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FanPost Friday: Share your favorite Spring Training memory

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

This week, for FanPost Friday, since Spring Training is just starting I thought I’d ask you all for your favorite Spring Training memory.

This can be a ‘live, in person’ memory, or it could be a ‘from a distance’ memory. It could be about a player, or about a game, or about something around baseball, something that happened to you during spring training.

Some examples:

  • Then young prospect, Brad Emaus had a terrific spring in 2009. He hit .306/.370/.694 with 4 home runs, a triple and 5 doubles. Every time I saw a game, Brad did something amazing. Man, did he look like a player. He also seemed to take at least one spectacular defensive play a game. The next year, he had another terrific spring, hitting .400/.478/.500, with a couple of stolen bases. He seemed to be a spark plug. Both seasons we talked about him all year. He seemed to have so much energy.

We traded him after the 2010 season, and he started the 2011 season, with the Mets, winning the second base job out of spring. It didn’t go all that well. Brad stayed in the position for just 14 games, hitting .162/.262/.162.

The whole thing taught me not to fall in love with players because of spring training. Not that I’ve always remembered that lesson.

  • In 2011, I went down to Dunedin for spring training. I got my first look at Anthony Gose. Two plays made me really take notice. One was a fly ball hit to left center, it was hit between Gose, playing CF, and Juan Rivera, playing LF. It was really hit towards Rivera, maybe 20 feet from him, while it was much further away from Gose. Gose ran a long way to make the catch, while Rivera stood and watched. After that, I started calling Rivera a garden gnome.

The other play was a ball that Gose hit down the right field line, Anthony went from the plate to third faster than anyone I had ever seen. Again, I thought we had a player. Wrong again.

  • Same spring, we had seats right at the wall near third base, at a game at the Pirates home field. I had met third base coach Brian Butterfield, the season before, and early in the game he came over to talk to us between innings. He’s easily the nicest person in baseball. Later in the game, the Jays had runners on the corners and Butterfield went through a very elaborate set of signs. Then, over his shoulder, he said “There’s no play on Tom”. Very very funny.

Anyway, go here, and write up your favorite spring training story.

Last week the challenge was to write a FanPost about what rule change you would suggest for the MLB. We had 6 posts:

  • Jonny Crymes suggested something I’ve never heard before, reduce the number of batters in the line up to 6 or 7 and allow teams to have 2 or 3 players who are just ‘glove men’, who just play defense.
  • Ewank suggests a rule that limit the number of times a catcher (or for that matter any other player) can visit the mound.
  • RyanArmstrong16 suggests allowing teams to trade draft picks and also suggests a way to have balls and strikes called by someone watching on a monitor.
  • C-Square wants MLB the eliminate the Balk. I don’t know if that could happen, but I’d like them to simplify the rule, so we all know what is and isn’t a balk.
  • Matt Gross (RhodeIslandRoxFan) would like to allow the home team to decide whether the game should be played with DHes or with pitchers hitting.
  • JoeStratford93 would like baseball to shorten to 7 innings, but having 4 outs an inning. Best of luck selling that one. He also suggests a rule limiting teams to one pitching change an inning. I’m not a fan of taking away a strategy from managers, but it would shorten games.