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Forget politics and the snow, baseball is back

Jim Czajkowski answers press questions during media day for 2014 opening
Jim Czajkowski answers press questions during media day for 2014 openingHarry McClard

In Concord, the coalition against expanded gambling held a press conference at the State House today to announce its opposition to the senate-passed two casino bill which now goes to the House of Representatives. Otherwise, after yet another measurable snowfall last night in our seemingly endless winter of 2014 and the usual state lawmaker committee meetings were held. But, something truly special is happening. The Boys of Summer have arrived and summer can't be that far away.

Today marked opening day for many major league baseball teams. The Red Sox visited Camden Yard in their opener against Baltimore. Here at home, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats arrived from spring training last night and held their annual media day today. Then after a short workout the Fisher Cats start a road trip to Trenton, NJ, then Reading, PA. Their home opener will be Thursday, April 10, at 6:30 PM at Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester.

In less than 10 days, the odor of hot dogs and popcorn and the sound of somebody in a black outfit yelling "Play Ball!" will be wafting through the neighborhood just up the street from the WMUR Channel 9 studios in Manchester. It doesn't get much more "summery" than that.

The Fisher Cats won the Eastern Division championship last year and hopes are high for this season. The team roster includes quite a few new faces and some of our local favorites are returning.

One of the headliners this season is Aaron Sanchez, stand-out pitcher and top choice for Toronto, who is moving up to Manchester from Dunedin, FL. Sanchez complements an already outstanding 12 member pitching team that is coached by new pitching coach Jim Czajkowski.

Czjkowski is a veteran pitching coach with 4 seasons with the Toronto organization and 11 years as pitching coach with the Atlanta Braves. Immediately prior to coming to the Fisher Cats he was pitching coach with the Vancouver Canadians where he led to 3 consecutive Northwest League championships.

One of the outstanding players from last year's Fisher Cats team is outfielder Brad Glenn, number 44, last year's Most Valuable Player. Brad is listed as being 6'2" and 245 pounds and his presence is that of a NFL linebacker. If one didn't know who he is, they would immediately know he is an athlete and an impressive one.

AA baseball is just one little step away from "The Big Show" or Major League Baseball. Major league players often cycle through AA baseball after something like recovery from an injury or gaining a little confidence after a hitting slump. The Fisher Cats are part of the Toronto Blue Jays organization. Players on the Fisher Cat team for the most part should be quite capable of suddenly being "called up" and appearing on national TV playing for the Toronto Blue Jays at any time they might be needed.

The Fisher Cats play home games at Delta Dental Stadium. Box seat ticket prices at $10 with lower prices available for other seating can't be beat. That's probably less than seeing a movie and the experience of being part of the hometown crowd can't be beat.

After this past winter, you owe it to yourself and your family... rediscover baseball this year.