MLB Photo Day 2013

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Josh Reddick showed off his beard and belt?

One of the best parts of spring training is team photo day! Lucky for us, many teams had their official photo day yesterday giving us some great shots of our favorite guys. (I suggest thumbing through the Getty Images’ photo gallery.) As I was perusing through the pictures, I came across some real gems, including the insanely crazy picture of Josh Reddick above. I did some Googling and found out there was a story behind the photos.

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Hope Springs: Pitchers and Catchers Report!

Aren’t you impressed that I refrained from using a caps locky title with multiple exclamation points? BUT IT WAS SO TEMPTING!!!!

Monday was the big day for pitchers and catchers from several MLB teams to report. Others, like my Yankees, report Tuesday. And then you have those like my second husband Derek Jeter recovering from surgery and other ailments who have been at their respective training facilities for a while. All this to say HOORAY FOR BASEBALL’S WELCOME RETURN! How about a photo essay?

Let’s start with new Jay R.A. Dickey, who is kind of an awesome human being in case you weren’t aware. It’s going to be tough cheering against this new AL East foe.

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There’s something about a maple leaf on R.A. Dickey’s hat that makes him even more endearing. (Canadian Press photo)

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Hit and Run: Time Flies Edition

Since the Cardinals played the Opening Night game on ESPN this year, on actual Opening Day I had my pick of games on MLB.tv.  By the time I got home from work, the Indians and Blue Jays were tied in the 9th inning. “Oh, I’ll just watch this quick dramatic conclusion,” I thought.  Then it turned out to be the longest Opening Day game ever played.  It went on so long, in fact, that the benches for both teams saw a lot of work.  Which brought in Omar Vizquel. Who yesterday turned 45.

A longtime Indian now with Toronto, Vizquel got a warm round of applause from the Cleveland fans both when he was first inserted as a defensive replacement, and later when the game went on long enough to give him an at bat.  In an MLB where players my age are now considered on the far side of their prime, and where many of his contemporaries are now mangers, Vizquel’s longevity is both remarkable and jarring.  (Related: Chipper Jones turned 40 the same day. Chipper. Jones. is 40.)

Other sports news properly introduced with “it seems like only yesterday….”

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Call-Up Cuties Returns: Welcome to the Show, Boys

It’s not quite September yet, but plenty of baseball teams  have already started calling up fresh faces for their major league debuts — which means even if your team is out of any meaningful chance at the playoffs (or if you’re trying to ignore the fact that your team is giving away the division right after reclaiming first place, sigh) there’s still plenty of good reasons to watch the games.  I mined the MLB transaction ledger to find every first-time call-up since July 31.  You can thank me later.

Ryan Kalish, LF Boston Red Sox

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Hit & Run: It’s Spring Somewhere Edition

I want to go to there.

It rained all day Tuesday in New York, it was cloudy all day Wednesday, and by the time this posts we’ll be in the middle of yet another snowstorm/frozen rainstorm.  I really can not deal with talking about sports played on snow and ice today.  Let’s look in on spring training again, why don’t we?

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We interrupt your Winter Olympic coverage for this important announcement!

  

Chris Carpenter can report here anytime. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

In between squeals of delight over Johnny Weir and the Norway curling team’s pants, we happened to notice that SPRING TRAINING IS UNDERWAY!  

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I have to do this eventually, I might as well do it now.

Well.

It was supposed to be the Yankees.

It wasn’t.

I’m going to miss you, you know. I’m going to miss that little sliver of hope that the rest of the team would play as well as they’d need to in order to deserve you, and I’m going to miss having someone to believe in every fifth day (or really, every day), and I’m going to miss everything about the way you affected the team and the city and the fans. Hell, I’m not just ‘going to’, I already do.

I’m not saying the Jays have nothing to play for anymore – just that it’s going to feel that way for a while.

So I’ll see you around, I guess.

I don’t know when I’ll be ready to say goodbye.