Glad To Have You Back Baseball

Opening day of a sports season is for many the greatest day of the season.  Whether you’re a fan of the NFL gridiron, NBA hard wood or MLB diamond nothing beats the start of a new beginning.

Past failures are forgotten as each season begins with a sense of hope and optimism.  Deep inside every fan lies a belief that this is the year their dreams will come true.  Every fan feels their team has a chance to achieve something special, whether it’s being in the playoff hunt until the final games of the season, making their annual appearance in the postseason or standing alone at the top of the mountain hoisting the championship trophy.

As you know I love all the major sports whether it’s professional or college.  Maybe it’s because it was the first sport I ever followed as a child but nothing gives me the sense of excitement that opening day baseball does.  As I write this sentence, I feel a sense of Christmas eve like euphoria.

Last week I got the equivalent of a night before Christmas gift when Oakland and Seattle opened the season in Japan.  Starting tomorrow and continuing through the end of the week I get to unwrap all the other presents baseball has to offer one game at a time.

I love the athleticism of baseball as much as I love the unique mental strategy the game has to offer.  No other sport combines athletic qualities that include hand eye coordination, powerful arm strength, quick reflexes, speed and power like “America’s Past Time”.  In addition to all the necessary physical qualities, everyone involved with the game has to be mentally sharp in order to stay a step or two ahead in order to make the best decision.

I love baseball for it’s unique ability to make drama unfold.  For a classic example of great baseball drama you only need to go back no further than Game Six of last year’s World Series between St. Louis and Texas that saw Cardinals third baseman David Freese steal the “World Series Hero” tag from Ranger outfielder Josh Hamilton within one inning.  The entire balance of a game hangs on one pitch and we all witnessed that last October.

Last year gave us a lifetime of memories but this year is sure to do more of the same.  There is so much to be excited about this season.  Future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols left the Cardinals after more than a decade of dominance to join the Angels.  Long time all-star Brewer first baseman Prince Fielder followed in his father’s foot steps when he signed with the Detroit Tigers.  The Yankees and Mariners swapped two of the top young players in the game when the Bronx Bombers sent Jesus Montero to Seattle for Michael Pineda.  The Florida Marlins are now the Miami Marlins and begin their new era with a brand new stadium.  Of course there’s the yearly renewal of traditional battles between the Yankees and Red Sox, Giants and Dodgers as well as Cardinals and Cubs.

In addition to all the things I just named, what makes me the most excited about the new season is that the Los Angeles Dodgers finally have a proper ownership group.  The ownership group, lead by my all-time favorite Laker Earvin “Magic” Johnson along with former Atlanta Braves President Stan Kasten are the perfect group to lead the the Dodgers back to their winning ways.

For the past couple of seasons Dodger news had very little to do with the play on the field, but almost all to do with the ugly divorce between Frank and Jamie McCourt which lead to financial ruins for the team and a product on the field that was not fun to watch.

It’s amazing how exciting a fan can get when they realize their team can once again be involved in adding a little payroll, bidding on free agents and making trades to improve their club.  Sometimes it’s the little things in life that are the most rewarding.

If Magic and Kasten can give us even half the success they achieved in their previous endeavors, Dodger fans will surely forget the past years of feeling blue and will regularly experience the euphoria of being in blue heaven.

Thanks for stepping into the clubhouse.

Follow me on twitter @joesclubhouse

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