Well, it's that time once again. Across Florida and Arizona, infields are being carefully raked, BP jerseys are being hung inside clubhouses and pitchers and catchers from every organization are reporting for spring training.
Guess what, everyone: It's baseball season. And if that doesn't bring a smile to your face, I don't know what will.
In Viera, the Nationals officially report tomorrow, though plenty of players have been trickling in for several days trying to get a jump on the proceedings. As for your humble beat writer, I'll be reporting later today (flying down to Orlando this afternoon, then making the short drive to Viera) and will be on-site at Space Coast Stadium first thing tomorrow morning.
Unlike last year, my trek should be simple. No dealing with traffic on Interstate 95. No fine dining at the Shoney's in Manning, S.C. Now that I'm working full-time for CSNwashington.com, I get to fly (coach, not first class) and rent a car (compact, not an SUV).
My itinerary for the spring, as assigned by CSN: I'll be down in Florida through March 2, then will return March 21 for the final nine days of camp. While I'm there, you can expect complete coverage, with multiple articles per day here and on CSNwashington.com, photos, audio files, video files and anything else I can come up with (or that you can come up with and suggest).
Speaking of video files, here are a couple to whet your appetite: I sat down the other day with Chase Hughes (one of my producers at CSN) to preview Nationals camp for the first of what will become regular "Beltway Baseball" segments throughout the season. The interview is divided into two parts, one on the Nats' pitching staff and another on their revamped lineup and bench.
[UPDATE AT 11:00 A.M. -- Also, here's my just-posted spring training preview for CSN, for your reading enjoyment.]
Enjoy these as I prepare to make my way down to Viera, and be sure to check back tomorrow morning for the first of many live reports from Nats camp...