The weather this spring has been hot. Especially for the Extended Spring Training games. Noon, 1 o’clock in Florida is not an easy game to watch, even more as many of the fields have little to no shade, or if they have shade, you give up the breeze because you’re standing against a building.
Despite this, there is a loyal gang of followers who show up. Day after day, week after week we stand (mostly) and watch games that do not count and will never be found anywhere outside of the blogs the few of us write.
BUT, we are there. We watch young kids from the United States, Canada, the Dominican, Venezuela learning the game or the occasional player from a higher level or even an MLBer make a game or two in a rehab appearance.
Some of the innings might have two outs, others five, since they do not count you often hear a coach say, “roll it” (end the inning even with only 2 outs) or “give him another one” (or two). It all depends on the teams and what each of the players are working on. It’s interesting to see on many levels because you might see a 17 year old kid with killer stuff–all natural ability trying to learn control and additional pitches or you might see a 24 year old coming back from an injury. You could say XST is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.
Like today, Ross and I made our way to the complex only to get a call from a fellow blogger when we were two blocks away that they had arbitrarily move the game to Bradenton. Last week, they moved a 1pm game to 10 and were done when we got there. Other days if there is a threat of rain, the visiting team might not come and it ends up being a scrimmage. You just never know…
Yet, we go. We hope and if lucky, we see the stars of tomorrow in the very beginning of their careers. That is what makes it all worth while.