Spring at last, Spring at last, thank God Almighty, Spring at last. Today is the day Spring officially begins in Boston. Not some arbitrary date on a calendar. Not when you see the first Robin Redbreast (hehehe, he said breast). Not when some shitbag in a stovepipe hat puts an oversized rat on a tree stump to wait for it to see a shadow. No, it is today. The day pitchers and catchers report to City of Palms to officially begin the baseball season.

No more “Hot Stove”. No more reruns. No more off-field, media-invented crap. Real players, in sunny Florida, stretching out, having a catch, maybe playing a little grab-ass. Tek, Bronson, Wake, Schill, Foulke and the rest will start the 2005 campaign today. The year we get to preface every single Sox-related statement with “defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox”. Anyone that is still around since the last time this was true is probably eating meals through a straw and shitting in diapers. So say it: Defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. And say it often.

Spring training baseball. Talk of homeruns and strikeouts, great catches and errors. Who makes the big club and who goes to Pawtucket. And shortly after, real games at Fenway. Cheap beer, the wave, Yankees suck, Sweet Caroline, and chasing tail. And make no mistake, tail is for chasing at Fenway.

But with all the good comes the other side of being a Sox fan. The obsession. The sleepless nights reliving games over and over in your head. The shooting pains in your stomach and head that no over-the-counter medicine can touch. The hair falling out. The fingers chewed down to the second knuckle. The rage of seeing anything with “NY” on it. Maybe it will be different this year with the Red Sox being defending World Series champs. Somehow, I doubt it. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.