Hot Stove #34 – Spring Training – History and Hope

This would be your lazy Hot Stove report. Not much new. Last year, I did a couple of pieces on the history of spring training – the Cactus League and the Grapefruit League. For those who might want to revisit or for newer Hot Stove readers, see Hot Stoves 10 and 11. There is one update to note under The Kansas City Royals and Cuba. Kendrys Morales was lost to free agency, but the Royals picked up Jorge Soler who defected from Cuba in 2011. Soler signed a 9-year $30,000,000 contract with the Cubs in 2012 and was traded to the Royals in December for Wade Davis.


Rita and I are returning to Phoenix to visit friends in March, but may only have time to get in one Royals game – on the 13th at the Rockies stadium in Scottsdale. Maybe we will see former Royal Greg Holland who signed with Colorado. Holland was featured today in USA Today, saying that the Rockies remind him of the Royals in putting the pieces together to make a run. He will be pitching at Coors Field in Denver, a notorious hitters’ park, where it is said hitters voluntarily go, but pitchers are sentenced.

For an early look at the Royals and their Central Division opponents, click here for a position-by-position analysis.


This is the time of year when all fans can rationalize that their team has the potential to win the pennant. A good example is this Twitter exchange between David Axelrod (Obama’s Chicago guy) and Senator Claire McCaskill: David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod)
2/13/17, 4:14 PM

Cubs-Sox of any color would be a great Series by me!… Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc)
2/13/17, 5:02 PM

Not so fast my friend. Cardinal Nation will have something to say about that. You guys aren’t due for another 100 years. 😬… David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod)
2/13/17, 5:05 PM

Cardinal fans are such sore losers! Can’t stand that the Cubs have MADE BASEBALL GREAT AGAIN! So sad.…

Axelrod was referring to a projection that the Cubs and Red Sox would meet in the 2017 World Series: Senator McCaskill begged to differ, and I am sure she will jump in for the Royals if similarly provoked by a Red Sox fan.

Play Ball!