The three most annoying words in sports are all over my social media timelines this morning: PITCHERS AND CATCHERS! Yay, baseball is almost back!
Baseball doesn't start until the end of March, but Spring Training begins today with pitchers and catchers reporting for early work. I guess a 162 game regular season isn't enough, a two month preseason with 30+ exhibition games is apparently necessary as well. For some reason.
I couldn't care less about baseball until the Stanley Cup is raised and the NBA Finals are over, let alone Spring Training. But it's not my fault. I'm just a product of my environment.
I turn 29 this month. The Pittsburgh Pirates have played three seasons of good baseball in my life. That's it. They've never won the NL Central since its inception in 1994. The Pirates haven't even won a playoff series since 1979, when they beat the Orioles in game 7 of the World Series.
Thanks to Kevin McClatchy and Bob Nutting, the Pittsburgh Pirates have lost a generation of baseball fans in Western Pennsylvania. Sadly, Nutting is currently losing a second.
When I was in college my roommates were huge baseball fans. The Nationals, Phillies, Mets, Red Sox, and Yankees were all represented in our house. They were always baffled by my lack of excitement around the return of America's Pastime. "Hope springs eternal!" Except when you grew up in Western Pennsylvania. Spring meant hope for a Penguins Stanley Cup run, or just getting ready for Steelers Training Camp.
Few things in sports seem as unnecessary as a 162 game regular season preceded by a lengthy Spring Training and dozens of exhibition games. Few things are as annoying as reading PITCHERS AND CATCHERS everywhere when there won't be a meaningful pitch thrown for another two months. Or when you're a yinzer, and your team never throws a meaningful pitch in the first place. But I guess I just don't get baseball.
Don't blame me, I'm just a product of my environment.
Wesley Uhler is the host of Steelers Blitz, Noon-2 on Steelers Nation Radio, and a Producer for ESPN Pittsburgh. You can find him on Twitter @WesleyUhler.
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