Smiling kids. Happy ballplayers. Deliver me from evil.

Smiling kids. Happy ballplayers. Deliver me from evil.

Smiling kids. Happy ballplayers. Deliver me from evil.

Previously published Slate articles made new.
March 1 2005 11:28 AM

Breaking Training

Smiling kids. Happy ballplayers. Deliver me from evil.

As the calendar flips to March, baseball fans flock to Florida and Arizona to watch their favorite teams warm up for another season. In 2003, former Texas Rangers beat writer Mike Shropshire wrote that, at least in the 1970s, spring training wasn't the apple-cheeked, Norman Rockwell event that you read about today. "In those days, the annual Florida sojourn wasn't a family vacation—it was a place ballplayer and journalist alike went to escape his wife. I never saw any kids, can vaguely recall seeing some old people, although they didn't look too happy, and I damn sure never saw any baseball games."