Someone needs to buy the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball a wall calendar so we avoid having this happen ever again on an April Fool's Day. Today, the greatest game in the world, baseball, begins play for the 2013 season in earnest.
As of today we get to watch grown men on the most brilliantly manicured surfaces (sorry, Augusta!) in the history of turf management participate in a sport for obscene amounts of money that children of all pages play for the sheer joy and joyousness of it for free in open fields and schoolyards everywhere. You're welcome.
Baseball is played in Japan, Taiwan, in enclaves all across Europe where the King of Sport, Football (which we call soccer), watches uneasily at it makes inroads among its youthful minions and everywhere across South and Central America.
I love football, and will watch bad European football, which I define as French (to include Monaco) over every other sport on television except American Major League Baseball. Even between teams about whom I know nothing. I root (in order)for American League East, National League East and National League West. And then anyone else, to include short-season minor league teams.
Yeah, I know the major league season goes on too long; quite frankly, playing the World Series into the first week of November is stupid. There should be day-night double-headers, and they should be played every Sunday, with day games on Saturdays. There should be baseball games so kids can watch the whole games and be able to get up for school in the morning as long as it's in session.
But none of that will ever happen because money, BIG money, now rules the game. Going to see a Yankees game can, with food and adult beverages, parking and tickets set you back four hundred bucks for two people. Or more. But at least it's a Yankees game. You can pay similar amounts of money and have to put up with the Oriole or somebody else (kidding!)
It's been all about big money since we started paying the equivalent of the gross national product of Surinam to journeymen middle fielders who are career .220 hitters and wouldn't be Gold Glovers if they won the Krylon "Spray for Life" sweepstakes. You don't want to know what good players cost because if you have to ask you can't afford it. Yankee Stadium cost over 1.6 billion (with a B) to build. Seriously.
But as of today, I refuse to wax wroth over any of that. It's Opening Day, sport, and it should be a national holiday. We could call it Bring your Glove to Work Day. Put bowls of mandatory sunflower seeds at every lunch table, just for today. And let's not forget my personal favorite after work relaxer and near-mantra, Slide with Your Spikes Up. Play Ball!!