Tra-la, it’s spring!

What a pleasure to step outside this morning to get the newspaper and instead of getting a nose full of frozen hair I had it filled with the smell of warm, moist earth and impending rain. It won’t be long now before I can take down the Christmas lights, pull up the orange driveway stakes, or find a place in the back yard to bury the cat (wrapped and boxed in our deep-freeze). I don’t think it’s going to take me four hours to finish that task.

The snow is almost gone, revealing all the goodies the city plows deposited in my front yard and the tire tracks of the yahoos who drove across my lawn over the winter. It’s good to see the snow go, but I’m a little disappointed. Our sump-pump started acting up last year and I had gone most of the winter without replacing it because there wasn’t a pressing need. When the 16″ of snow fell a few weeks ago, followed by the 40+ degree temperatures, I knew procrastination was no longer an option. I pulled up the old pump and went to Menard’s for a new one and other necessary parts (only two trips!) and got it hooked up, then sat back waiting for the deluge. Nothing! The ground has absorbed everything and nothing has made it into the drain tiles. Oh well, at least the job is done.

Without that to worry about (for the time being, anyway) I can focus on the Twins’ preparations for the upcoming season. The team looks a lot more promising this year than last year at this time, what with the League MVP, Cy Young Winner and Batting Champ all on the roster. Now the biggest concerns are who will be the back-up infielder and whether desperate veteran pitching acquisitions Ramon Ortiz and/or Sidney Ponson can fill spots in the rotation allowing our host of promising but young pitchers an opportunity to season a little longer.

It strikes me as a dubious proposition; Ortiz reportedly has the ability to focus like a shotgun when the going gets tough and the portly Ponson has a reputation for bizarre and aggressive off-field behavior. This has been attributed to excessive drinking, but supposedly that’s no longer a concern because Sid is limiting himself to just a little wine with dinner. Uh-huh. I expect to see a report any day now that Ponson has eaten a bat-boy with some fava beans and a nice chianti. Twins management is hopeful that he’ll work out, of course, saying they expect that Carlos Silva’s work ethic would be a positive influence on him. This is like saying Paris Hilton could be a good influence on Britney Spears.

Oh well, it may be spring, but it’s early in the spring when things still look a little gritty and messy. Soon the grass will be green, the flowers will be out, the sump pump will be humming along and Opening Day will be here.

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