And so it was at Goodyear Stadium, new spring home of the Indians, where the Sons of Geronimo opened camp Thursday.
New members of the Tribe, such as closer Kerry Wood (upper right and middle), tossed pitches and reunited with teammates — old and new — such as Mark DeRosa (upper middle). Both played for the Cubs last year, Wood since 1998.
Fausto Carmona let 'er rip (lower middle) and embraced old pals such as Rafael Betancourt (lower left), both hopeful the Indians will regain the top spot in the AL Central. The lone wolf with the airplanes is catcher Victor Martinez, whose production fell to Earth in '08.
Update: Just thought to mention that Paul Connors is the photographer.
Waitingfornextyear and other Indians rooters don't have to wait anymore. It has arrived.
Fifteen more teams, including the world bleeping champion Phillies, open Friday; the rest of the league follows over the weekend.
Update II: The Stew has been informed that some Phillies cheated (it's often the case league-wide) and showed up early at Clearwater. Included are photos of a running Chase Utley, whose hip
replacement recovery looks fantastic. As does Charlie Manuel's gut. Thanks to the Fightins for the tip. Have one wit' for me down at Geno's.
Welcome to the 2009 baseball season, Stewies!