If you go outside and take a nice big whiff of the air, you might not get any strange sensations. If you don’t then it’s because you are too far from Florida and Arizona. The air in those places has a little hint of leather to it along with fresh beautiful grassy odors. That beautiful pop you hear is the sound of a baseball slapping against a leather glove. That’s right, Spring Training is upon us.
The Houston Astros pitchers and catchers reported for camp today – and so did almost everyone else. While that is a slight exaggeration, there are eight position players that reported early to Spring Training, including All-star caliber second baseman Jose Altuve. Things are going to be different this year for the Astros. First year manager Bo Porter is beginning the early process of assessing his new team.
Oh, they might not win sixty games, it’s true. But you know what? They might win eighty or ninety games. Anything is possible. If you need proof that a team expected to lose one-hundred games can win, all you need to do is look across the Astros new division to the Oakland Athletics, who did it last season.
There is excitement in the air anyway. You have to love a team that comes off of struggling for years and pledges to change the team from the farm system up. Those aren’t just words either. Of the forty man roster from 2012, there is a more than fifty percent turnover. Of the sixty-one players that will be in the Astros camp by week’s end, only twenty-two have ever been to a MLB Spring Training before.
Things are getting moving in Houston, Astros fans. Don’t fret over losses or struggles along the way. Enjoy the new teams you see from the American League, and look for the little signs that things are turning around for your team. The strongest smell in the air in Astros camp isn’t leather, grass or dirt. The most prevalent and wonderful scent in the air around the Astros is change.