I have been cruel to Tyler Flowers. I have told anyone who will listen that the White Sox have made a mistake by not signing a free agent or making a trade for a better backstop. I have insisted that no one draft Flowers for their fantasy team, and I shuddered when someone offered to give me a bouquet of (Tyler) Flowers for Valentine's Day.

What started as an innocent ribbing has grown into full-blown harassment that if this were elementary school would have me spending recess repeatedly writing, "I will not taunt Tyler Flowers" on the chalkboard while a disapproving nun hovers nearby. Fortunately, as adults we aren't forced to apologize, so I won't... but I imagine it's going to be a little awkward if I run into him in the clubhouse this season. Instead of apologizing, I'll say just one thing: It's nothing personal, Tyler, it's just that you're emblematic of a team's misspent winter.

There's a song by the Talking Heads that came up when I was discussing this article with my editor (that's not unusual for us; we transition from box scores to boxed sets pretty seamlessly, breaking down Josh Hamilton's hitting mechanics and in the next breath talking about what sort of guitar Joe Strummer played), (Nothing But) Flowers. If you're unfamiliar with the tune, it's a tale that is essentially polar opposite of Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi.