Top O' The Order: The darkness fades, baseball finally returns

A few hot links to start your day ...

• Oh, happy day! Not only was it warm enough this morning to take the pooch on the usual long route of her before-dawn walk — something we haven't been able to do since mid-November — but real, live baseball is back with today's start of spring training games. In celebration, please join me in cuing Kool & His Gang ...

And, no, dancing is not optional.

Though depressingly barren for the past few months, the Yahoo! Sports scoreboard is again displaying a fat slate, while MLB.TV has two games — Giants v. Indians and Red Sox v. Twins — available to watch. As for radio, either head to XM or check your local listings. As for lunch, here's three highly-suggested words: Dog 'n beer.

STEW NEWS: Well it's really more Yahoo! Sports news, because today marks the beginning of the Y! Sports-SB Nation partnership. If you roll to any of the MLB team specific pages, you'll find feeds from some of the best ball blogs out there. So if you check out the Tigers page, you'll find links to Bless You Boys, while the Rays page will direct you to DRaysBay. (You get the picture.) To our newfound friends, I say welcome — and may you never hesitate to send me your best material before posting it yourself.

• Here's the story of Jeffrey Rosenberg, the man who bought the 1869 baseball card from the now-famous baseball granny for $75,000. Sez Rosey: "The history of this card is just so unique. I just thought it was undervalued, underappreciated by the market." [Chronicle]

• At first I liked this idea of assembling a team of the all-time hated Red Sox, position by position. Then I saw they included Carlton Fisk at catcher and Willie Mays in the outfield. What kind of baseball monster hates Pudge? And when did Mays ever play against Boston, let alone for them? Rubbish. [Esquire via Red Sox Monster]

STEW NEWS PT. 2: Yes, it's your daily Twitter pester. Subscribe to @bigleaguestew for random during-the-day Tweets while @answerdave will allow you to follow Dave Brown arond the Grapefruit League this week.

• The indefatigable Santa Monica shuffleboard team of Brad Evans and Scott Pianowski face off in a fantasy debate concerning Howard v. Teixeira at first. [Roto Arcade]

• Here's a link to Jeff Passan's latest .... wait, no, it's about golf. [Y! Sports]

• It's never too early to handicap the J.J. Putz-less race to become the Mariners closer. Your options? Tyler Walker, Miguel Batista, Mark Lowe, Roy Corcoran, and David Aardsma. Yeesh. [Lookout Landing]

• Anyone else find it strange that MLB's online shop won't let you buy a Yankees jersey with Torre No. 6 on the back, but you can customize a Gene Orza set of pinstripes? [Subway Squawkers]

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