Monday, April 02, 2007

Hope Springs Eternal

It's been a bit of a while since my last trip to the blog-o-matic, but what better a day than Opening Day?

Mere hours from now, the Yankees will take the field against the Devil Rays. Yankee Stadium will no doubt look as splendid as it always does on this special day, with the smell of freshly-mowed grass and hot dogs in the air, the sounds of various high school marching bands, the sight of red, white and blue bunting waving in the air and the sound of baseballs popping into leather gloves. Opening Day is always a grand day no matter which team you root for. The slate has been wiped clean, and as the Tigers demonstrated last year - anything is possible.

For those that have never experienced Opening Day at Yankee Stadium, it is truly something to behold - with all the pomp and pageantry of a military ceremony combined with the tradition and memories of great days gone by (and to come). On TV, it impressive; in person, it is stirring.

More than anything else, it is tradition-laden spectacles like Opening Day's splendiferous grandeur that make Baseball the king of all games - and form where it draws its' strength to survive. Baseball survives - and thrives - in 2007, despite a long amalgamation of events that over history were supposed to be harbingers of the game’s “demise”, yet it has managed to outlive them all.

Baseball has survived the Black Sox scandal, Dead Ball era, the lowering of the pitcher’s mound, Astroturf, the designated hitter, Pete Rose, several work stoppages, the absolute worst TV coverage (FOX), the idiocy of Interleague play and it will survive no-necked idiots shooting bovine growth hormone in between their toes.

Why? Because what Baseball is – a myriad of imperfections wrapped up in a blanket of total perfection – is a lot like us, both as individuals and as a Nation. There are a lot of things about this country that may not be perfect – but when you look at the alternatives, it looks pretty darn good by comparison.

Play Ball – and GO YANKS!

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