clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Important dates in Red Sox spring training and your descent into madness

New, comments

It's a wonderful time of year for baseball fans. Spring training is right around the corner, and you don't yet remember just how soul-crushing that month before real baseball returns is. Allow me to remind you.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

February 6: The first player shows up almost two weeks early for spring training. Since nobody else is there, this gesture proves futile, and he spends most of his time on the beach without his family around to bug him. Wait a minute...

February 18: Pitchers and catchers report. Visions of spring dance through Red Sox fans' heads. Those dreams immediately freeze on contact with the outside air and shatter into a million pieces.

February 19: First official workout. The first Blurry Phone Camera Photo from a beat writer shows an unidentifiable player doing stretches.

February 23: Position players report. Every single beat writer tweets a Blurry Phone Camera Photo of Pablo Sandoval, alternately claiming he has lost weight, looks about the same, or just making an Instagram joke. Peter Gammons also chimes in with a helpful "aakflTOPafgt@@@"

February 24: First full workout occurs. You realize it's now been a week since pitchers and catchers
reported, and nothing is better.

February 25: Somehow, despite having not been on the team for the last eight years, Manny Ramirez still reports late to spring training.

February 29, 1:00 p.m. ET: The annual college doubleheader arrives. Finally, baseball is back! Spring begins in earnest!

February 29, 1:14 p.m. ET: As Boston College's shortstop fails to field a routine ground ball for the second time in the first inning, you remember why you don't watch much college baseball.

March 2, 1:05 p.m. ET: The first game of both the Grapefruit League and whatever the hell it is they're calling the Mayor's Cup these days. Go Red Sox! Beat a major league team!

March 2, 3:05 p.m. ET: You don't recognize a single one of the players in the game for the Twins. Is getting to see Bryce Brentz face...uh...whoever that is really worth these precious minutes of your life? Is it?!

March 4: Allen Craig goes deep twice in one game. Something deep inside tells you this is the worst thing that could possibly happen.

March 5: The first spring training game against the Yankees. Some of the people in the stands actually paid significant amounts of money to scalpers for their tickets. Everyone pretends to care.

March 7: Your friend calls you from Fort Myers, having taken the week off from work to watch spring training. You are shoveling your driveway because the plow guy came 30 minutes into last night's storm and decided that was probably good enough. You briefly contemplate driving to his house, breaking a window, and throwing a fish in to rot.

March 11: The local media speculates that Mookie Betts, having started spring 2-for-25, might lose his spot in the starting lineup to Brennan Boesch, who's hitting .515.

March 13: Mookie Betts hits a home run and steals two bases. The local media wonder if he could make a run for MVP this season.

March 16: The Red Sox sign another team's castoff lefty reliever to a minor league contract. You spend half an hour researching the player, and just as long after wondering what you're doing with your life.

March 17: Sean O'Sullivan is sent to the minors. One internet commenter launches into a tirade, baffled and enraged that the Sox would cut him when he's yet to allow a baserunner through three whole innings.

March 19: About 10 minutes into a game against St. Louis, you have an epiphany. You don't have to be here! You don't have to be doing this! This game doesn't control you! You can go out, do anything, be anything! Inspiration seizes you, and you rise from the darkness, into the light!

March 20: Alright, that didn't stick. You thought about going for a run but it was really cold, and it turns out it's hard and time consuming to learn a new language. But you did the dishes, so there's that!

March 22: If only the Celtics were just a little bit better.

March 25: Halfway through a game against the Pirates, Hanley Ramirez takes the mound and pitches an inning using exclusively the eephus. Nobody even notices.

March 27: Hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate

March 29: One of the teams wins what was once known as the Mayor's Cup. You don't know which. You don't care. The sarcasm in the game write-ups surrounding this victory coalesces in the spaces between realities and births an eldritch horror. All is lost. All is lost.

March 30: Oh, hey, Empire Strikes Back is on TV.

April 1: Someone at work says they were sure you'd take today off to watch the first game of the season. It's their idea of an April Fool's joke. The police never find the body.

April 3: Finally! Opening Day! It's here, it's here, it's--

April 3: Oh God. Oh God no. It's tomorrow, not today. How could you forget?! No, it's not your fault! It's the calendar's fault! You don't own one, granted, but that doesn't change anything! Where do they make calendars? Are there calendar factories? You gather your materials, and set out to find one and burn it to the ground.

April 4, 3:59 p.m. ET: Everything is set. The torture is about to come to an end. Finally, finally, finally. You leave work early, and switch your television from the reports of the firebombing of a local Costco to NESN. Everything has been taken care of, all is set. All that's left is you, and Opening Day.

April 4, 4:00 p.m. ET: The cable goes out.