‘Twas the Night Before Spring Training

JUPITER, Fla. — This afternoon, on the eve of report day for St. Louis Cardinals pitchers and catchers, the clubbies continued setting up the clubhouse by hanging jerseys at each locker … with, um, care.

I snapped a picture of the corner awaiting position players when they arrive:

Jerseys hanging at lockers in the Cardinals' clubhouse in the spring training complex at Jupiter, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2012, two days before the team's first official workout.

The unopened bags, the anticipation of spring training’s opening, the jerseys hung ever so carefully — why that phrase kept clinking around in my skull all afternoon and the obvious result was — what else? — a poem, starring the local nine and even some of the journalists who cover the club. Here goes.

‘Twas the Night Before Spring Training

‘Twas the night before spring training, when all through the clubhouse

Not a reliever was warming, not even a Motte

The jerseys were hung by their lockers with care,

in hopes that the Cardinals soon would be there.


The baseballs are nestled, all rubbed up with mud,

eager for that whack that smears the signature from Bud.

And Hummel at his keyboard, and I on the blog,

had just sent our stories to beat a deadline slog.


When out on Field 1, there arose such a clatter Continue reading


“Didn’t You Know This?”

DENVER — It should come as no surprise that the offspring of two journalists — two competitive journalists who bring their work to the dining room table — can turn any car ride into a press conference.

From his booster seat in the back, he gleefully fires off question after question, sometimes trampling on the answer so that he can get to the next question before he forgets. His briefings are not left to the car alone. Watching a movie for the first time with Ian is the equivalent of a final exam — a question comes every few minutes about a character’s backstory, the plot ahead or whether or not there is a sequel we need to be sure to have to watch tomorrow.

I told him at the start of our guys’ trip on the plane that he was a very inquisitive boy.

“Daddy,” he said, “what does ‘inquisitive’ mean?”

As we drive around the Front Range and dart into the mountains to see family and friends here in Colorado, we’ve had a lot of quality time to talk. That means he’s had a lot of time to quiz me. Here is a sampling of the questions I’ve been asked in the past 48 hours: Continue reading