The Long Dark Night is Over

It seems like yesterday was September 28 as I sat in my seats in Section 112 Row 8 watching as Randy Johnson threw a 2 hitter to win his 12th game of the season. As the final pitch was thrown around 3:30 PM the Diamondbacks season ended and the long dark off-season began. On the other hand it feels as though baseball has been gone forever. I had to endure the pain and agony of watching the Los Angeles Dodgers dismantle the Chicago Cubs then lose to the Philadelphia Phillies. It has been an eternity since the Phillies pulled an upset defeating the Tampa Bay Rays to win the World Series. I spent the next 149 days 9 hours 36 minutes replaying the final month of the 2008 season trying to figure out how the Arizona Diamondbacks could fall as far as they did allowing the Los Angeles Dodgers take the National League Western Division title. No matter how many times I go through the events I just can’t seem to grasp how it happened. It was a traumatic time for a Diamondbacks fan; one that is extremely hard to recover from.

Today I awoke and the sun was peaking over the horizon. The first rays of light spread across the cloudless sky. The darkness of night crept back into the shadows replaced with the thoughts of a new day. This wasn’t just any day though; this was the beginning of a new chapter. One that held the hopes and dreams of baseball fans everywhere. Today was the day when winter is finally over. We no longer had to wallow in the failures of our teams. Today is “next year”. Today is the first day that we promised everyone it would be different. Players who struggled had their failures erased. They were once again placed on the pedestals and touted as the piece that would lead the team to the promised land of the play-offs. Today is the day when all the moves the General Manager and the front office stepped onto the field and brought with them the hopes and dreams of millions of baseball fans. This is the brightest day of the year for baseball. All the talk of steroids, cheating, and Congressional hearings are no longer at the forefront of our minds. Instead we’re only interested in freshly chalked lines, beautiful green expanses of grass perfectly manicured, and the aromas of hot dogs, peanuts, and popcorn. This is what baseball fans live for; this is the start of Spring Training.

Although pitchers and catchers reported to camp 11 days ago and position players arrived a week ago it is today that fans look at as the official beginning of Spring Training. Today the players will don their uniforms, tie their cleats and run out onto the field enthusiastically cheered by the diehard fans that have made the journey from across the country to be with their team. This is the first day of Spring Training games and couldn’t come a moment too soon. Baseball is back and all seems right with the world once again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *