Baseball Rhapsodies #1
April 4, 2016
Stop the presses!
The only sport that matters opened its 2016 season this afternoon in Cincinnati. Oh sure, there were a few games played yesterday and we’ll count those results out of pity, but we know what’s right and what’s wrong. The season doesn’t truly begin until the first pitch flies in Cincy.
It flew today and it flew well.
I love baseball for many reasons and many of them were on display today.
Frankly, things look grim for my beloved Reds this year.
- This year’s Reds came into this season looking like the second worst team in baseball. That was before they opened the season today with their entire starting pitching rotation on the disabled list.
- They started an outfield today in which Jay Bruce was the greatest offensive threat. Mr. Bruce had his worst year in baseball in 2015. He batted about .226 and spent the winter waiting to be traded. He continues to wait. He’s the best outfielder we have.
- Our all-star third-baseman was traded in the winter and has been replaced by a young player who has not previously played the position.
- Our shortstop only played about 40 games last year due to injury.
- Our catcher only played about half of last year due to injury.
- Our second-baseman has a clause in his contract that allowed him to refuse multiple off-season attempts to trade him. How inspiring for him to be playing for a team that wishes he would go away.
Given all those happy considerations, why watch ‘em?
Day-to-day baseball is not played on paper. We play the games every day, and every day is new flip of the coin, a new chance to catch the grounder you didn’t/couldn’t catch before, a new chance to hit the curve you didn’t/couldn’t hit before, a new chance to clip the corner of the plate with a come-back fastball that missed yesterday…you get the idea.
The Reds won today. They won!
The starting pitcher pitched well: the bullpen pitched better. The outfielders didn’t hit, but they made sterling plays in the field. The young third-baseman fielded his position well. The shortstop looked healthy and got three hits.
They made the catch. They made the throw. They got the hit. They won the game.
They may lose the next 161, but they won TODAY.
The largest opening day crowd in Cincinnati history watched them win. Why were they there?
Because baseball is all about hope – not great, grand, life-changing hope for the future – but daily hope; hope that today could be better than yesterday. Oh sure, it might not be, but that’s OK too – after all, we’re gonna play again tomorrow!
I love baseball.