Spring starts soon and that means just one thing -- baseball season is almost here!
We're now in the transitional period between the cold of Winter and heat of Summer with the longest Spring Training session in Major League Baseball History underway.
There's more to the game than chilled beer, peanuts, power-hitters, and pitchers. Here's a few treats to look forward to during the 2009 season, courtesy of this blog's resident baseball fanatic and publisher, R.H. Levitin ...
- The Red Sox are coming to D.C. for inter-league play. This will be the best match-up since Cubs-Red Sox at Wrigley Field in 2005 when Greg Maddux knocked a homer into the cages below the bleachers in left-center field helping the Cubs solidify a giant lead and eventual win. Why? Red Sox fans will at least bring their rowdy A-Game, illuminating Nationals Park with obscenities, sing-a-longs, and the energy that should be present at any and every baseball game played. Maybe Nationals fans will take a few pointers on how to cheer on their home team. It couldn't hurt.
- The Cubs have a chance to end their post-season drought and notch a few tallies in the old "Win" column. There might even be a division title waiting for them but -- after two consecutive clinches, a third one might anger fans more ... that is unless they end that post-season drought.
- The Yankees will continue to spin star-player A-Rod a web of positive publicity after confirmation surfaced of his drug use during his time with the Rangers.
- The Dodgers may or may not have Manny in the line-up (we'll know tomorrow), it all depends on the slugger's inflated ego either taking a break and taking the field and, of course, money.
- The Phillies are the reigning champions of baseball? Am I still the only person confused by this? We'll see how they fair with those rings on their hands -- continued greatness is expected by the Phillie "PHaith"ful but prominence may not be what 2009 has in store for the team.
- Ken Griffey, Jr. is back where he started. For all of us who remember the final scenes of 1994's Little Big League, the image of a cocky young player by the name of Junior is etched into our minds. The 39-year-old veteran re-signed with the Mariners earlier this month. Welcome back, Junior. It'll be nice to see you play in the uniform that made you a name in this game again.
A lot can and will happen until October rears its pretty little head. At least we get to watch the ups and downs of America's greatest past-time while we're at it.
Photo Compliments of R.H. Levitin's personal photo collection. Photo by Darienne Myers, August 2008.