AUBURN — When I look at my snow shovel, my disgust turns to animosity.

The love-hate relationship with this implement has strengthened thanks to a winter that has backhanded all of New England during this brutal February — a cruel month indeed.

I know it is not the shovel’s fault for this winter’s fury, but there it stands, leaning against the porch railing and just waiting to take a swipe at snow.

After five storms in nine days in the Pine Tree State, I have seen more of my shovel and than my wife or son. And the wobbly roof rake and I have rekindled our winter romance as well.

I still need this shovel at least until March before it is benched like a hitter whose batting average has fallen below .200.

I rather be holding a bat or hard ball or wiggle my hand into a leather baseball glove than manning a shovel.

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After a long hot, dry summer, I thought a little of the white stuff might bring some relief from the constant heat

Not a chance.

Winter just got old the last two weeks. Bring on the bugs, rain and the humidity — will you please. No more rock salt or rogue city plows roaming the streets and shattering the night’s silence.

But there are signs that spring will soon give this blasted winter the heave-ho.

You have to look no further than Major League Baseball, the Portland Sea Dogs and of the course the guys in red. They will soon be wielding bats at friendly Fenway Park.

Heck, the Red Sox equipment truck has already left Boston and headed south to Fort Myers — the team’s training camp. MLB players have reported and exhibition games will soon be broadcasted on radio and the telly.

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I wish I could do the same and race off to a warmer climate whenever I stare at the four feet of the snow that blankets my backyard.

Baseball is the signpost up head, telling us that this too (winter) shall pass and we will spring ahead to summer.

For 42 years, my parents home became a command post for high school baseball. Dad was at the helm at the Revere High baseball team and that meant everything took a backseat until June. But it was a sure sign of spring and welcome prelude to summer.

I always thought baseball was meant to be listened to because of the slow nature of the game. You can get things done around the yard or tune in at the beach, pausing only when the volume of the announcer’s voice rises with every home run or great catch.

In the movie, “Field of Dreams,” the character Terence Mann tells Ray Kinsella:

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.”

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I will certainly come to any baseball game — pick-up, college or pro — if there is no snow and temperatures are hovering in the 70s.

Fenway Park is only 9.5 miles from my childhood bedroom window in Revere. Ken Coleman, Mel Parnell and Ned Martin, Red Sox announcers all, helped this child go to sleep each night.

Anybody who says Fenway should be razed and a larger ballpark built doesn’t understand loyal Red Sox fans and is probably suffering from some kind of winter malaise. Boston would loose part of its identity over what — money. Please! Fenway is fine where it is and all you will do is make a bunch fervent fans unhappy

It doesn’t matter if you hate baseball, but when you visit Fenway Park, you drift away in a sea of sights and sounds that never gets old. Whether you are sitting behind home plate or lucky enough to be seated on the Green Monster, your eyes never leave the field.

As for my trusty, despised snow shovel, I can’t wait to shove it in the back of the tool shed and listen to a Red Sox game this spring.

Tony Blasi is sports editor for the Franklin Journal and Livermore Falls Advertiser and staff editor at the Lewiston Sun Journal. His email is [email protected]

Heavy snow falls at Titcomb Mountain in Farmington during the KVAC ski championships in Farmington.

A collection of skis at the KVAC ski championships in Farmington.

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