It's a forecast high of nearly 70 degrees today, so let's talk some baseball ...
It appears it's going to get very crowded early in the 2013 season at Appalachian Power Park.
That's not a prediction on the precocity of Pittsburgh Pirates' prospects in the uniforms of the West Virginia Power farm club, and mushrooming crowds at the 4,500-seat ballpark, although that would be nice.
It all has to do with the potential schedule on a Power Park diamond that is virtually as busy as the adjacent interstate ramp off Brooks Street.
With a needed baseball stadium in Morgantown realistically a couple of years away, it appears West Virginia is looking toward playing most or all of its first Big 12 Conference home schedule in Charleston's East End yard.
It's the same thing that happened to Marshall when the Herd got into Conference USA back in 2005. When you're in a very good baseball league, you need a very good facility. Both Mountain State major programs are lacking in that regard.
WVU wants to work with a Morgantown developer on a new ballpark that would serve as the Mountaineers' home, presumably in a shared existence with a short-season New York-Penn League club.
Andy Milovich, the executive vice president of West Virginia Baseball Club LLC - the Power's ownership group - said WVU inquired a while back about the potential of Power Park dates when the school was in the planning stages for a move to the Big 12.
"Mike Parsons (WVU's deputy athletic director) called and said they wanted to tentatively explore options for down the road, if it (Big 12 membership) happened," Milovich said Wednesday. "I told him we'd do anything we could to help, if possible.
"He said it was their goal to play the Big 12 portion of the schedule here if they can."
That would be 12 games, the same number of C-USA dates Marshall plays at Power Park annually, and also in four 3-game series. There's also the University of Charleston, which has about 20 home dates per season at "the APP."
The primary tenant, the Power, has 70 home games in the South Atlantic League, and has potential collegiate overlap for about three or four spring home weekends, depending on the SAL schedule.
Add in the SSAC high school State Tournament and a couple of other college games, and you're looking at about 125 games in the state's premier ballyard starting next year.
Milovich's worry is trying to accommodate another team in an 8-year-old park that - if it doesn't get some significant aeration work soon - is looking at perhaps the very costly matter of replacing the entire playing surface because of drainage and compaction issues.
That would be the responsibility, contractually, of the City of Charleston, Milovich said.
The Power executive said he has real concerns in this regard.
The city provides the aeration equipment, and Milovich said the ballpark needs dirt cores "pulled two or three times a year" so that the field can be top-dressed with sand to loosen the soil so it doesn't compact.