Touring with Taylor: February? Time for spring training!


Our man Dan is head over heels in love with fiancé Nicole Steiner. (Claire McGinn Photography)

Greetings from Grand Rapids, MI!

The countdown has begun until players start officially reporting for spring training 2012. Probably didn’t need to remind you all of this because I am well aware that you already know! Nonetheless, can I propose that we stop calling these two months February and March? Instead, let’s just lump them together and call it Spring Training. Unfortunately for us minor leaguers, the big-league guys get to start a little earlier than we do and get to release that inner kid who just wants to take ground balls and swing a bat all the time. I suppose it helps build that desire to get to the top even more so, one day, we can be those players who get to start earlier.

My official report date is March 8 and camp opens on March 9. Now, with it being still over a month a way, I am attempting to come up with ways to filter my excitement and not completely wear everyone out about spring training and the upcoming season. I always have to remember that, for most people, it means SportsCenter starts airing different highlights and there is a broader coverage of sports versus just the current sports in season. Some people truly understand this time of year; for instance, I know some teachers who will tack pine-tar rags to their boards at the start of spring training to denote the importance of the time of year. Or certain bosses who will start listening to sports radio more than ever to hear about their teams’ progress.

Fortunately for me, I now have a wedding to plan for before I leave, which helps occupy some of my thoughts instead of 100 percent baseball. I am trying to help and get as much done in this last month before I head out for the season and leave the majority of it to my fiancé. It has been a great new year so far with our new engagement and now the upcoming season, so time will only tell where the season will take me. As with every season, the unknown is what’s most exciting; and, likewise, with my upcoming marriage to my best friend. I look forward to now having a partner to permanently share the thrills of the season with and the rest of my life.

Spring training is almost here!

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