Yes, that title is inspired by the name of the fourth episode of the fourth season of Psych, a show you know I highly recommend.

But spring is upon us! And I am tantalized constantly by Snapchats and Twitter videos of sunny baseball skies in Florida and Arizona. Although I’m going through a bit of Spring Training withdrawal (I attended in 2010, ’12 and ’14, but not since), I did have a unique Spring Training experience this year that I can’t promise I’ll ever have again.Roger Dean Stadium 3.7.14

In the fall, I got an email from a romance novelist named Becca Jameson, enlisting my help with her Spring Training series. She was setting three novels at Roger Dean Stadium and had found my blog to be quite helpful. But she needed more answers.

Because being a baseball guru for a romance novelist can only bolster my resume, I took her up on the idea and answered all her baseball (and no other) questions about aspects of life down in Jupiter this time of year. And in return, she wrote me and the blog a nice acknowledgement at the beginning of first book.

If you decide to read any of the books, know that I had no influence on any of the upstairs bedroom or secluded guest house scenes. But I am happy to say that after a few cursory glances, I have found accurate information about all things baseball-related…among some stuff I wish I hadn’t read.

In the real world, Spring Training is in full swing. The Nationals and Astros are working out at the glistening new Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, which I really hope to get to in the coming years.

Washington today signed catcher Matt Weiters, which sets up an interesting preseason battle between him and fellow backstop Derek Norris for the starting job on the squad.

Nationals Park jumbotron

In Jupiter, the Fish are preparing for their first season without Jose Fernandez after his tragic accident in September. They will wear his number on their jerseys for the year, and his locker apparently will remain in the clubhouse.

With the All-Star Game set at Marlins Park this year, I’m sure we’ll see some more tributes come July.

Today it was reported that Ichiro visited the training room for the first time in his career. He was in a minor outfield collision with Brandon Barnes, a non-roster invitee, during a communication drill this morning.

Since Ichiro will be fine, his teammates had fun taking souvenir photos of him in the training room. It makes me wonder what Barnes feels like for being the only person to ever send the legend to a trainer.

Ichiro stands in LF at Nats Park

Finally, the Braves are preparing to open up SunTrust Park in April. New parks are always interesting, but this one will be especially intriguing since the stadium is being built as the centerpiece of a new entertainment and business district in Cobb County. That makes it kind of like the Brasilia of Major League Baseball.

I hope to get down to Atlanta this season to check it out and write some reviews and tips.

Until then, enjoy spring! Take a walk and toss a baseball around to avoid the temptation of picking up a steamy novel. And be glad you’re healthier than Ichiro for the first time in your life.

 

 

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