A large portion of Western literature doesn't make sense to California kids. Specifically, we don't get all those poems about springtime, because it just doesn't feel like that big a deal. This is not to say that "there are no seasons in California." Rather, we mean that spring is nice, sure, but so are summer and fall, and Indian summer, and hey, winter isn't really that bad, either. There seem to be more poems about one season than it really warrants, is all.

There is one such poem, though, that we love, and can't get out of our heads this February morning. It's one line long, in dactylic quadrameter (there's a syllable missing from the fourth foot, but we don't know what that's called), and we learned it a long time ago:

Pitchers and catchers reported today.

Say it with us:

Pitchers and catchers reported today.

See, some folks mark the first day of spring with the return of blossoms to trees, running water to streams, swallows to Capistrano, or robins to, uh, wherever it is robins return to. Here, we'll take Cardinals and Orioles returning to Florida, and Blue Jays to Arizona.

SFist will bring you complete spring previews for the A's and the Giants, and possibly some reporting on the World Baseball Classic, in the weeks ahead. We'll find out soon whether Barry Zito and Rich Harden, and Matt Morris, Jason Schmidt, and Mike Matheny, still have it; whether Jason Kendall and Armando Benitez can get it back; whether Country Joe Blanton and Huston Street, Matt Cain and (help us out, Giants fans--does your team have any good young pitchers?) will get better . For now, we just know that they're in camp, and that they bring with them 162 games worth of hope and promise and joy and all that other stuff from the poems about spring, and that's good enough. Spring is here.