|ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS||KANSAS CITY ROYALS|
|David Peralta - LF||Whit Merrifield - 2B|
|Ketel Marte - SS||Lorenzo Cain - CF|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||Eric Hosmer - 1B|
|J.D. Martinez - RF||Mike Moustakas - 3B|
|Jake Lamb - 3B||Jorge Bonifacio - RF|
|A.J. Pollock - DH||Brandon Moss - DH|
|Daniel Descalso - 2B||Alcides Escobar - SS|
|Rey Fuentes - CF||Alex Gordon - LF|
|Jeff Mathis - C||Cameron Gallagher - C|
|Taijuan Walker - RHP||Jake Junis - RHP|
When spring training starts, you’re delighted for there simply to be baseball again, after a long winter of ignoring the NFL and other sports. But as the Cactus League progresses, the procession of meaningless warm-up games eventually loses its appeal. Usually, the last two weeks of March are spent wishing these pointless contests were over, and the “real” games would start. That’s pretty much where I feel I am right now. I don’t think I have ever been quite as disinterested in regular season games as for this series. Even last year, you knew the season end was approaching, and any baseball was still better than the no baseball which would follow Game #162 for the D-backs.
But this year, there IS something better to come, in the form of at least one playoff game - hopefully quite a few more. With all respect to the Royals, That prospect is infinitely more exciting than these contests which have little or no upside, offering little more than the baseball equivalent of circling the airport in a holding pattern, waiting to touch down. Nothing good can come of these games: maybe a home-run or two for J.D. Martinez, otherwise all we can hope for is the players we need coming through them in good health. Pardon me if the absence of injury doesn’t exactly make for much of a compelling reason to watch.
It really feels like December 21st, when you can see a large box with your name on it under the tree, but are completely unable to do more than anticipate what it might contain. You still have to go through all the motions of the festive season - carol singing, visits to relatives, decking the halls, etc. - but all the while, your focus is on the moment when you’ll finally be able to rip open the wrapping and find out the contents. If I could fast-forward through the next four days, to this point on Wednesday afternoon, I’d do so in a heartbeat. However, until then... here’s a game against the Royals!