Spring Forward

Everything blooms in splendorous springtime, whether it's stunning wildflowers, amorous feelings, or hope. Specifically, the blind faith present in baseball fans that this year is finally the year that your favorite team will bring home the Commissioner's Trophy.

Before staking out your spot along the ticker-tape parade route, there are 162 games to get through, plus six weeks of spring training. There are also plenty of questions hanging over the dozen Valley ballparks as 15 different teams take to the diamond when the 2012 edition of the Cactus League begins play.

Will Manny Ramirez lead the Oakland A’s out of the gutter, or are Man-Ram’s glory days behind him? We might get our answer when the A’s take on the Seattle Mariners during opening day on Friday, March 2, at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, 5999 East Van Buren Street.

Another concern is whether or not the Arizona Diamondbacks will maintain their winning ways when testing out new recruits Saturday, March 3, during split squad games against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium, and the Colorado Rockies at Scottsdale's Salt River Fields.

First pitch times vary for each game.

Fri., March 2, 1:05 p.m., 2012