Baseball’s dream season

(With apologies to Franklin P. Adams, esteemed author of the poem, “Baseball’s Sad Lexicon” …)

These are the sweetest of possible words:
“Pitchers and catchers report.”
Sure sign of spring like the twitter of birds –
“Pitchers and catchers report.”
Wiping away all the doldrums of last year
Prompting mem’ries of the glories of past years
Words that fans hear as “it could be US this year!” —
“Pitchers and catchers report.”

Just this last weekend, teams’ pitchers and catchers did just that, reporting to spring training for their various squads to being preparations for the 2009 season.  From the lowliest middle reliever in short-season class-A ball to the highest paid stars in the majors, they’re gathering in Arizona and Florida to start the march toward Opening Day, the 162-game regular season and (for a fortunate and hard-working few) the World Series and some sort of minor immortality.  It’s a prospect that swells the hearts not only of the players, coaches, managers and club executives, but also every fanatic who follows the teams on their rollercoaster ride from this point through the end of October.

For me, this is a moment of infinite promise, where every player is a potential MVP or Cy Young Award winner and every squad has a crack at the big trophy at the end.  Mind, for many of the teams the odds are pretty low (I root for the Giants, and their chances are microscopic given their roster right now), but then, that’s what everyone thought about the Tampa Bay Rays last year and look what happened.

So this is truly baseball’s “dream season,” before we wake to the harsh reality that some folks have the talent to go all the way and some barely have enough to take step one. Frankly, with the recent admissions of yet another former (?) steroid user, reality has been intruding far too much already. Let the naysayers say all the nays they please; I, for the time being, refuse to wake up. In my dreams, every field is green, every bleacher clean of bubble gum wads and spilled beer, every pitcher is lighting up the radar gun and every hitter is spraying balls into the cheap seats. These are the thoughts I carry through the cold gray winter to give me hope for another spring, and I will not let them go until I must.

And in the past few days, some parts of my dream – not all, of course, but some – have moved into the realm of flesh and blood for another year. Pitchers and catchers have reported. Another season approaches. And I couldn’t be happier.

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One Response to Baseball’s dream season

  1. Dairl says:

    For me, it won’t be a dream season unless it ends with the words, “San Francisco Giants – World Champions.” :)

    But that’s the beauty of a new sports season. Anything seems possible. Even something that hasn’t happened since, correct me if I’m wrong, 1954.

    –D.

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