In much of North America, the winters are a tough time. Bitterly cold. Grey skies. Green scenery covered in white snow. Elsewhere in the United States, the weather may be a little bit easier to handle, but for many, I can only imagine it's still a very tough time.
From November on, as the first frigid days hit, the national pastime sits in the background. Battles are played out over teleconferences and winners are crowned in conference rooms. There's the occasional press conference or player sighting in the media, but for the most part, what we're all looking to watch is covered by the seemingly endless dark.
Unfortunately, no magic button exists to change the scenery, paint the skies blue and clear snow off the fields. But there are areas where that isn't necessary to give us all the glimpse of light we've been waiting for.
Coaches, general mangers, superstars, bench hopefuls, scouts, and die-hard fans are making their way to the warmer weather of Florida and Arizona.
For 12 of 30 teams, the wait ends today. Some of the most celebrated words in professional sports will reverberate around the media and leave a great warm feeling in baseball fans - enough to get them through the last stretch of tough winter.
It's the type of day we celebrate wildly at Project Franchise. The type of day where die-hard fans can wear a smile on their face while the bandwagon jumpers stay left in the cold.
Baseball fans, we almost made it. It's February 17th and Spring Training is here. Today, we can finally hear those four great words: Pitchers and Catchers Report!