It seems nearly heresy to mention this as the boys basketball sectionals unfold, but the baseball bug has bitten me even harder than normal already this year.
Thoughts began seriously to turn to the diamond sport once the MLB Network began carrying spring training games from Arizona and Florida. I will acknowledge that after the worst winter I have experienced in my lifetime, the hope for spring weather is helping to increase that yearning.
So far I have watched at least 10 games, a few of them live and the majority through use of my DVR. My most popular targets have been by two favorite teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Pittsburgh Pirates along with one of my favorite players, Toronto's Adam Lind.
In less than a week I will also turn my attention to the defending International League West Division Champion Indianapolis Indians. The Tribe play their first exhibition game on Wednesday at the Pirate City Complex in Bradenton, Fla. That is the start of a 16-game slate to get the team prepared for its regular-season opener.
The Indians will open the home season at Victory Field on April 10 with 7:05 p.m. contest against the Toledo Mud Hens. The annual 60-degree weather guarantee will again be in place. At game time if the temperature is below 60, then fans will get a voucher for a free ticket later in the season.
There will also be other giveaways during the evening and a fireworks display following the contest.
I can't wait for any of it.
There was indeed a brightener early this week when I learned that an old friend is working in the publicity department at Indiana Grand in Shelbyville.
Tammy Knox, who was my mentor in the early years at Hoosier Park, has joined the staff to help publicize that track's thoroughbred meet. This has made it even more clear to me that I will need to make a few visits down there throughout the summer.