It is comforting, as snow drifts against the window, to open a pack and see—squinting against sunshine, standing before a cactus, bat on his shoulder—A's prospect Marcus McBeth, evidently awaiting a pitch, in the Arizona desert, from Wile E. Coyote. McBeth calls to mind Macbeth, Shakespeare's baseball play, with its "Double, double" and its "Fair is foul" and its "Thrice to thine, and thrice to mine,/And thrice again, to make up nine."
And, sadly, its "Out, out, brief candle." Dernell Stenson, mild-mannered outfielder for the Reds, was murdered in Arizona this off-season. In eulogizing him, the Reverend Marshall Stenson said that his nephew had in fact been drafted into the "Supernatural League," adding, "With as many people who love baseball, heaven's got to have a baseball team."
Here's another cheering thought: Tigers pitcher Mike Maroth became a father in October. Though he lost 21 games last season, more than any other pitcher in 29 years, Maroth named his boy...Nolan. And that's the best thing about baseball in winter: Nearly everyone's an optimist.