It's official, it's baseball time again! And on Friday, teams will square off against each other for the first time since the World Series ended in November. Four games are set to kick off the 2013 Spring Training schedule, as we take a look at them here. As a note, all game times are listed as Eastern Standard Time.
The first and only game on the Grapefruit League schedule will be the Detroit Tigers visiting the Atlanta Braves. Baseball will officially kick off at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Florida as the Tigers set out to defend their American League crown. . First pitch is set for 1:05 PM, as Rick Porcello takes the mound for the Tigers, as he will face veteran Tim Hudson.
The remaining three games are all set for 3:05 PM start times. The first game we'll list here will see the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear (AZ) Ballpark. This will be a battle of Spring Training newcomers, as Tony Cingrani (CIN) will face Giovanni Soto (CLE). And no, that's not the same catcher who was traded from the Cubs to the Rangers last season.
The Kansas City Royals will travel to Surprise (AZ) Stadium to take on the Texas Rangers. After a disappointing end to the 2012 season, The Rangers filed for their divorce with Josh Hamilton and will now begin life without him. Will Smith takes the mound for Kansas City, as he looks to bounce back from a 6-9 record last year. The Rangers will send left-hander Derek Holland to the mound to oppose.
The final game of the day will see the Seattle Mariners hosting the San Diego Padres at Peoria (AZ) Sports Complex. Sean O'Sullivan takes the mound for the Padres, to face Hector Noesi. O'Sullivan last pitched in the Majors for Kansas City in 2011, and it will be interesting to see how he looks this spring. Noesi had a disastrous 2012, as he went just 2-12 over 22 appearances with Seattle.
It's just a few appetizers to get you ready for Spring Training, but it is finally time to get back on the field and prepare for what hopefully will be a great season of baseball. The World Baseball Classic will also be going on during the month of March, so there will be plenty of baseball upcoming over the next couple of weeks.