Spring Training for Viva El Birdos

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Call it a hackneyed attempt to force a positive narrative down your collective throats if you must, but I really feel like all of the changes around VEB can turn into a Spring Training of sorts.

Before I get into any of the reasons for that, though, I owe you all an introduction.

My name is Paul Foeller, and I've been writing about sports for a while. I was a featured columnist on another sports site (which I won't plug here -- if you want to find my old material, just use google) for about three years.

I was quoted in the Rory McIlroy biography -- and that's it. I've not really accomplished anything of significance in the sports journalism world, and I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

I think it can actually be a good thing, in fact, precisely for the purposes of what is effectively a relaunch of VEB. Right now, to maintain both the passion and quality we all have come to expect from VEB, we don't need a sea of syndicated journalists to come crashing in.

Basically, we need people who live (and die) with their favorite team, rather than people who make a living off of their favorite team.

Maybe I shouldn't toss around the word "we" since I've never commented on the page before. I've read articles most days, though, and I what I read was equal parts fantastically well-written and passionate.

Why didn't I ever comment? Basically, I was swamped with non-baseball duties. I had two weddings (one mine, and the other by younger brother's), college graduation, and a trip to Colorado all crammed into a pretty tight window.

So if I'm out of line for giving my opinion on anything happening around here, please let me know -- I'll gladly slink back into the shadows. If I'm not out of line, I feel like there's a great chance for everyone to gain a positive outlook around here, and I'd like the chance to explain why that is.

As baseball fans, we all know the feeling that comes when November rolls around. It usually involves setting an alarm for the morning that pitchers and catchers report, and then biding our time with football... and also family and stuff like that, I guess.

We're nearing the point when baseball takes center stage in the American sports world, and to me, that's the best time of year. I was just looking through a box of old stuff at my parents house the last time I visited, and found an old school assignment from when I was 7 years old.

We were supposed to write about one of our hobbies -- and that front-toothless version of me surprised today's version. I read what I wrote about baseball, and how I ended it, while it echoes how I feel today, was surprising to me.

"To others, baseball might just be a hobby.

To me, baseball is a way of life."

Yeah, maybe the Mario-Kart obsessed version of me felt more strongly than I do now -- now I've got work, family and other stuff that comes before baseball -- but that little guy was onto something.

Baseball is more than just a hobby, and one of the reasons is because of the beautiful way that certain aspects of the game mirror everyday life.

In baseball and in life, one-on-one battles often affect more than just the two involved.

In baseball and in life, sometimes people who are wrong get the final say just because they have the power to do so.

In baseball and in life, sometimes a little luck goes farther than a lot of talent.

And, fittingly enough, in baseball and at Viva El Birdos, Spring Training is always a good thing, regardless of how good or bad the year before may have been.

Spring Training means a fresh start, sunny skies, and that nearly inexplicable confluence of smells that makes baseball feel like baseball. As a result, World Series Champions and the Chicago Cubs feel the same when Spring Training rolls around -- they both feel excited.

Excited for the possibilities.

Excited for the return of familiar faces.

Excited to see some new faces.

Whatever the reason, any baseball player or fan worth their weight in sunflower seeds and rosin bags is excited for Spring Training.

That's where I stand on the changes around VEB -- I'm excited for Spring Training.

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