Really, is there anything that sounds quite so great in the middle of winter? It may be freezing outside our windows, but the promise of a long, exciting summer (unless you live in Milwaukee) beckons. A few random thoughts: * Every profession should have spring training, where you go somewhere warm for a month, practice your basic skills, and get a chance to show your employer that you deserve a better position. * Folks who get sick of the Boston-vs-New York factor that inevitably pervades every baseball thread here, well, get used to it - even more than usual, it's going to be nuts this year, with a bitter off-season fight for Contreras, dueling Giambis, a much-improved (and less injury-prone) Red Sox team to make the race more interesting, the Sox' "we don't care about saves" bullpen (including ex-Yank Mendoza) under scrutiny, and, oh, Roger Clemens potentially going for win #300 while pitching for the Forces Of Evil on a trip to Fenway. * Pretty much every division seems wide-open this year. Sure, the aforementioned AL East is a two-team show, but it seems like anybody can win the NL East, NL West, and AL West, and both Centrals should be competitive.