I know the Red Sox and A's played two games in Japan last week.
Yes, Ryan Zimmerman homered in the bottom of the ninth so the Washington Nationals could beat those evil Atlanta Braves in D.C. last night and officially break in their new stadium with a win.
But to me, the baseball season doesn't start until the game is played both on American soil and under the sun.
Even when the Mets opened in Japan a few years ago, it didn't count as far as I was concerned. My Love, who woke me at 4 in the morning so I could watch that game and made me a breakfast of Lit'l Smokies, spicy mustard and Shiner Bock, understands, too. God bless her.
The following comes from Greg Shea, author of one of the first Web sites/e-mail digests I ever subscribed to back in the dark days. It was called "The Closer," a funny, insightful summary of the day's baseball action. I miss it. I think Greg later got a job with ESPN.com. He deserved it.
I like to circulate his poem at this time every year because it's a perfect description of how I feel about this day.
Except for that cola reference. Sorry, dear.
Today you'll dig in the closet for your glove and snap a ball into it while sipping your morning coffee.
Today as the toast comes out of the toaster, you'll still remember how to execute a perfect "pop-up" slide.
Today you'll drive to work and admonish yourself to "keep your head down" and your eye on the road.
Today your team will be in first and planning to stay there.
Today you'll end your contract holdout.
Today you'll still be able to turn the double play.
Today you won't lose a business deal in the sun.
Today you'll find yourself rotating your arm around your head to stretch the shoulder and keep it loose.
Today someone asks if you'll be at the meeting and you respond by saying, "Let's play two."
Today you spend an hour in the attic with old baseball cards and dusty Sports Illustrateds.
Today sunflower seeds strangely find their way into your back pocket.
Today you find yourself muttering something about "Bill freakin' Buckner."
Today you'll think of wearing a black suit to match the eye black.
Today you'll have the steal sign.
Today you slip up in a meeting and mention "our sales team ... vs. lefties."
Today a hot dog and peanuts for lunch will sound about right.
Today you tell a co-worker to "warm up."
Today the only strike you'll know about is above the knees and below the armpits.
Today you'll wear your jacket only on your pitching arm.
Today you'll buy two packs of gum and stuff them in the side of your mouth.
Today, during lunch, you'll wonder why Coke doesn't come in a wood can.
Today you'll scratch yourself and spit for no apparent reason.
Today you'll wonder why stirrup socks never caught on.
Today you'll be the rookie looking to make it big.
Today you'll be the wily vet with just a little something left.
Today you'll look for the AM dial on your radio.
Today your glove is hanging off the handlebars of your bike.
Today seems like a good day for an ice cream before you head home.
Today is box scores and "Baseball Tonight."
Today is Donnie Sadler and Keith Osik.
Today is Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds.
Today your first coach is cheering. Still.
Today mom's watching.
Today dad's in the backyard -- with his glove.
Today it'll still be a kids' game.
Today you'll be a kid.
Today is Opening Day.
March 31, 2002 - By Greg Shea
Copyright © 2000 The Closer
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