“I’m just a little bit caught in the middle.”
That was the lead lyric from “Moneyball”, the Academy Award nominated movie that brings baseball’s greatest attribute to the forefront each and every year…hope. Without it we cannot survive. And each spring, like yesterday in Maryvale, hope was once again put on the front burner. Lost was the cold of the snowy North. Welcome to another amazing season of hope, or as we call it, baseball.
The thrill of a new season is born days and months ahead of the walk up to the gate. The anticipation builds as the crowd grows as you get nearer and nearer. It is a ritual that commands respect because it brings renewal. You have been here before when all was clean and pure and the world was still well ahead of you. This was always the seminal moment of time as it marked that new year of hope.
Now, as we enter the gate, tickets in hand and searching ahead for that first view of the field that allows us to know that the world is OK and everything is in its place, we in fact are caught in the middle…in the middle of life from the first day of discovery of this magnificent game to the last game of life.
Yesterday we made that same journey again.
The hawkers were monotone in their chant of ‘can’t tell the player without a program’ to the beer vendor’s taunt, ‘it’s cold and it’s from Milwaukee’. The smell was the key. The brats smoking on the grills indicated that all was well with the world. In his very first at bat in the bottom of the first, Ryan Braun cracked a home run to right center to launch a new season. The refreshing journey was true to form. Life is good and baseball is back.