The national pastime is alive and well and percolating with a spring pulse, just in time for Feb. 14. Fittingly, the holiday that celebrates love will double as one of the most anticipated days of the year for the baseball fan. Yes, it's time for a Valentine's Day gift that far surpasses a box of chocolates: More than half of MLB's clubs are holding their first workouts.
The weather in Arizona and Florida is looking good. The renovated rosters are ready to begin the grind that all 30 teams hope will end up where the Chicago Cubs did in November -- with a World Series title.
And today, a sweet 16 of big league clubs officially began working toward that goal, with the first formal workouts being held this morning.
Here are the teams taking the field today and what to look for from their pitchers and catchers, followed by the other clubs' opening workouts:
Arizona Diamondbacks: Questions abound for a team on the rebound. The D-backs have a new general manager in Mike Hazen and a new manager in Torey Lovullo, and if they're going to orchestrate a turnaround, they'll need success on the mound. Ace Zack Greinke still heads up the rotation, which added an intriguing piece in young Taijuan Walker, acquired from Seattle in the Jean Segura trade. Shelby Miller will once again try to find his form, while new additions Jeff Mathis and Chris Iannetta shore up the catching corps and Fernando Rodney assumes closing duties.
Boston Red Sox: All eyes will be on Chris Sale, the perennial American League Cy Young Award candidate who was landed in a mega-deal with the White Sox over the offseason. However, plenty of eyes will be on the 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner, Rick Porcello, another former AL Cy Young Award winner, lefty David Price, plus midseason addition Drew Pomeranz and knuckleballer Steven Wright and a beefed-up bullpen with newcomer Tyler Thornburg. Yes, the Red Sox are stacked with pitching on paper, and today will mark the first day of seeing how it all plays out on the field. Behind the plate, we'll see what transpires for reps between contenders Sandy Leon, Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart.
Cleveland Indians: The Indians lasted until the 10th inning of Game 7 of the World Series despite right-hander Danny Salazar being limited to three innings of relief during the series and Carlos Carrasco missing the postseason with a broken bone in his pitching hand. Those guys are back to bolster what looks like a formidable staff for the AL champs. Former AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber is the unquestioned ace, Carrasco and Salazar will fit right back in, and the Tribe also has reliable depth in Trevor Bauer, Josh Tomlin, Mike Clevinger, Cody Anderson and Ryan Merritt. Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez give the catching corps stability and experience.
Colorado Rockies: New manager Bud Black has to like where this team is headed. Young starters Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson had their moments in 2016 and will be back in the mix today at Salt River Fields. They'll be joined in the Rockies' rotation by veteran righties Chad Bettis and Tyler Chatwood in addition to 21-year-old German Marquez and 24-year-old Jeff Hoffman. Greg Holland will try to rebound from Tommy John surgery and excel in the closer's role that he previously held in Kansas City.
San Francisco Giants: The Giants won the World Series in 2010, '12 and '14 in part because of great pitching and in part because of the great pitching of ace Madison Bumgarner. He's back, along with another usual National League Cy Young Award contender in Johnny Cueto, hard-throwing right-hander Jeff Samardzija and last year's late trade addition, lefty Matt Moore. Also competing for innings will be Matt Cain, Ty Blach and Albert Suarez. Mark Melancon takes over closer duties, and Buster Posey remains the stalwart All-Star behind the plate.
Tampa Bay Rays:Chris Archer stepped up late in 2016 and will likely have to do it again for the Rays to contend, but there's a lot of talent behind him in this rotation, which also includes hard-throwing Jake Odorizzi and Blake Snell. The progress of Alex Cobb in his return from injury will be intriguing to watch, as will the development of prospect Jose De Leon, acquired from the Dodgers in the Logan Forsythe deal. Alex Colome returns to the closer role while Luke Maile and Curt Casali will hold down the catching duties until new acquisition Wilson Ramos is ready to return from knee surgery.
On Wednesday, the A's, Astros, Angels, Blue Jays, Braves, Brewers, Cubs, Mariners, Padres Rangers, Twins and Yankees will take the field for the first time. On Thursday, the last two will break the ice: the Dodgers and Nationals.
The first full-squad workouts commence on Friday, starting with the Cardinals, D-backs, Giants, Marlins, Orioles, Phillies, Pirates, Red Sox, Reds and Royals.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.