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Jerry Sullivan's Power Take: Pitchers and catchers report, time to smell the flowers

I've had Feb. 14 circled on my calendar since late November. I always look forward to that special day, one that reminds us of the coming spring and the romance of youth. I'm talking, of course, about the day when MLB pitchers and catchers officially report to spring training.

I feel younger in baseball season, more connected to a simpler time. For me, it's still the national pastime, the game that takes us on a six-month journey from early spring to mid-autumn. When I was a kid, this is when I'd oil the old glove, wedge a ball in the pocket and tie it with a string to get it ready for Little League.

That's why I played softball into my mid-50s, because I cherished the game's history and ritual, its splendid geometry.  I still play Strat-O-Matic, which keeps me engaged during the winter. My son is in college, but our baseball bond remains strong. He says he already misses A-Rod.

Wait a minute ... Feb. 14 ... my God, I almost forgot. Time to call the florist!

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