ROYAL OAK — The field was hardly conducive to ground balls, yet it was time to field them.
The wind made fly balls nearly impossible to track, yet it was time to catch them.
After weeks indoors, it was time.
And for the first time all spring, the Royal Oak Shrine baseball team found itself outside, working on actual dirt and grass.
“It’s kind of nice, finally,” coach Dan Noble said after an April 1 practice.
By this point on the calendar, the Knights were to have played nine games.
By this point in reality, all nine had been postponed or otherwise canceled.
So, like nearly every other team, the schedule has been transformed to a logjam of games and days.
And for a team with a lot of veterans, and coming off a 27-win season, expectations are plentiful.
“This is a pretty special group, since they are the one I came in with,” said Noble, now in his fourth season. “There’s some guys that have been on varsity the whole time and others I’ve obviously known since I got here. … If we play to our capabilities, we should be another 20-plus win team. But with the way the season is going to be shorted, it’s going to come down to pitching and pitching depth.”