Spring training is underway in Florida and Arizona for Major League Baseball teams, and our own beloved Detroit Tigers are getting ready for another summer down in Lakeland. For years, Michiganders were treated to a recitation of a verse of the Song of Solomon by Ernie Harwell at the beginning of the first radio broadcast of the year. Here it is in writing:
“For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.”
Hope springs eternal in March for baseball fans, and even for grizzled, old baseball reporters. It’s seemingly hard to write negative stories about spring training. The sports pages in March are always filled with articles about how that pitcher is going to bounce back from shoulder surgery or how that rookie is going to hit 30 home runs or how that shortstop is going to cut down on his errors.
While we all know that not every team makes the playoffs and not every pitcher makes that comeback, I’m pretty confident in our Tigers this year. I like their chances and know they will do the city of Detroit and the whole state of Michigan proud. Some of their guys are going to bounce back, some of these rookies are going to impress and they’re going to be in a dogfight to win the division once again.
I similarly like our state’s chances and am keeping a spring training mentality about where Michigan is headed. I think some of our veteran companies are going to work their way back to productivity. I’m also encouraged by a changing mentality among leadership that we need to work to bring in some “rookies” or fresh blood in order to completely move our state forward. Obviously we aren’t there yet, but I think that maintaining a little spring training optimism will help us get to where we need to be.