Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rant #445: Hope Springs Eternal

Snow is still on the ground even though we have been going through a warmer couple of weeks without any of the white stuff coming down.

The calendar reads February 15, so we have plenty of time before winter ends and spring begins.

But you know what? I am in a spring mood today.


Pitchers and catchers report this week to Florida and Arizona for baseball's annual spring training.

Right now, every team has a chance. The Pittsburgh Pirates have as good of a chance this time of year as do their cross-state rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies.

Everybody is on the same level now, and before you know it, full squads will report, and then we will really be in the swing of it.

You just know the weather is getting warmer when you see ballplayers stretching.

It just warms the heart.

Everybody says that the Phillies are a lock to win the World Series. I don't doubt that they have a terrific team with an incredible starting rotation.

But somehow, I don't think it will be that easy. There are some other pretty good teams out there--including the defending champion San Francisco Giants--and I believe it will be a real fight to see who gets to the World Series from the National League this year.

In the American League, things are as wide open as they have ever been. Some are conceding the World Series to the Red Sox, but I tend to differ. I don't think their pitching is that good, and remember, they are in the same division as the Yankees are. Never, ever count the Yankees out. And what about American League champs the Texas Rangers?

But during this time of year, the Kansas City Royals even have a shot.

As do the sorry New York Mets, involved in a financial scandal so critical that the owners, who have offered a portion of the team for sale, might have to actually give up a bit more of their ownership to make full financial amends.

Thanks, Madoff. Aren't you happy he was a Mets fan and not a fan of your team?

Anyway, hope springs eternal now, and anything can happen this year.

After the interminable football season, and with the equally endless and pointless hype surrounding March Madness around the corner, all I can say is ...

Play ball!

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