We've finally reached the first holy day of the 2013 baseball calendar (second, if you count the day after the Super Bowl): St. Louis Cardinals pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Monday, February 11. At least, that's when they officially report—we've already seen Mitch Harris make his oft-delayed-debut and Lance Lynn show up most of a Lance Lynn lighter than we remember him, among other things.
But now even the malingerers will be in camp, and the Post-Dispatch will start developing a photo presence beyond Derrick Goold's camera phone, and all the other spring routines will finally get going.
The actual pitchers-and-catchers day is somewhat less important than it used to be, now that the news cycle lingers all offseason and Twitter brings us into constant contact with the early arrivals, but it's never actually been about the pitchers and catchers reporting—this day is just an excuse to celebrate baseball as something that's coming soon, instead of something that ended a while ago.
Which is pretty exciting, even if we've already had Lance Lynn's transformation from grizzled mountain man to suave liquor-commercial-extra spoiled for us. Now we can insist on letting casual baseball fans know about it, too. Because it's Spring Training, and baseball's coming.