LAMM AT LARGE: Spring training and Gators

LAMM AT LARGE: Spring training and Gators

By: David Lamm

Pitchers and catchers starting reporting today. Ah, spring training is here, that time of year when I’m transformed back to by youth. What a wonderful, glorious time.

Don’t bother me with talk about baseball being tainted by the sign-stealing scandal. I flick that away like I would a fly landing on my arm.

I have one major concern: Will the Los Angeles Angels please find Mike Trout some help.

Trout’s baseball’s best player. He has been since 2012 when he became a full-time player at age 21.

8 All-Star Games. 3 MVPs. 7 Silver Slugger awards.

He has done it all, at the plate, on the bases and in the field.

Yet the Angels can’t find him enough help. Is Anthony Rendon the answer? They got Albert Pujols too late. Gerritt Coles said no. Can Shohei Ohtani stay healthy and produce?

Imagine DiMaggio and Mantle without the Yanks. Mays and McCovey without the Giants.

Please, Angels, give Trout the help he needs.

Gator revival

When I moved to Jacksonville in 1977, I was amazed at all the love the city had for the Gators football team. It wasn’t a good team, but it had the love of much of the city.

Not unexpectedly, I found myself becoming friends with more and more avid Gator fans. Sure, there were some Seminoles and Bulldogs and a scattering of other schools, too, but the vast majority were Gators.

My Gators friends always had hope things would get better. They proudly proclaimed, “Wait ‘til Next Year” each December.

In big part because of the arrival of the Jaguars and NFL, the city became less and less of a Gator town. When the Gators lost, their fans seem to quietly fade into the background.

But a new day – or rather an old day – is dawning. I’ve felt more Gators love in the last two years than I have in a decade. Thank Coach Dan Mullen.

I don’t know if the Gators are back, but many of their fans think they are. That’s a good start.