Friday, February 15, 2008

The four most beautiful words

Pitchers and catchers report. Short of “I love my sweetie” or “The Red Sox Win”, I can’t think of four better words strung together. There may be snow and ice outside, but pitchers and catchers report. The windchill is below zero, and you’re starting to believe the parka and gloves are actually parts of your body, but pitchers and catchers report. Spring is near. The long cold winter is going to end. Whether your team is the defending champions (the Red Sox), trying hard to forget a miserable, humiliating 2007 and rebound toward lost glory (the White Sox and the Mets), or you’re really not sure what to expect (the Yankees, Giants and Dodgers), pitchers and catchers report.

The three ring circus featuring George Mitchell, Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee continues, but none of them are suiting up this week in Florida or Arizona. Bud Selig can spout all the sanctimonious crap he wants about how he’s protecting the game and doing the best job he can cleaning up the mess he helped create, but he won’t be wearing a uniform. The only thing that matters is the annual inevitability of spring: pitchers and catchers report.

Johan Santana is a Met. Pedro Martinez hopes he’s healthy now. The Giants need to figure out what kind of team they’re going to be in the first year PB (post Barry). The Rays have a new name, new uniforms, and they’d like to finish better than last place. The Mariners have a new ace. The Phillies, with their MVP’s, want to put it all together this year. The Tigers want to bounce back. The Brewers want to have a second half of 2008 that’s as good as the first half of 2007 was for them. The Cubs want to break their century-long drought. The Red Sox and Rockies, of course, want to repeat last year’s glory, though the Rockies want four more post-season wins. The Indians know that if they had held on a bit longer in the ALCS, they could have been receiving rings this opening day instead of the Red Sox. No matter the team, it all starts with the four words: pitchers and catchers report.

Such lovely words. It’s all possible. Everyone fantasizes this month about their ability to hoist the trophy in their delirious, champagne-soaked locker room in October. The road to October starts this week, because pitchers and catchers report.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Go SOX! But am psyched for the new Nats stadium too.