Ah, springtime. Could it be finally here? Is it foolish for baseball fans to hope that after months of dreary winter, the clouds will part, the sun will shine, and our hearts will be lifted as we witness the greatness of the American pastime in action once again?
I know that opening sentence was pretty flowery, but can you blame me for getting emotional about the arrival of spring and baseball? This winter was brutal!
There was the usual cold and snow, but there was also a string of weird weather events across the country, from flooding, to tornadoes, to something called a "Cyclone Bomb". (How do you come up with a name like "cyclone bomb"? The only reasonable explanation I can think of is geeky meteorologists trying to come up with a catchy name as their claim to fame, their attempt to becoming the next Bill Nye.)
After the struggle that is winter, MLB's regular season is nearly upon us. At the risk of sounding like one of those stereotypical "entitled" Millennials, I think we deserve a warm, sunny spring.
The realist in me says, "You know that's not going to happen. After all, the saying doesn't go, 'April sunshine brings May flowers.' Are you forgetting what happened last year??"
No, inner realist voice, I'm not forgetting what happened last year -- an absolutely terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad month of weather that led to April 2018 tying MLB's record for the most rain delays/postponements in a month.
To make matters worse, it was the first year I tried out an MLB.tv subscription. After forking over $100 to watch my Cubbies, the spending didn't stop there. Since I'm technically "in-market" for the Cubs, I had to pay for a VPN to bypass MLB's draconian blackouts. (It's a four hour trip for me to get to Chicago. How the hell is that "in-market"? I guess technically I'm geographically closer to the Cubs than, say, the San Francisco Giants. But where does this logic stop? I have a feeling if an expansion team opened on the moon, everyone on earth would be considered "in market", not just the astronauts on the International Space Station. Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk might be OK running their colony on Mars, though.)
If you're not sure what I'm complaining about, you can read about avoiding MLB blackouts with a VPN here.
Anyway, the point is I paid a decent amount of money to stream high quality video right to my living room, and this time last year, I was more than ready to watch some baseball.
But after dragging my sorry butt home from work and planting it in the recliner, instead of being greeted by the wonder of baseball, I was instead met with this:
Thank you, technology!
You can see how I'm tempted to be a little sour about MLB opening week. It would be easy to slip into a state of cynicism and sarcasm.
But that's not my style! Actually, that's exactly my style, but I'm trying to be optimistic for a change. Am I going to pray for nice weather? No; that'd be stupid! Instead, let's retreat to a safe space of positive thinking and override the daunting facts and experienced realities with positive feelings and "good vibes", as the kids like to say.
Even though the weather lately has been strange and downright deadly, according to national news reports ...
Even though April is historically a cold, wet, soggy month that's not conducive to outdoor sports ...
Even though Anthony Rizzo is probably right when he says the season is too long, and starting in April isn't very practical ...
Even though the Cubs and most teams not located in the steamy south or sunny California spend most of their time in April freezing their non-strikes and chattering their teeth in the dug out ...
Let's hope for the best. Maybe this year will be different. Maybe the sun will shine across the nation, the tension resulting from our political divides will ease a bit, and we'll all come together to watch our nation's pastime.
I know, I know; when I try to be positive, I go way overboard.
Instead, I'll leave you with this thought: Maybe the spring will be an average one, and we'll get a few nice days here and there to enjoy, along with a few good baseball games before we all go crazy from cabin fever and run naked down the highway yelling obscenities.
Is that too much to ask for? I don't think so.