It's been a very, very long winter this year, and spring still feels just slightly out of reach, but Baseball Season begins anew tonight. Each season I find opening day one of the most exciting days of the year... second perhaps though to Opening Day, when baseball comes to Fenway (the Red Sox play in the Bronx tonight, so it's just "opening day")... that happens next week. (Though apparantly without us in attendance... but that's a whine for a different time.)
So as always I can't wait for tonight's game, to have baseball to watch again. Like many I'm a bit bummed out that Curt Schilling won't be able to start for the Sox against the Yanks' new hired gun, Randy Johnson... but big Curt owes us nothing, he put it all on the line for us last fall (and indeed you could argue he knowingly put his entire remaining career on the line). So yeah, he's entitled to an extra week or two to be back in playing shape!
However, I also find this opening day somewhat bittersweet. This was a long winter, but it was also the offseason that I was in no hurry to have end. The memories and emotions of the Sox winning it all last October haven't dimmed a bit. Indeed, any time over the past five months when C has noticed I'm in a bad mood or upset about something, he has come over and either told me or even written me a little note reading, "Remember, Dad, the Red Sox won the World Series!" Without fail it would instantly bring a smile back to my face, in part because it made me feel good to know he realized how special the event had been, and mostly just because, well, THE RED SOX WON THE WORLD SERIES!!
But tonight, sometime around 8:10pm EDT, the Red Sox are no longer the World Series champions. Oh sure, they're certainly the defending champions, but as of that first pitch tonight they're just a team with an 0-0 record trying to get to the 2005 World Series.
I can't wait for the game, I can't wait for the season. But I'm not, on a gut emotional level, as excited about that first pitch tonight as I usually am. Of course, once the season is underway and I've myself dealt with putting last year really in the past, it'll be as much fun as always. And possibly more... I do feel I'm going into this season hoping they'll again win the Series, but I don't feel it's necessary... I'm looking forward to just enjoying some great baseball this season. Oh, and C is genuinely very excited and looking forward to the baseball season for the first time in his young life too this year... Play Ball!!
On another note, happy birthday to my friend Doc today!! And happy 19th anniversary to the USS Christa McAuliffe, the Star Trek fan group I've been fortunate enough to be a part of for almost all of that time!