February 25, 2009 (Use j/k keys to navigate)   Email to a friend    Permalink

Spring training

A far better marker than Ground Hog Day, spring training is when we really know winter is coming to an end. Now that the games have started, Big Shots looks back over the past few weeks of preparations, practice, and playfulness as hope for a great season grips fans of all 30 teams. Baseball is back. ( 34 photos total)

Tampa Bay Rays players run past a baseball during a spring training workout in Port Charlotte, Fla. February 13. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Washington Nationals players make their way to the practice fields for their first spring training workout February 16 in Viera, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) #

Red Sox pitcher Justin Masterson gave his own neck a workout as he waited for his turn during a team drill in Fort Myers, Fla. February 17. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff) #

An egret flies past the Cincinnati Reds spring training facility February 16 in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) #

Red Sox pitching prospect Ryan Pressley, strapped to a parachute-type device, performed wind sprints in the outfield in Fort Myers, Fla. February 12. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff) #

The Colorado Rockies' Aaron Cook swings from a rope used for climbing during workouts for pitchers and catchers February 16 in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) #

The New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, front, stretches next to teammate Xavier Nady in the outfield grass at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. February 19. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) #

The Florida Marlins' Eulogio de la Cruz demonstrates his ability to kick for teammate Alfredo Amezaga, right, while joking around February 22 in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) #

Kevin Youkilis plays catch with a mini-football after drills in Fort Meyers, Fla. on February 13. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff) #

New York Yankees pitchers A.J. Burnett, top, Joba Chamberlain, center, and CC Sabathia stretch during the first day of workouts in Tampa, Fla. February 14. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) #

Detroit Tigers' Joel Zumaya and teammates go through drills February 15 in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) #

New York Mets pitchers Duaner Sanchez, left, and Francisco Rodriguez work out with a medicine ball at the team's practice facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla. February 20. (REUTERS/Hans Deryk ) #

Tampa Bay Rays assistant pitching coach Brian Anderson watches over practice in Port Charlotte, Fla. February 15. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) #

Atlanta Braves pitcher Derek Lowe splashes water on his face after throwing batting practice February 15 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) #

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher BJ Ryan receives an eye examination in Dunedin, Fla. February 15. (REUTERS/Fred Thornhill) #

Milwaukee Brewers' Yovani Gallardo throws February 15 in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Morry Gash) #

Houston Astros first baseman Lance Berkman reaches to catch a throw as he blows a bubble February 17 in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) #

Los Angeles Dodgers coach Manny Mota rides his bike around camp in Glendale, Ariz. February 15. (REUTERS/Rick Scuteri) #

Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, right, talks with baseball great Hank Aaron February 18 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) #

The Arizona Diamondbacks' Miguel Montero hands back a baseball after autographing it February 16 in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) #

The New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez signs autographs in Tampa, Fla. February 19. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) #

The New York Yankees' CC Sabathia poses for a photographer on photo day in Tampa, Fla. February 19. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) #

The New York Yankees' Nick Swisher, left, and Brian Bruney pose during the team's photo day at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. February 19. (REUTERS/Scott Audette) #

The Chicago Cubs' Ryan Dempster poses with a hockey stick during the team's picture day February 23 in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Morry Gash) #

The Red Sox kicked off the Grapefruit League season with a game at City of Palms Park in Fort Meyers, Fla. against Boston College, allowing BC student manager David Hasebroock a chance for some souvenirs. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff) #

The Red Sox' Jed Lowrie returns a shot during a ping-pong match with teammate Dustin Pedroia in Fort Meyers, Fla. February 19. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff) #

The Pittsburgh Pirates' Garrett Jones practices sliding February 22 in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) #

Boston Red Sox David Ortiz, left, sits with his 4-year-old son D'Angelo as teammate Julio Lugo watches his 3-year-old son Julio Alejandro in the dugout in Ft. Myers, Fla. February 22. (REUTERS/Hans Deryk) #

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi carries his daughter Lena, 2, off the field at George Steinbrenner Field February 16 in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) #

The Colorado Rockies' Omar Quintanilla, center, and teammates laugh during a fielding contest February 22 in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) #

Cleveland Indians outfielder Ben Francisco makes a catch in front of a fan looking through a hole in the outfield fence February 23 in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Paul Connors) #

Members of the Baltimore Orioles head out of a dugout for morning practice February 17 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) #

The New York Mets' Alex Cora finishes sprints in the outfield after a spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles February 25 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) #

Fans watch as the Baltimore Orioles play the New York Mets during a spring training game February 25 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) #



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Great photos. Now I can't wait for the season to start.

Posted by DV February 26, 09 12:34 PM
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What kind of crap is this?!?! A boston paper and there are six yankee pics and only 4 Boston! Get the yankees out of Boston!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by David LeDuc February 26, 09 02:54 PM
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I often wonder if the great city of New York is anything like my own fantastic hometown of Boston in that the start of the 8 MONTH baseball season means the end of every other sporting season. Here we are in Boston hosting the NHL's overall first place Bruins with only about 20 games left, and they already.... ALREADY have no headline on Boston.com. Goodbye late season and playoff hockey, its PRE SEASON baseball time. Argh....

Posted by Bruinsfan February 26, 09 03:24 PM
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Saturation.

You're doing it wrong

Posted by Anonymous February 27, 09 12:49 PM
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Uh, where are the Phils?

Posted by Anonymous February 27, 09 06:56 PM
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WHy is everyone so fixated on Boston or New York. Its baseball you losers. If this does get you fired up to go coach you are T Ballers in little league nothing will.

Thanks for the photos - even the eye exam - its what its all about

Posted by James Twiggs February 28, 09 07:07 AM
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Definitely a great turn out at the O's game, though the crowd wasn't that into it. I've missed baseball!

Posted by Tim February 28, 09 09:17 PM
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I think it's safe to say that baseball players have the easiest training sessions of any professional sport.

Posted by JK March 2, 09 02:02 PM
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