Brian Wilmer
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April 3 - Ode to Baseball

I'm not the only one.

To think that I'm the only person ever to wax romantic about the opening of baseball season would be
naive.  There are countless others who share my feelings about this time of the year.

Still, many seem to think the World Series is the best time of the year in baseball.  It has such
implications, and even a sexy name – the Fall Classic.  Irrespective of the quality of the World Series,
however, the best – at least, in baseball – is not saved for last.

Take a look around the major league landscape.  Witness the tradition of Opening Day in
Cincinnati.    Hear the ovation for last year's World Champions.  Even the fans in Kansas City and
Florida feel their team has a shot.

Okay, perhaps I'm getting a bit too excited.

Much like the beginning of a relationship, this is the one time of the year when everything looks fresh.  
Hope is still in the air.  Your fantasy team hasn't already seen half of your starters go to the disabled
list.  Your real team isn't 30 games out and hosting a team that's 26 games out.  The proverbial bat
has not yet broken, the game ball not yet scuffed.

Just like in any relationship, the good times can't always last.  There will be ups and downs, steroid
investigations and three-game sweeps.  There will also be temptation; the NFL looms large at the
end of the season, and the NCAA basketball tournament crowns its champion on the same night the
grand game of baseball makes its reappearance.  Let not the game worry, though.  I've found my
athletic soulmate.

The best part of this relationship?  I fall in love again at the same time every year.
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