It is foolish and childish, on the face of it, to affiliate ourselves with anything so insignificant and patently contrived and commercially exploitive as a professional sports team, and the amused superiority and icy scorn that the non-fan directs at the sports nut (I know this look -- I know it by heart) is understandable and almost unanswerable. Almost. What is left out of this calculation, it seems to me, is the business of caring -- caring deeply and passionately, really caring -- which is a capacity or an emotion that has almost gone out of our lives. And so it seems possible that we have come to a time when it no longer matters so much what the caring is about, how frail or foolish is the object of that concern, as long as the feeling itself can be saved. Naivete -- the infantile and ignoble joy that sends a grown man or woman to dancing and shouting with joy in the middle of the night over the haphazardous flight of a distant ball -- seems a small price to pay for such a gift.-Roger Angell in his piece "Agincourt and After"
Spring training has started, the Royals won yesterday, beating the Padres 13-9 (I'm starting my "Hideo Nomo for Cy Young" campaign soon), after they lost their "spring opener" to the Rangers. Just seeing a baseball field on TV is enough to get me in better spirits, and almost bring a tear to my eye. My friend Bill is adding his own touch to the excitement and anticipation of Opening Day by sending out emails each day, leading up to the hallowed event, with baseball-related videos. I decided that more people need to get pumped up for this, and, with his permission, am going to share his videos. Now he's a couple of days into it, so I'll play catch-up today.
First was from 2 days ago
And here's today's
I'm optimistic this year about the Royals. Of course, I am every year. But the young players are a year older, there's a new manager , Jose Guillen is a pretty big signing for them (even if he has to serve a 15-game suspension for steroid-related stuff), Luke Hochevar, a first-round pick from a few season ago, pitched two perfect innings the other day against some big-time hitters in the Rangers' lineup, and, as a Royals fan, I have to have hope. But it's not always a blind hope, this year, I have a good feeling about it!