It was Valentine’s Day a year ago that the Hot Stone League debuted with this modest little missive. I had been intending to commemorate the occasion with an anniversary post, but as my wife will attest, I’m not always so sharp at remembering anniversaries.
So here I am, three day’s late, to say that it has been a great year, and I’m looking forward to another season of fun, analysis, silliness, and all-around baseball debate. Maybe it’s even better that I waited until today, Wednesday, the sainted day of pitchers and catchers reporting. What better day to celebrate? It should be a national holiday.
Since that first post, there have been 431 more, including this one — but not counting the dozens I did while filling in on Geoff’s blog off and on. Some of my favorites have been when I veered off the beaten path, such as casting the Mariners’ movie, my infamous inside-out shirt, the indignity of “having a catch,” and the saga of the sorting hat. I’ll try to keep doing that kind of stuff. But there has also been a whole lot of nuts-and-bolts baseball talk, and that will continue, too, rest assured.
I’ll be taking off Monday for Florida. I’ve been dismayed to see the temperatures there are still in the 50s and 60s; hopefully, by next week, it will be back to normal. Part of the joy of covering spring training is leaving frigid Seattle, walking off the plane and feeling the heat pour over you. And, of course, rubbing it in the face of all the people left behind. Now it might be warmer in Seattle than Florida! I’ll spend about eight days there, roaming from camp to camp and searching out some compelling stories. It’s always a blast — this will be my 16th Grapefruit League trip, and when I get to Arizona in March, it will be my 25th year in the Cactus League (which I find unbelievable). I promised in that inaugural post a year ago to write about my favorite spring-training anecdotes, but I never delivered. I promise that will be coming very soon.
Anyway, thanks to everyone for their participation, feedback and support. I’m looking forward to a great 2010 season.