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Braves baseball is back
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or me, it has been a long, cold winter.

I'm sure that there are still many cool days ahead before we actually begin to totally enjoy springtime, but for me, there seems to be some hope of warmer days when Major League Baseball begins spring training. There is nothing like the sound of a baseball hitting a mitt or a wooden bat to boost a true baseball fan's spirits.

I am a die-hard Atlanta Braves fan and always will be. I have suffered with them through the lean years when they were eliminated from playoff competition just after the All-Star break, and over the past twenty years since they have become a perennial playoff contender.

As a Braves fan, it is hard not to be excited about this year's team. There is plenty of pitching to be competitive in the National League East and management added a little more sock to the lineup in the off-season, which can only help.

The Philadelphia Phillies have become the New York Yankees of the National League by dolling out millions of dollars to their four starting pitchers, so it's a given that the fighting Phils are favorites in the N.L. East.

Seemingly, the Braves are playing for the wild card spot and right now as a fan, I'll take that. It's just refreshing to head into Major League spring training knowing that your favorite team won't be eliminated from the playoffs by August 1!