These are the days when you start to understand why baseball can be such a bipolar beast. Rain clouds swept over Roger Dean Stadium early Thursday morning and never left. So all the rhythmic sights and sounds that make the baseball poets gush were replaced by hard rains pelting tin roofs and heavy metal clanking off the cinder block walls in the St. Louis Cardinals’ weight room.
The romantics want you to be swept away by baseball’s relaxed spring rhythms. They want to capture spring training’s essence by the endless snapshots of swaying palm trees, cloudless skies and old men clutching scorecards and slowly baking on aluminum bleacher seats in the soothing Florida sun.
But here’s the other side of baseball. Peel back the romantic curtain and take a peek back here where the game is an endless grind, where the players are madmen obsessed with getting bigger, stronger, faster and seeking any edge to endure the hardships of a nine-month ordeal to the World Series.
Romance? Poetry? Bull. Let’s talk about self-inflicted torture.