By David Little – @DLittleMLB
It’s March, and spring training gets me thinking of many things. I am so overly grateful to have baseball back in my life, let’s get that clear. But I also find this time a struggle as we are waiting for the real action to start. The real meaningful stuff. For me I love playing the Jays, I love watching the Yankees and us battle it out, I miss seeing Fenway green on the TV, so the longer spring training drags on, the more excited I get. But I also get more impatient.
One thing I do love however is seeing all the different players get their shot. It’s cool to see how much talent is really in professional baseball. The talent is stacked, and it’s really quite astounding how great every guy who gets a shot is. You get to see little battles play out, guys bounce back (Sandoval), young talent play up (Travis), and pitchers get their work in. It’s a beautiful thing as slowly the managers and GMs dwindle their rosters down to those coveted 25 spots (Article coming later on this).
With all this in mind, it got me thinking about two things. First, what is there to write about that isn’t covered to death? Clearly Sandoval is doing well, and stories like that are not going to stand out to you, the reader. So the second thing I got thinking about, with all these faces, young and old, was some of my favorites. So let’s dive into that.
I won’t draw this out, But Jason Varitek is my favorite noncurrent player. His leadership, captaincy and preparation were something I admired. I love catchers, I think the position is incredible and the most challenging to play, and he displayed all of those things about the position for me. He isn’t the greatest of all time, but he was one of the best around for a long time. He was durable, he caught guys through some amazing games and no hitters, and the sheer amount of great pitchers that he caught into his glove is something that I think is a true testament to his astounding skills and preparation. He hit for power frequently, and in my opinion is one of our greatest players ever. As for non Sox Players that are currently not in the league, Chipper Jones was my favorite. The switch hitting, tall stature, chewing tobacco, flare, defensive, all around amazing player. He was incredible, and was the anchor for a long time on some great Braves teams.
As far as current players go, Brock Holt is my favorite. I know he doesn’t stand out as a player who is hitting grand slams and clearing bases, but the way he selflessly plays every position with a smile on his face, I don’t know, I just live for the guy. I like the high socks, I like the stance, I like the versatility, has just an all around great player. As for another teams current player, and I say this before this WBC, Brandon Crawford is my favorite to watch. I admire his greasy flow, and his fielding is some of if not the slickest in the game. I also follow him and his family on social media and I admire the way he’s a family man all the time. Let’s not forget how clutch he was against Puerto Rico.
That was just some quick thoughts on current and ex players. Hit me up on twitter at @DLittleMLB and let me know who you guys grew to love. I love the nostalgia of this game, and some guys just seem to hit you right as a person. They are guys you admire, look up too, and just really connect with, and the truly amazing part about baseball is how we are able to do that.