A scout spoke with hope about his team the other day, because there's really no other way to talk before spring training.
The scout's team has shored up an area of weakness, he mentioned, and a critical player looks as though he has bounced back well from injuries that plagued him last season. He mentioned a couple of young players possibly performing to their potential, and if that happens, he believes, his team will make the playoffs. And as we saw last year, if that happens, well, anything's possible.
In the business of baseball, if you don't have hope in February, you shouldn't be in the business.
Here are reasons for hope for all 30 teams less than three weeks before pitchers and catchers report to spring training:
San Francisco Giants: Madison Bumgarner leads the staff, having conquered baseball's Mount Everest -- in a manner equivalent to not using any oxygen, crampons or ropes. Buster Posey remains the heart of the lineup, and Hunter Pence continues as the soul of the team. They are convinced they will find a way, a belief reinforced by three championships in five years.
New York Mets: This is perhaps the best Mets team in almost a decade now that Matt Harvey is coming back to join Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler and the others on perhaps the deepest pitching staff in the NL.