Monday, March 31, 2008


ME: "Don't you realize? It's opening day! Don't you see what that means? It's flowers on the street, blue skies and warm mornings, it's Spring!"

MY DAD: "You're crazy. There's snow on the ground here. Nobody should be playing baseball in Chicago in March."

Well, whatever. I still look to opening day as one of the greatest days of the year (alongside the last final of the Spring semester, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Talk Like A Pirate Day?).

And yes, baseball is the most anti-climactic sport in the world because there's literally thousands of games a season--how can anyone get excited about a single one? I mean, really, is there any other sport where a commenter can get away with saying what Orel Hershiser said during the Cubs game today? That no matter what happens today the players, fans, and media shouldn't get too excited, there's still a trillion games left? Talk about pumping us up for the season.

But everyone knows that's a foolish perspective because baseball isn't about being super energetic. It's about short bursts of action and therefore short bursts of attention. Its most characteristic food is the shelled peanut, which takes serious effort to extricate, has more inedible than edible parts, and all for so little satisfaction--but it's just something to do while sitting outside and besides, it tastes good.

Such is baseball, the sport for the long winded and rarely gratified attention span.

I won't pretend to be some kind of baseball expert and give predictions past this one: the hype surrounding the Cubs this year will have worn off by the 1st of June. It always happens, and it's almost sad the way an entire fanbase can be so foolishly forgetful. Last week, in a Chicago Tribune online poll, more than half the voters said that the Cubs would win the World Series. Yeesh.

There's no doubt the Cubs have a good team, but their key players WILL get injured, as they did last year, because that's the kind of good players the Cubs have--oft-injured ones. And when the Cubs get in a rut at some point in the season, which every team eventually does, they WILL find it relatively harder to get over because of the hype and the pressure that comes with 100 years of French-military-type futility. We WILL hear about how the Wrigley Field day games suck from a player's perspective.

But you know what? I'm excited for it all.


In other opening day news, the Nats blew up their new stadium last night with a walk off homer in the bottom of the ninth by Ryan Zimmerman.

The most interesting thing I've read about the stadium is not the plentiful positive reviews of the fan experience at new Nationals Park. It's this harsh harsh harsh review of the stadium from the Post Style section.

I have to say, I'm torn. I just think about the new Soldier Field and, though from the outside it looks like a randomly dropped toilet bowl from outer space, on the inside everything is well laid out and beautiful. I feel this article does a good job explaining the current architectural problems in designing new stadiums, namely, building one that is as appealing from the outside as within.