Folks, it’s officially been Spring for three days. Go outside for two seconds and you can tell the seasons are changing: it’s 42° instead of 41°. The trees are dead and bare. There’s only two more snowstorms on the horizon. Global warming has even eliminated the nasty slush season that used to exist since the snow just melts as soon as it falls now. Just a great time to be alive. More importantly than all that, though, is that baseball is almost here.
Opening Day is less than a week away and I could not possibly be more excited. I’m starting to get that Baseball Feeling, which is an impossible feeling to describe and I don’t know if anyone has any idea what I’m talking about, but it’s a rush of happiness and anticipation and a bunch of other stuff when I think about baseball at the end of the offseason. I did my fantasy draft already (got Kershaw, if you were wondering) (And Goldschmidt, too) (I know you care). I preordered MLB The Show 18 so I could play it early (already started my career, got picked in the 25th round by the Padres. A true rags to riches story if I’ve ever seen one) because I just needed some baseball in my life. I’m watching Spring Training games, but, just like the players, I’m a little rusty so I’m reacting like John Sterling on routine flyouts. My patented Home Run Feeling, a sixth sense that can accurately predict when home runs are imminent, is still warming up (just called Red Sox prospect Sam Travis hitting one, nbd). I’m using the word feeling way too much, but that’s because, more than any other sport, baseball fandom is all about feelings. The feeling of nostalgia you get when you enter a ballpark, thinking about the first time your dad (or mom, we don’t assume here) took you to a game. The feeling of comfort when you smell those familiar baseball smells: hot dogs, beer, peanuts, popcorn, leather, regional delicacies, and more beer. The feelings you get while watching baseball, a truly unique sports viewing experience. Games are simultaneously boring as hell and enthralling, and playoff baseball is a different animal entirely.
Not to get all sappy or anything. I’m just jonesing for some baseball. The Red Sox are just about all I’ve got at the moment. Literally every Celtics player is out for the season. UConn basketball hasn’t been playing this deep in a season since I was still in college (yes, yes, I know the women are still there. But getting pumped up about them is like getting hyped the Earth completed a rotation). I’m not a big enough hockey guy to commit to the Bruins. Something happened to the Pats last month, but I can’t seem to remember what. I need the Sox, man. I need J.D. Martinez to hit 10 billion homers. I need Mookie Betts to the best all-around player in the American League who doesn’t play in Los Angeles. I need Chris Sale and David Price to win 40 games between them and strike out a thousand batters. I need Alex Cora to actually understand basic baseball strategy and make people want to play for him. I need ownership to try and monetize every waking moment of the game. I need every game against the Yankees to take four and a half hours. I need to be reminded that the Sox ran Don Orsillo out of town for no reason every time I turn on NESN. I just need baseball back, and I can’t wait much longer.