Spring (training) is here

Am in Port St. Lucie covering the Mets for a handful of different outlets.

It’s about 75 outside, even though it’s only 8:47 am. Love it.

For years as a baseball writer at SI, I dreaded the spring training locker rooms. Standing around awkwardly, twiddling my thumbs, hoping, hoping, hoping, waiting, waiting, waiting, cautiously approaching players to ask this or that or that or this, knowing I’d be blown off, oh, 25% of the time in favor of Field & Stream or a plate of warm eggs.

Now, however, I’m armed with perspective, an invaluable thing to have.

A player blows me off? Don’t care. Someone gets pissed at me? Whatever. Truth is, at this point I’m more fascinated by the retired players than the active ones. Spring is a buffet of has-beens; guys who either serve as coaches or spring instructors or minor league managers or visiting union reps. This morning alone, in about a 50-minute span, I saw Tony Clark, Stan Javier, Bobby Bonilla, Mookie Wilson and Ricky Bones. It’s always riveting, seeing these dudes are years and years of non-contact. Are they fat? Are they skinny? Gray? Bald? Sorta the baseball equivalent of a high school reunion, only nobody remembers me.

Good times.