… until pitchers and catchers begin to stretch and long toss in the Florida and Arizona sun. But it still feels like forever to me. I’ve been waiting, not so patiently, since the final out of the BoSox title clincher.

Maybe you’re not as fanatical about the diamond as I am. However, you must be ready to see any kind of baseball action after enduring this past month.

Not only did we set record low temperatures, but we also had to cancel our Fan Club meeting. Enough is enough.

“Sayonara, January. Konnichiwa, Tanaka.”

Looking forward, we have a lot of fair territory to cover. Let’s begin with a message from Emily Winslow, Senators Director of Community Relations and Box Office:

“The Harrisburg Senators 4th annual Hot Stove Dinner is quickly approaching and new guests have been added. The Senators had already announced that Cliff Floyd, Mike Ferrin, Sean Nicol and Doug Harris would be on hand and now are excited to announce that 2014 Sens’ manager Brian Daubach and hitting coach Mark Harris will also be guests. This will be Daubach’s first official appearance in Harrisburg as the manager of the Senators.

Brian Daubach is in his fourth season with the Nationals organization. The 42-year-old spent last season as the manager in Potomac. He was the Hagerstown Suns manager in 2011 and 2012, his first two in the Nats system.  He also managed the American Defenders (2009) of the Can-Am League and served as hitting coach for the Nashua Pride in 2008 in the same league. He has an overall record of 241-174 (.581) in his three seasons managing in the Nats organization. He has led his club to the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.

Mark Harris joined the Nationals organization in 2011 as the hitting coach for the Potomac Nationals. He was with Hagerstown in 2012 and back with Potomac in 2013. He spent four years with the Kansas City Royals’ organization from 2007-2010; first as a roving coach in 2007 and then as the Minor League Infield Coordinator. He has been a scout and coach in the Rangers and Phillies organizations. He played in the Yankees organization. He was a first round selection (25th overall) in the 1978 January Draft.

The evening begins with a cash bar cocktail hour at 6:00pm, followed by a sit down dinner at 7:00pm, and then the keynote speakers. Throughout the evening there will be a silent auction and, at the conclusion of the program, a raffle is taking place with the proceeds from both benefitting Easter Seals Western and Central Pennsylvania. Autographs will be available from 6:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.

The dinner is $60 per person.  Tickets are available online through the Senators website at https://www.ticketreturn.com/prod2/team.asp?SponsorID=6385(use the promotional code SEASON for the $60 price online) or by calling Emily Winslow at 231-4444 ext. 109. No tickets will be sold the day of the event. The deadline to purchase a ticket for this wonderful event is Thursday, February 6th.”

My two cents? Worthy cause. Memorable evening. You’ll make it an annual tradition to attend.

* Next, we want to introduce you to our brand new Senators Fan Club sweatshirts, featuring the same attractive colors and cool new logo displayed on the T-shirts that debuted last summer. Please call Jeanne Jacobs, Fan Club Vice-President, to place your pre-orders with payment.

* We’ve begun organizing our annual Welcome Back Senators dinner and program scheduled for Wednesday, April 2.

* Our next Fan Club meeting – I hate to do this, but “weather permitting” – is scheduled for Tuesday, February 18. We’ll come to order (as well as we can do that) at 6:30 at the New Cumberland American Legion on Market Street.

Meanwhile, keep the faith, fellow seam heads. The days are getting longer; and, the time until we’re seated at Metro Bank Park for the home opener is growing shorter.

Brian Williams