Friday, April 1, 2011

SMALLS TALK: Opening Day

Today, everyone is undefeated. Each team is in first place. Thirty ball clubs are in the driver's seat, all in control of their own destiny. 

The annual rebirth of baseball season brings hope to sports fans all over the country. Whether you're from Kansas City, New York, San Francisco, or even Cleveland - they still have a team, right? - the glass is always half full as your squad approaches game number one. "This is the year" is a sentiment that echoes throughout stadiums from coast to coast. Is there anyting better than Opening Day? The correct answer is No. There is not.

Spring Training games are fun and relaxed, but they're merely a warm up - meaningless in the grand scheme of it all. Today, every pitch matters as each team sets out on this year's quest toward a World Championship.

For a season that is often compared to a marathon, Opening Day very much resembles the blasting of a starter's pistol. And they're off! Months of anticipation have built up to this moment - people are clapping, screaming, going nuts - the runners come out flying, determined to get off to a good start - they begin running... and then they keep running, in this case for six more months.

In reality, today's games mean no more than the next 161 installments. These nine innings will not make or break a season. Sure, it's nice to get off to a good start - hit the ground running, so to speak - and nothing feels better than getting that first win of the season out of the way, but today is simply the start of the marathon. No one has ever won a World Series in April - so why are we so excited?

Because unlike actual marathons, every mile of this race has us on the edge of our seats. America's Pastime is back, and for the next six months, there's a possibility of something amazing happening every single night. We welcome the best players in the world into our family rooms on a nightly basis - we witness greatness every time we turn on the television. They serve as our entertainment, and win or lose, they rarely disappoint.

The day that sports fans have been eagerly awaiting is finally here. Baseball season is upon us - and for the moment, we are all the team to beat.

You Play Right Field?
It's Not Always Sunny in Arizona
Tee Work
Helmet for Pitchers?
Approaching Spring Training
Top 5 Things I Won't Miss About My Local Gym
Getting New Equipment
Last Day at Work
My Bat of Choice
The Superstitions and Quirks of a Ballplayer
The Art of the Autograph
Greensboro's 'Bat Dogs'
Tim Kurkjian is a Man Among Boys
Baseball Movie All-Star Game: Starting Lineups
Walk-Out Music
Pre-Draft Medical Questionnaires
The Ryan Howard Namesake
The Magic of the Rally
Jeter and A-Rod, How Times Have Changed
Summer Leagues - Cape Still Cream of the Crop?
SportsCenter Commercials are Better Than Most Shows
Schilling's Bloody Sock
Red Sox Nation Goes Crazy, JD Drew Can't Be Bothered
Minor League Hats are the Way to Go
Who Has the Best Uniforms in College Baseball?

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