Monday, April 03, 2006

Spring, Rebirth, Opening Day

Lats night officially marked the end of Spring Training and the beginning of the 2006 MLB season. Thank god. With the Nats home opener only 8 days away, I finally have some sports activity to be genuinely excited about.

The NFL and NBA have lost their lustre for me but baseball has only grown in stature. Much of that has to do with finally having a local team with endless games to attend but it goes deeper than that. For one thing, baseball commentary is the only sports broadcasting I can listen to anymore. Whereas in the NBA it's all overly-excited superlatives about some stunning one-on-one play, and the NFL is awash in mindless hyperbolic chatter, baseball talk (when not obsessing over scandal) is simply about baseball. Mechanics, strategy, statistics, it's a geek's wet dream.

The biggest reason however is that baseball is the first sport I ever learned. Not to play, but to watch. Spending summers watching the Cubs on WGN with my grandfather is how I learned about baseball and all the minutiae the goes with it. As I get older, baseball is the one direct link I have back to being 8 years old and that's pretty cool.

So I am psyched that in 8 days I will be back in the ballpark eating dogs, spitting seeds, knocking back a few frosty malty pops, and enjoying the most American of experiences. Thank god for Opening Day.


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