Commentary

Why we love/hate spring training

Updated: March 1, 2012, 9:10 AM ET
By Jerry Greene | Page 2

You do not hate the New York Yankees.

You do not hate the Boston Red Sox.

You hate the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

That was one thing it was easy to learn while sifting through your reasons for either loving or hating spring training, which goes into full swing this weekend in the Cactus and Grapefruit leagues. The Yanks and Bosox were mentioned more than the rest of the teams combined -- and most of those mentions were not polite.

For example, Alice A. of St. Paul, Minn., said she hated spring training because it meant "watching the Minnesota Twins lose to the Yankees [and others] just like the regular season."

However, Hartley A. of Richmond Hill, Ontario, took another tact, saying he loved spring training "because one of the New York teams is already eliminated from postseason play."

Come to think of it, he probably didn't mean the Yankees.

But let's get to this week's reader-generated list, which is a love/hate combination:

Top 10 Reasons To Love Or Hate Spring Training

10. "Hate those 'exciting' split-squad games because by the time you ask 'Who's that No. 86?' he's back in your Triple-A city," said Lisa A. of Benson, N.C.

9. "Pirate players hate showing up and realizing they haven't been traded," said Karl L. of Panama City Beach, Fla.

8. "Love, 'cause it's the only time of the year that Cleveland outfielder Grady Sizemore isn't hurt. Oh, wait …," said Phil J. of Claymont, Del.

7. "Love it because of the drama associated with storied rivalries; hate it because we'll only hear about the Yankees and Red Sox," said Barrett B. of Fort Worth, Texas. (But, Barrett buddy, aren't the Yankees/Red Sox a storied rivalry?)

6. "Love it because no Kardashians, no Tebowing and no Linsanity," said Stevie D. of Las Vegas. (Don't count on it, Stevie, especially when it comes to the Kardashians.)

5. "Loving the reborn hope [that] the Cleveland Indians will prove the haters wrong and hating it when I end up watching 'Major League' again to see it happen," said Randy B. of Norwich, N.Y.

4. "Love seeing Albert Pujols as an Angel and Prince Fielder as a Tiger -- signed by all National League pitchers," said Janice H. of Palo Alto, Calif.

3. "Love the intimate ballparks where I'm close enough to shout at Red Sox players 'I can have a beer here and you can't!'" said Doug E. of Altamonte Springs, Fla.

2. "Hate, 'cause it's not football," said Lisa H. of Hamilton, Mont. (I know, Lisa, I know. But we've got to let go.)

1. "Love the tradition of watching the groundhog that lives in Brian Wilson's beard emerge to see its shadow for six more weeks of training," said Carey S. of Palo Alto, Calif.

The man has a point. Nothing says spring more than Brian Wilson's beard -- and any small creatures that dwell there.

Play ball!

Jerry Greene is a regular contributor to ESPN.com. He can be reached at osogreene@aol.com.

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