And so we begin…

The luggage tag.

TAMPA, Fla. — If the old sappy song is true — and every beginning is indeed some other beginning’s end — then the end of most life outside of baseball for the traveling baseball beat writer begins in spring training.

When I step off the plane in an hour, I’ll say goodbye to home-cooked meals, days spent without leaving my apartment and clean laundry. I’ll said hello to ballpark hot dogs, Marriott points and games of “ah, fuck, mustard stain!”

Preparing for this life transition is somewhat time consuming, which explains my absence over the last week. To those of you who have been reading the blog on a regular basis, I apologize for the lack of updates.

Anyway, after the greatest weekend ever (my gentlemanly sensibilities require me to keep the details private*) I am once again ready to go.

Soon after starting this blog, I wondered how often I should give it my attention. I asked a few friends, and they all said the same thing: “whenever it’s convenient.” But the more I thought about it, the right answer became clearer and clearer.

The evolving 24-hour news cycle, the one that deems players arriving in a moldy clubhouse a Tweet-worthy event, can easily make baseball writing an all-consuming job. It’s (mostly) enjoyable because baseball is something I already love.

That said, I also love Fat Tire beer. Still, as much as I love it, I wouldn’t want to drink that shit from a fire hose.

Beat writers must dive in head-first. That’s just the nature of the job. But in those moments that I feel submerged in the daily grind of baseball — and from here to October I assume it will happen a lot — I plan to use this blog as my way of coming up for air.

Whether it’s a deep breath or a quick breather — a long post or two paragraphs of silliness — I’ll be blogging at least once a day. At least that’s the plan.

Well, it’s time to run. The pilot just announced it’s 61 degrees in Tampa. Gotta pick up the rental car, check into the hotel, stock the fridge, write something for work.

Yep, it’s time for spring training. Time for the beginning.

* Hey you, thanks for the “before strippers,” Fe, and… the other stuff. You know who you are.

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