You may be thinking, “That kind of headline gets tired on February 2nd.” But my thoughts are nowhere close to a prognosticating rodent from Punxsutawney.

We’re now less than five full weeks away from actual MLB spring training games. Six weeks from now, those games will begin to take shape as pitchers and position players gradually ramp up their performances to regular-season readiness.

For the second consecutive year, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend Orioles Fan Fest. I’m so thankful that the weather cooperated Saturday.

Among other activities, I enjoyed two early Q&A forums, Adam Jones’ family, Chris Davis scurrying by me to an autograph table (for the second year), and another tour of the ballpark. Climbing the dugout steps onto a baseball field never gets old even in brisk January winds.


Orioles Park at Camden Yards - 1/31/2015

I can be shy in large crowds, but talking baseball with a complete stranger for 20 minutes comes so naturally. And the conversation ends well before either of us runs out of baseball-related material.

Finally … finally, there’s light at the end of this long, cold, dark off-season. We’re getting closer. But until I hear a ball sizzle into a glove with an echoing thud, I’ll remain curled up in this winter blanket.

Brian Williams
“From Deep Short”