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Jeff Passan's spring training preview: 20 questions as countdown to Opening Day begins

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Why spring training is so special (1:51)

Tim Kurkjian tells a couple of stories about MLB spring training and why it is so great. (1:51)

Pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training for all 30 teams, and the countdown to Opening Day is on. Between now and April 1, the league and players will contort themselves to avoid the alternating speed bumps and potholes the coronavirus places on all paths forward. Forty-three days of spring training is all that stands between Major League Baseball and its regular season.

Just like it did last year during the regular season, just as other sports are doing right now, baseball will weather its share of COVID-19 diagnoses and move forward. If spring training games are lost, then they're lost. If teams fall behind, that's why there's a six-week preseason. This is not to say baseball is right to do what it's doing, and it's not to say that it's wrong. It's sports' Mandalorian existence: This is the way.

With the offseason officially over, and five days before the majority of teams' first full-squad workouts, it's the perfect time to answer 20 questions on the 3½ months that have elapsed since the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series. If you happened to stop paying attention to baseball after October, this is the place for you. And if you kept up with all of the madness and want to better understand what it means and where the sport is going over the remainder of 2021, you've found the right spot, too.