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Pitchers and Catchers Report

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Feb 17, 2005 9:35PM

To most baseball fans, among the sweetest words in the English language are "Pitchers and Catchers Report." As in Spring training. Forget Punxatawney Phil or Windy City Woodie, the surest sign spring is around the corner is when baseball players begin descending upon Florida and Arizona to get back into shape for the upcoming season.

Both the Cubs and Sox train in Arizona, the Cubs in Mesa and the Sox in Tuscon. Both teams had their pitchers and catchers report to camp yesterday, with today as the first full day of drills.

Like in all camps this year, steroids are sure to big a major source of discussion. And the issue could impact the success of both clubs this year. A lot has changed since last season, with each seeing big name stars depart and new faces replace them. Many question whether Sosa's big seasons were fueled by illegal substances and his declining numbers were a result of getting off the juice. If so, then was Cubs GM Jim Hendry right to jettison him and his ego from the club house? Chicagoist thinks so.

For the Sox, GM Kenny Williams remade the team by power for speed and defense by not resigning Magglio Ordonez, trading Carlos Lee for Scott Podsednik and signing Tadahito Iguchi from Japan. Chicagoist thinks Williams has nicely overhauled his lineup to take advantage of the likely return to "small ball."

Of course, everybody's optimistic in spring training. But Chicagoist thinks that the team shake-ups may be just what is needed to get the teams over the hump. Boston got their World Series title last year. Is it finally time for one of our teams?