Even if leaves aren't fully back on the tree branches and snow is on the ground in some parts of the country, baseball's Opening Day is here. It can't come soon enough. Baseball is a 162-game grind at the major league level but it's the only sport that breathes. Football grabs you and says watch me for three straight hours. If you leave your seat at a basketball game you may miss an earth-shattering dunk but baseball lets you take in the scenery, lets you keep score, lets you smell the fresh cut grass, lets you take it all in.
Baseball is wearing eye black when you really don't need to.
Baseball is oiling your glove in January.
Baseball is tying your cleats just right.
Baseball is watching the chalk filter out onto the dirt.
Baseball is watching the dirt go from light brown to dark brown as the groundskeeper sprays the field.
Baseball is a grill, a beer, and a radio on the back deck.
Baseball is starting the season 0-0 no matter how hopeful the season appears.
Baseball is Big League Chew.
Baseball iswhere it's at.
This past Saturday I was on the field at the Hillcats stadium with my son Benjamin. He's 17 months old and even if he never plays the game I hope he appreciates what it means. Possibly because he's genetically predisposed to baseball, he did reach down and grab the crumbled rocks of the warning track and he repeatedly wanted to walk up and down the dugout steps. Part of me beamed with pride.
The crack of the bat and the sound of a 95 mile an hour fast ball snapping the glove has returned.
It'll be here for seven more months and I'll be taking it all in.
Justin's 2013 MLB PREDICTIONS
Wild card - Cardinals over Braves.
Divisional Round - Reds over Nationals. Giants over Cardinals.
NLCS - Reds over Giants.
Wild card - Orioles over White Sox.
Divisional Round - Tigers over Angels. Rays over Orioles.
ALCS - Tigers over Rays.
Reds over Tigers.