Monday, April 6, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

 They say hope springs eternal, and nowhere is that phrase more embraced than in baseball. When the calendar rolls to April, all thirty MLB teams start anew with a clean slate. Some, this year the Giants, hoist a Championship flag to celebrate last season's achievements, while the rest will heave a sigh of relief that 2014 is officially in the baseball history books.

But whether you cheer for the defending champs or one of the twenty-nine clubs that came up short, Opening Day is a magical time. It marks the beginning of spring, a slate of (mostly) day games to remind us that those warm summer nights will come again, and that the best things in life come without a clock (pace of play initiatives notwithstanding).

Anything is possible on Opening Day: veterans will return to their stomping grounds, or make debuts for new teams and in new leagues; rookies will set foot on the lush grass of big league fields for the first time. Home runs will jump off of bats with the most satisfying crack you've ever heard, and catcher's gloves will pop with the sound of strikeouts.

Little kids will eat hot dogs and sing about cracker jacks, while their parents buy overpriced beer and whatever weird food their home ballpark is debuting this season.

I've never been to an Opening Day persay, but I did go to Opening Night in 2010, when Pedro Martinez emerged from the Green Monster to throw out the first pitch. Then in 2013, I attended the Red Sox Home Opener. Both were amazing, particularly since the Red Sox won both games, but there's just something indescribable about the atmosphere when the offseason finally comes to an end.

Today is that singular day for everyone outside of Cubs and Cardinals fans - they got their special time on national television last night. After today's slate of fourteen games, we'll be back to business as usual. But for today, all is right with the world: baseball is back again.

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