Wide varieties of emotion during the month of February
Laguna Hills, CA – All the Major League Baseball teams have opened their respective Spring training camps to prepare for the 2012 season. Obviously the first group of players to arrive in Florida and Arizona are the pitchers and catchers and shortly afterwards come the position players. This is true for those that are healthy or not involved in a rehabilitation status at the start of their spring assignments. John Lamb has been in Surprise, AZ with the Kansas City Royals organization since the beginning of 2012 with an opportunity to see fellow farm-hands and Major League players trickle into the complex. The wide varieties of emotion in the month of February are the result of multiple sources around professional baseball. This month is not the first time our family has endured the roller coaster ride around this great game. Logistics, timing, rankings and anticipation of the new baseball season are just a few of the areas that can spin a baseball family around.
The logistics of baseball during the spring months of training are really quite simple. Teams are in the Cactus or the Grapefruit League and nowhere else. There are many people who converge on Arizona and Florida this time of the professional baseball season to get a closer look at their favorite team or player. I have had the pleasure of attending many spring training events over the years but none more emotional than the 2009 during my son’s first with the Kansas City Royals. Pride and happiness are foundation for most emotions around the ballpark in February and March for a baseball family. The Lamb family continues to be proud and excited for John with the opportunity to live his childhood dream of playing professional baseball. Fortunately the Royals play spring baseball and rehabilitate about 350 miles from our home in Southern California which affords the chance to visit during spring training.
The timing of the 2012 spring training is welcomed by most if not all baseball fans and those whom have their livelihood based on the professional baseball season. This year is a little hard to digest for the Lamb family for the obvious reason since the lefty is continuing to work on the rehab assignments by the Royals. Although John is throwing regularly again it is doubtful that there will be a chance to see him pitch during any spring training games this year. It serves no purpose to rush the strength and conditioning process while recovering from elbow surgery in June of 2011. With nothing but ideal circumstances during the entire rehab process John maybe pitching at game speed in June. So until he gets up on a mound and starting to throw downhill our family will continue to simply hope for the best. Having a major injury is a lot like fowling a horse. The earlier in the year the better timing the process has on the big picture. No need crying over the timing situation but instead we stay positive over the progress of his recovery at this time.
The rankings that circulate throughout the game of professional baseball have been entertaining to say the least. Now personally I refuse to get caught up in the hype of player rankings but I cannot say the same thing for family and friends of John Lamb. Some of the family gets extremely uptight and anxious over the written opinions found in media. Whenever the rankings are brought to my attention it is truly taken with a grain of salt, or like water on a duck’s back. The rankings are nothing more than opinions from a very wide variety of people around the game. Some are from professionals with tremendous credentials and reputation while others are generated by ignorance and bad information. The one which made me laugh the hardest was a statement that John Lamb has had multiple elbow surgeries. That particular statement has as much merit as the idea my son was going to an Ivy League school after graduating from Laguna Hills High School. Many things found on the Internet are simply laughable and are completely unfounded. Statistics never lie even if you’re not big on the analytic side of professional baseball. Pitchers throw strikes and get outs or they struggle and hitters get on base and contribute to runs or they don’t. Rankings do not make ball players succeed or fail. Actions on and off the field help clubs win ballgames and get rings for the organization. John threw strikes, got outs and helped his teams win before the Tommy John surgery and most around him expect the same when he’s healthy enough to take the ball into a ballgame again.
The anticipation in the family is palpable now and surely shared by John during this spring training. Some recent phone conversations with my son confirm he is eager to work and prepare his body for the return to helping his team win games. Suspension of the unknown can be overbearing at times but healing the body for the grind of a professional baseball season requires patience. Ironically the Merriam-Webster dictionary suggests viewing prospect as one synonyms of anticipation. There are many family and friends of my son that share tremendous contemplation over his return to the game. We will all see very soon if John Lamb can return to the form which opened the door to professional baseball out of high school.
While our family continues to embrace the opportunity for John through eager eyes we must all take a deep breath and allow the time to expire for proper strength and conditioning. Another trip to Arizona is still in the immediate future to see spring training inside the Royals complex. Meanwhile, the wide varieties of emotion during these months leading up to the regular season of baseball will simply take a back seat to the larger picture of my son’s return to the game. The steps of recovery from last year’s season ending surgery takes president now to any mixed feeling. So be sure to look for the kid roaming around the complex and say hi. I can assure you he does not bite and is typically more than willing to sign items for baseball fans… especially kids. I can only hope for another picture with him in Surprise, AZ to add with those from years past.