There is nothing more torturous for a baseball fan than the long offseason. When the season wraps up in the end of October, spring training seems like it will never come. Sure, there's football and March Madness, but for the true baseball fans, those things don't compare.
Once pitchers and catcher report to spring training, it's a sign that baseball is approaching, but there's still almost a two month wait until Opening Day. Spring training games are great and all, but the starters never play the entire game, so it lacks the feel of a real game.
This year there were more exhibition games than usual on the weekend before the start of the season. The Yankees and Mets both unveiled their new ball parks this year, and decided to test them out before the start of the season.
Friday and Saturday the Yankees hosted the Cubs, and it was great to finally see the new stadium after two years of all the hype over it. The place really is a sight, and while it's going to take some getting used to for those of us so accustomed to the building next door, it is as spectacular as they said it would be.
While that taste of baseball was nice, nothing compares to Opening Night/Opening Day. Sunday was an absolutely beautiful spring day, and there was that feeling in the air that baseball had returned. There were only two games played last night, so the real focus shifts to today when the majority of the teams play.
Opening Day is not without it's flaws. More often than not, several games end up being postponed due to inclement weather, and teams and fans are forced to wait at least one more day for their season to start.
If the weather doesn't force a postponement, it can be less than friendly to those playing. Baseball was not meant to be played in 30 degrees or snow for that matter, but in April anything goes.
The glory of Opening Day is that everyone starts with a clean slate. It doesn't matter who put up the best numbers the year before, what team sent their rivals packing, or who was the last team standing because it's a whole new season.
There is always the excitement of seeing the young players who are going to try and make a name for themselves in the majors, and seeing the transactions of the winter donning their new uniforms.
While none of the players are playing to their potential yet, Opening Day is a reminder of all the greatness that is to come. It is a reminder that the season is long, and full of twists and turns. It is a reminder that anything is possible and the unthinkable will more than likely happen; that is the beauty of baseball.
So now we all get to sit back and watch as the season unfolds, but the most important thing is that it is under way.
Let's play ball!