Tuesday, April 04, 2006

And Away They Go


Yesterday was Opening Day in baseball. I just want you to let those words sink in. Opening Day! Never have two words seemed to belong together as much as those. Unless of course It's, Play Ball! The season opened around America yesterday and once again all is right with the world. We now have 6 months of the agony and ecstasy to look forward to.

The usual suspects performed as expected. David Wright got his possible MVP candidate season underway with a bang. Albert Pujols reminded us all that he's the best player in the National League who's not a candidate for steroid poster boy. Roy Oswalt was absolutely dominating as the offensive challenged Astros beat the minor league Marlins 1-0. Barry Bonds got booed mercilessly in San Diego. ARod and Randy Johnson got the Yankees started off in the right direction and the Red Sox and Curt Schilling showed that they are going to be a thorn in my side all year long. All in all it was a great day.

I can't say enough for the great feeling that opening day provides. For one brief moment everyone is in first place, nothing is out of the question (except for the Marlins winning more than 70 games), God is in his heaven and the prospect of 162 games of the best sport in the world is enough to make a man think that the world is perfect. And then, of course, the first annoying loss will happen. And then the second and then the third. And then, well, you get the picture. Baseball is a very humbling sport, not only for the players, but for the fans as well. Regardless of how good your team is, they are probably going to lose over 60 games and each one is going to be a painful reminder of just how frustrating this game can be.

That's also part of the appeal of Baseball. In the other major sports (Football, Basketball), the best teams wins most of the time. In Baseball that's is also true but not nearly to the extent that it is in the other sports. I mean the NFL has had an undefeated team and also a host of one to two loss seasons. Basketball has had a team win 70 games. That's basically the equivalent of a team in baseball winning 140 regular season games. It's just not possible. Regardless of how dominating they are, there are just going to be days when they get beat. No one is going to win at a .850% clip for an entire season. There have only been a few seasons were a team won at a .700% clip. So what are we looking at for even the best teams? About a .600% winning percentage. That means that on four out of ten games, your favorite team is going to go out and lose to what amounts to an inferior team. It's just going to happen and it's going to drive you crazy. I know it drives me crazy. I have questioned the heritage of every player on the Yankees, I've cursed their mothers, their countries, their wives, their families and yet they still lose to the Devil Rays.

Considering the fact that the Yankees have caused me such heartache over the years, I should probably have given up rooting for them years ago just to prolong my life. And baseball with its labor issues and steroid issues certainly is not the bastion of fair play and honest competition. So why do I love the game? Why do I keep coming back? Because we all need some drama to keep our lives interesting. And what the hell would I do with my summers if I didn't have baseball? I might actually be a productive member of society. And really, who needs that. So, I'm ready for another summer of cursing, drinking, arguing and complaining all in the name of a game that kids play. All I can say is God bless baseball and burn in hell you scum sucking Red Sox Fan!

It's gonna be a great year.

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