Major League pitchers and catchers report to spring training today -- Valentine's Day. Which is appropriate considering how little most of the guys will see their loved ones over the next seven or eight months. But the brand spanking new Spring Training facility for the Colorado Rockies, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, may ease some of the pain.
Another big change this year: Opening Day will take place on a Friday rather than a Monday for the first time since 1905. Backing the opening up by three days will likely help keep the post season from running into Halloween.
The change may also drive fans -- who sell out Coors Field for the opener, but often shy away from the rest of the predictably freezing weekday games that week -- to the ballpark.
"As usual, we are all subject to the whims of the Denver weather in April," says Rockies spokesman Jay Alves. "If the weather is good, we anticipate great crowds all weekend."
And that's no joke, despite the fact that Opening Day also falls on April Fool's Day -- which will hopefully prove laughable for the opposing Arizona Diamondbacks. "No April Fool's jokes are planned... just plenty of fun and excitement," Alves says.
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More from our Sports archive: "Proof that the Colorado Rockies have the biggest balls."