Love Letters From Pronk is an ongoing series where Pronk shares his love for somebody connected to the Cubs. Sometimes funny, sometimes weird, Pronk likes to make 100% sure people know that they are loved, and best expresses that through gushing letters. Today's pick is a bit outside the norm, as Pronk talks about his love for spring training.
I love spring training. Every single year. It represents not only a fresh page, but also heights of optimism. It's impossible to be a 'glass half empty' type of person when the season gets going. Everything is full of possibility and promise.
I love that spring training always starts the second week of February. Living in Chicagoland, we have dreary winters. I can handle it through New Year's, but then January tends to result in no temperatures above 20 degrees. Sometimes we get a decent amount of snow too. It's beautiful for a few days, but then turns gray from traffic. My enjoyment of winter is very limited. I bring this up because by February, I am a basket case hoping for warmth, which might not come for another month. But with spring training firing up mid-month, it gives me a proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Baseball is on it's way, and with it comes sunshine.
Even though I don't watch a ton of spring training live, I love following the stories of camp. Roster battles are exciting, day in and day out. Even though a hitter's hot spring might not translate to the regular season, it always gives me hope that they've figured something out and will be an all star that year.
I also love spring training because it distracts me from my least favorite sporting event: March Madness. I dislike college sports, dislike basketball, dislike collegiate pride, and all three of those are wrapped up into one miserable tournament. I don't want to sidebar too much from baseball, so I'll leave my opinions as just that. But seriously, thank goodness for baseball so I have something else to look forward too.
Spring Training represents hope. The first day of spring is all optimism for the upcoming year. None of the flaws have presented themselves yet, and so the World Series is always within reach. Bryant, Rizzo, and Baez might have all had subpar seasons last year, but they are all going to bounce back this year. The rotation might have been turned over; but on paper, it looks strong. This time of the year, we aren't saddled with problems that have come up. It's only good things.
I love spring training. I hope you do as well.