I took a class called "Biology for Art Majors" in college.
Kinda specialized. Lots of picture books and films - you had to really try to do badly.
So it is with a certain expertise that I present this microscopic view of the 2021 baseball season on the day the pitchers and catchers representing your Chicago Cubs report for duty.
I bet it was some time in the '80s that I read an article, I think in Esquire magazine, about this day.
Believe it or not, there was a time when the vast majority of people had never heard the term "Pitchers and Catchers Report", unless some sports guy on the news said it (only it sounded like it was just part of a sentence so you had no idea of the actual significance).
And that article, MAN I wish I had it still, was gorgeously written and did such an amazing job of dragging your brain from the reality of what was going on outside to the possibilities of Spring.
By now you've read a thousand poetic musings that try to do the same thing, but whatever.
I've been keeping track of the snow in Chicago with my backyard Tablometer.
The amount of snow that's fallen here in Chicago is breathtaking.
And I mean that literally - I have shoveled and blown snow to the point where I thought, "Good GOD Tim, didn't the weatherman warn you not to have a heart attack shoveling snow?"
Seriously, you gotta stop and breathe every so often or that might happen.
So pitchers and catchers reporting could not come at a better time.
The last couple days, actual Chicago Cubs have been flying into Phoenix Sky Harbor airport.
If you were hanging around there, you might have seen Alec Mills and Dillon Maples waiting to split a cab.
And Maples might say, "Damn Alec, if I had 1/100th of your control, I'd be the best closer in baseball."
And Mills might say, "If I had your slider, I'd win 20 games easy."
Then Maples would say, "Then we could have somebody named Charles come pick us up in a Rolls."
It's definitely a strange time now, with a certain 4 Cub starters all showing up for P&CR Day, only for other teams.
But the Padres train in Peoria (AZ), so it's possible that Yu Darvish was able to at least bump elbows with Kyle Hendricks and say good luck.
Maybe Willson Contreras flipped a suitcase 50' in the air.
And who knows what'll happen?
Jed Hoyer's trying to make this rebuild be less painful, or better than, say, 2013 - sort of the middle of the last time the Cubs were in rebuild (or teardown) mode.
That rotation was a mix of Matt Garza, Travis Wood, Edwin Jackson, Carlos Villanueva, Jeff Samardzija and Scott Feldman. In July the Cubs would trade Feldman for Jake Arrieta (he'd go 4-2) and Pedro Strop.
The Cubs would win 66 games.
So yeah, this team will be better than that one, and maybe even win the Central again.
Maybe Mr. Covid will begin to take a back seat, and Cub Fans will begin taking seats at Wrigley, and Mr. Ricketts can find more money to spend on players again.
This is definitely a year of uncertainty, BUT... at least it's finally begun.
The birth of a new season.
Go outside (even if it's 27 below wind chill) and take a deep breath of Baseball.
Last thing - this actually happened this winter:
He's a Cleveland (Spiders?) fan, she's a Cub Fan.