In which spring training is a bit like junior high school

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C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer has a terrific column up in which he goes over one of the often-overlooked social aspects of spring training: partnering up. Newcomers, whether they’re minor leaguers or veterans, have to find a throwing partner. As Rosecrans explains, the partner one picks in February is often the partner they’ll have throughout the duration of spring training, which ends in early April this year.

It can be a little awkward, not unlike trying to find a class partner for a group project or a date to the dance.

“When you walk in and you’re the new guy, you have to survey the situation, you have to look around and see who doesn’t have (a partner), and who is an outsider like you are,” said right-hander Matt Magill, who was acquired in a trade with the Dodgers during the offseason. “You see who needs a partner.”

Rosecrans went over a handful of players and their preferences. The general theme seemed to be that the ideal throwing partner is “right-handed, doesn’t throw hard and [is] accurate.”

The whole column is a fascinating read, especially considering how rote spring training details have become these days. It’s always fun to learn something new.