Fortunately for us, baseball is back!
It didn’t have to be forced out of retirement because its adorable pet pup was murdered by Theon Greyjoy and his Russian cronies. Spring training finally kicked off a few days ago, thus marking the most wonderful time of the year. This means winter is nearing an end, the days will grow longer and meaningful Major League Baseball games are only a month away. While I am all about not walking to work in single digits and falling victim to seasonal depression, baseball coming back into our lives trumps all. We get small, meaningless sample sizes of two at bats here and two innings pitched there of our favorite players as well as a glimpse of the future prospects who will surely fix all of our championship woes. It is a time for optimism, a time for expectations to rise to an unattainable level and a time to blow off work to refresh game cast over and over in an attempt to see what Eloy Jimenez, Vlad Guerrero Jr. or some other child is fairing with their limited sample size.
I am personally blessed by God to have been born a Red Sox fan. I have my World Series title and claim to the crown safely stowed in my overhead bin, but for supporters of every other team, this is the time for dreaming. I get to sit back, fat and happy, watching a 108 win team coast through the spring, just waiting for games to count so we can begin our run at a repeat. There is no pressure, no sense of urgency and no decade’s long demons to exercise. It’s all sunshine, roses and gold bottles.
For all the less fortunate baseball fans, this is the beginning of your shot at the king. This is the time for finding out what you have and lying to yourself that it will be enough. I don’t want to say there is no reason to play the season because it is already decided, but there is no real reason to play the season because it is already decided. The best the fans of the other 29 franchises can hope for is a World Series appearance. Actually, that’s not true. Only 15 other franchises can hope for this. The AL is already over.
So enjoy the spring, losers. You can jaw about your big free agent signings, you can scream into the abyss about your impending prospect call ups. You can even fantasize about some fictional trade that will surely be the missing piece, the one thing you need, to get over on the champs, but it won’t be enough. I know that you know that it won’t be enough. You won’t admit it yet, but deep down you know it to be true. It’s fine. I will sit back, smugly, as I watch the sheep stir, all the while knowing that come October, the duck boats will be back.