Larry Mantle |

Steve Julian's and my annual spring training roadtrip is underway

“Morning Edition” host Steve Julian and I are off to Arizona for our annual trip to indulge in spring training baseball.  Every March for more than a decade, we’ve taken a few days to watch the Dodgers and Angels field combinations of established major leaguers who’re getting into shape, and promising minor leaguers trying to make an impression.

Spring training is particularly fun for baseball fans because of the comparative intimacy of the games.  Instead of 50,000 seat stadiums, the games are played in front of crowds of just a few thousand.  The sounds from the field are more immediate and encompassing than at Dodger or Angel Stadium.  The fans are also more into the games and less into the ancillary entertainment than you’ll see during the regular season.

It’s a fun mix of vacationing families, retirees, local businesspeople stealing away for a couple of hours, and baseball-loving friends like Steve and me.  For me, it’s about as relaxed as I’m able to get. I tune out much (though not all) of the news and focus on unwinding in the sun. 

One concession I make is checking my work email a couple of times a day. If I didn’t, I’d come back to more than a thousand messages.  It would take me a couple of days to catch up.  Additionally, I need to connect with our “AirTalk” producers over what our segments will be for the day I return to the air (Monday, March 26th).

I’m particularly looking forward to Monday’s Supreme Court oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate to buy health insurance.  It should be fascinating to hear the arguments unfold.