With no home field to host games, unranked in the preseason coaches poll despite winning the Big Ten last year, unable to warrant even a column inch of coverage in The Daily Gopher on the eve of the new season, the University of Minnesota baseball team is climbing aboard the bus and leaving town. Word on the street is that they're heading for Florida, then to North Carolina, then Arizona, and if the gas money holds up, it'll be on to California for an indeterminate time period (the Cal Poly games may have to be moved from the Metrodome to SLO, and then who knows, maybe the games with Bakersfield will have to be played in California, as well).
If they have a winning record on the road-trip-to-end-all-road-trips, they'll return to Minnesota in April as conquering heroes, ranked in all the polls, their victories lauded in the press, full of confidence as they take the field, under a new roof and sparkling lights, before cheering throngs of fair weather fans, to defend their conference title. If their road record is undistinguished, their efforts will be unappreciated, their return will be unheralded, and they will play in a near-empty dome. This isn't southern California, where college baseball fans turn out in droves to soak up the rays and breathe in the salt-scented breeze off the ocean, while applying tanning lotion and picking jalapeño peppers out of their nachos, no matter what the records of their Trojans, Bruins, or Titans may be.