinal, but who also has no big league managing experience.  Cardinal killer Carlos Beltran is on the prowl in right field, and we’re grateful his bat will be used for us instead of against us.

3.  Variables.  How well will Lance Berkman play at first base?  Will his bat be as hot this year as last?  Will Matt Holiday play and hit better once he’s out of #5′s shadow?  Second base is wide open – who will be the starter in that slot, Greene, Descalso, or Schumaker?  How well will the players adapt to a new manager, especially one who used to be one of their fellow players? Can Derek Lilliquist perform the same magic with the pitching staff that Dave Duncan did?

This spring training promises to be an interesting one, considering all of the above.  I can’t wait to see the boys in uniform again, listening to Mike Shannon and John Rooney on KMOX, and watching the games on TV.  Hurry up March 5th!  Let’s go Cards!

As always, thanks for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

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