Today is a day of firsts: it’s Truck Day for the Boston Red Sox and the reporting date for the Seattle Mariners. In other words: spring training has officially begun.
Normally we don’t see Truck Day for most MLB teams so close to a reporting date. But this is a weird year: the Mariners are reporting early because Seattle and the Oakland Athletics are scheduled for a season-opening series in Japan at the end of March — a series that severely impacts spring training for both. Oakland, interestingly, didn’t ask its pitchers and catchers to report early, but the Mariners did. So Seattle became the first team to formally begin spring training, with 42 players expected at its Peoria training complex.
In Boston, we had the ritualistic departure of the equipment truck from Fenway Park. Quite the crowd on hand to mark the occasion — as was ESPN.