Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

March 28, 2009

Bring on the sun: Much-anticipated baseball season has begun

It might be hard to believe if you glance outdoors, but spring has officially arrived.

Eventually the rain will stop (it has to, doesn’t it), the sun will come out (it’s still up there, isn’t it) and we can get on with the best sport of all.

I know I’m in the minority, especially in Four Seasons Country and probably in most other places where the only sport people seem to care about is football.

Just turn on the radio. I did on the way to work on Saturday. March Madness has reached the Elite Eight, Major League baseball starts in a week, the NBA and NHL seasons are winding down to their never-ending postseasons and the Tiger love-fest at the Masters is two weeks away.

Yet, who’s on the dial? Mel Kiper, and he’s talking about Larry English, a linebacker out of Northern Illinois, who is his sleeper in the NFL Draft, which won’t be held until the end of April.

Please, let football wait. Believe it or not, it is spring. That means it’s time for baseball season to begin.

There was a time when baseball was king. Sitting in the sunshine, relaxing at a ball game, what could be better? The crack (or ping) of the bat, the perfectly turned double play, a triple completed with a head-first slide, the bang-bang play at first or the diving catch in the outfield.

I love it all. I still do. The game itself is still great. What’s happening to the game is not.

Growing up as a huge baseball fan, there was no other sport as far as I was concerned. I wasn’t a good athlete — or athlete at all — but I loved to the play the game.

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