I’m reminded today of the Geiko Commercial when the camel goes strolling through the office bellowing “it’s hump day!”
That’s how I feel about Truck Day. That, for any of you who do not know, is when the equipment truck that’s roughly the same size as a locomotive loads up at Fenway Park and transports everything down to Fort Myers in anticipation of spring training.
Just the mention of the word “spring” makes the ears perk up. Although this certainly hasn’t been the worst winter on record, it’s still winter. It’s cold. We’ve had two or three snaps where it’s been as cold as it ever is here, and two weeks ago we had the worst combination of cold and ice I can remember in a long time.
So yeah, you hear “spring” and it doesn’t matter what the calendar says. Already we’ve heard that the groundhog, who now has a name, didn’t see his shadow, which means there are only six more weeks of winter. Considering that meteorology speaking, spring begins March 1, that’s not a risky prediction. If the groundhog did see his shadow, spring would still begin, in meteorology terms, on March 1.
Whether the weather patterns match what the weather people say is another story. And since they can’t seem to nail these forecasts down more than a day or two out, it’s tough to see how some rodent named Phil will. Then again, just in either/ors alone, Phil might have better luck.
Even better, on the same day the truck left for Fenway Park, it was 50 degrees out. That’s an interesting — and fortuitous — juxtaposition of events. But all that does it make it harder when, inevitably, the cold weather roars back.
The Beanpot hockey tournament began Monday night, and for me, that’s always been an important milestone in the seasonal calendar. Not so much because I’m hoodwinked into thinking spring is around the corner, but because it represents the beginning of the exit from the long, dark tunnel that represents winter. The same way the final out of the World Series signifies the dawn of winter for me, the final horn of the Beanpot represents the first, imperceptible bud of spring. We’re not there, but it’s definitely in sight.
Still, the way the seasons progress around here, it’s nice to have a reminder that spring is coming — at least in theory. Anything that moves the baseball season along, in any way, makes you think of warmer days and beautiful summer nights in the bleachers, with a mild zephyr blowing.
Of course, once that truck rumbles out of Boston and hits the highway, all pretense of spring vanishes and we’re back to winter, and it sticks around longer than March 1. It seems to stick around forever. The home opener is April 9 against the Toronto Blue Jays (of course; every time you look up they seem to be playing Toronto) and it could either be 35 degrees with a stiff east wind, or 65. Either way, two days later it’ll be 40 and drizzling.