Greetings from spring training

While Atlanta thawed out, the Braves held their first day of practice.

SUNNY, WARM LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA—That’s what’s called a “dateline.” It’s what newspapers use to let the reader know that they were at the scene, bearing witness to whatever you are about to read. I’m not rubbing it in. Okay, I threw in the “warm” and “sunny.” So maybe I am rubbing it in a little.

More than the weather, though, more than furry General Beauregard Lee and his mischievous shadow, I can tell you with utter certainty that spring has arrived in Atlanta, still-melting black ice be damned, because I’ve heard the crack of Evan Gattis’s bat and the pop of Craig Kimbrel’s fastball sticking in the catcher’s mitt. Today was the first spring workout for your Atlanta Braves. Yes, it was only pitchers and catchers. And yes, it was only roughly three hours of light calisthenics, some catch, and a little hitting.

But spring is not a time for cynics. Especially in Atlanta, where the baseball winters are always hard, spent trying to wash the taste of autumn disappointment from our mouths.