“Pitchers and Catchers report.” There’s a reason that those words have become an almost divine portent to the baseball fan, and that reason is the new season is just around the corner. Those magic words were uttered today for the Dodgers and so begins a season almost more important now for how it will affect future seasons rather than what actually occurs in this season. Despite having (inarguably) the best pitcher (Clayton Kershaw) and (only slightly arguably) best hitter (Matt Kemp – please don’t regress) in the National League, the rest of the roster doesn’t appear to have enough to push the Dodgers much past last year’s mediocrity. But April 1st is the alleged sell by date for the Dodgers, and at that point we can begin to truly see what the future holds.
Many words have been written on baseball as an almost religious construct for its devotees, and I’ll admit that its unique structure among american sports lends it better to those comparisons. Beginning with what we are currently reflecting on, the promise of Spring, the hope of a new season, and even the Cubs (or more appropriately this year, the Astros) aren’t out of it at this point. The uniqueness of a 162 game season which watches the calendar turn to the Summer and then finally the Fall, where the winners are crowned seven months after the regular season begins. It is a construct unique among sports, where the team that starts the season can often bear little resemblance to the one that finishes it. Where having your best game at the right time, or your worst game at the wrong time can swing seasons, playoff series, or even the ultimate, an elimination game.
While some people who don’t like baseball feel that it is too slow (although those who tout football in its place are ignoring that out of 60 minutes of game time stretched over two to three hours, there is only 11 minutes of actual football action on average), and I will readily concede that pacing issues are a matter of personal taste, I feel that baseball’s pace plays to my strategic side (the chess moves are much more readily apparent to me than the other sports I am less familiar with). I will also admit that growing up playing the sport has endeared it to me greatly. The tradition, story lines (the last day of the regular season in 2011 was INSANE), and chance to see history on any given day definitely make it my preferred sport.
Speaking of strategic sides, I went out at lunch today and made myself a purchase:
I saw it before Christmas and just never got around to getting it, so I figured today was an appropriate day to go out. Sadly, while it advertises All-Stars on the front it is actually referring to the 2010 All-Stars, so I got Andre Ethier and Hong-Chih Kuo instead of Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw. I look forward to playing a few games though.
So it begins. Go Dodgers!
Weight: 233.4 Max: 240 Min: 233.4 Body Fat %: 24.7
Yearly Mileage: 29.4 miles (+3 miles)
Current Belt: Purple – Next Belt: Orange – Next Test Date: 3/3/12
Fitocracy Level: 13 (17240 points, 640/3000 to next level) – ID: disciplev1
Soccer – Next Game: 2/26, 7:30 pm