I love Baseball and I hate cold weather. These are by no means the only reasons I currently reside in Florida, but they don’t hurt.

When I’ve lived in colder areas such as New England, Upstate New York, and the upper Midwest, the first sign of Spring for me was usually reading the magic words “Pitchers and Catchers Report.” As you can see from the link, nine of the thirty major league teams have pitchers and catchers reporting today (February 13, 2011), eight more report tomorrow (Valentine’s Day present!), three report on Tuesday, eight more on Wednesday, with the White Sox reporting on Thursday and the Marlins reporting on Friday. Most teams will have their first formal workouts the day after they report officially with position players reporting starting Friday, February 18 through Tuesday February 22.

Of course, the reality is, many players have already reported to Spring Training sites and begun unofficial workouts. Some of them are players coming off of season ending injuries or off season surgery. Others have changed teams in the off season and of course, there are the hopeful rookies and veterans hanging on by a thread hoping to make a good impression on their manager, coaches, and front offices.

The whole point of this is to remind folks that even though they may be shivering at the moment, waiting longingly for the arrival of the Vernal Equinox, the earliest signs of Spring are already here. So it’s time to look for your seed catalogs for your garden and/or flower beds, time to start planning your spring and summer activities.

Pitchers and Catchers report.

Don’t you feel just a small bit warmer already?

And because I can: