Monday, April 04, 2005

That Feverish, Familiar Season Is Officially Here

SAINT PAUL, Minn. - That feverish, familiar season is officially here bringing with it many mixed feelings from fans and players alike. Between debates over steroids and the historic defeat of the Yankees in 2004 (with the Yankee, Sox rivalry as prevalent as ever) this season is going to stand out in the record books.

In my opinion it is difficult enough for a ball player or any athlete to maintain the confidence and drive it takes to compete. Many of these athletes are heroes to us because they have the guts to put themselves on the line mentally and physically to follow their dreams. They face challenges most of us will never dare face. Heck, some of us have a hard enough time facing our Monday morning coffee. Still, these guys go out day, after day, after day with the hearts of lions trying to achieve what most of us never dare.

The fact remains, some athletes make choices to use substances and write about using them adding to the circus of public gossip which makes it a more difficult arena to compete. After the weeks of speculation and years with blinders on we're re-educating ourselves about how extensive substance use is in our culture. It has never been just an issue reserved for baseball. We're witnessing evidence of this in the most recent reports about substance abuse that remains in football after stringent policies were put in place. Hopefully by educating people and getting the problem out there we'll find a solution.

For athletes out there working their assets off to get to the big leagues on their own merits it has become more difficult to prove themselves. I commend those athletes for the heart it takes challenging themselves to go after what they want from life. Many people never have the guts to take those kinds of risks. Thank you for sticking with it!

As for the start of the 2005 season, many of the players we've been following have run the Spring training gauntlet again for the MLB. The results are in, the rosters have been released and the games are about to begin. While there are players on A, AA, and AAA Farm teams working this season, there are also those with temporarily broken hearts. Spring training is brutal, and as often happens there are only so many positions to fill. Sadly, that means some awesome ball players are cut. The dream doesn't have to end, there is an Independent baseball season to be played in a month and with that short season brings the promise of opportunities. Other MLB teams will recognize the courage and talent still available out there to become an MLB player. Regardless of opinions on who has the more astute skills to become a big leaguer, you cannot back down from your dreams, no matter what ball club tells you its time to wrap up your career. You cannot be a contender in the game of life if you do not get in the ring and fight for your future and dreams!

It's baseball season again everyone! A time of passion, dreams and transactions galore.