Today’s activities will by and large be conducted behind closed doors. Players and catchers will undergo physicals and be briefed on the spring-training schedule. And not every MLB teams have pitchers and catchers reporting today; many teams have them reporting tomorrow.
Still, for many of us, the first date of pitchers and catchers reporting to MLB camps is really the beginning of spring training — and the beginning of the baseball season. Having a specific day for pitchers and catchers report really isn’t necessary (after all, most players show up in shape, and most have been in contact with management), but it’s a wonderful throwback to the days when no one was entirely sure about the condition of players at the beginning of spring training.
This should be an interesting spring training, as agents lament the lack of huge free-agent contracts and contending teams are eager to see what they have for the season. The Los Angeles Angels made a huge impact with the signing of Shohei Ohtani, and the New York Yankees improved a contending squad with the addition of Giancarlo Stanton, adding him to a loaded roster that already included Aaron Judge. Tomorrow will see the launch of private workouts in Bradenton, FL at IMG Academy for unsigned free agents, but the sessions are closed and it’s not clear how many players will actually show up. High-powered agent Scott Boras is not sending his client there; they include Jake Arrieta, J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas.
As for us: We’ll be heading to Florida next week, taking in the annual Boston Red Sox/Northeastern/Boston College doubleheader and a Minnesota Twins/University of Minnesota Golden Gopher match on Feb. 22. We’ll then spend the next week in the Grapefruit League before heading to Arizona and the Cactus League in March.