Opening Day has arrived for most Major League baseball teams including my New York Mets. Although this will be a horrendous year for the Mets that they will be unable to fix in the aftermath of the crisis between Mets ownership (Fred and Jeff Wilpon) and the Madoff scam, it is still good to see our national pastime return to the scene and those great urban flowers, baseball box scores, back in bloom. In America, it is our assurance that spring is here, representing a renewal of life.
There was a time when the game of baseball had to power to make national and world problems seem secondary for a period of time. Over the last thirty years, baseball has replaced just about all of its dual-purpose concrete doughnuts with real ball parks, each with unique outfield dimensions, replicating the golden era in the sport. Boston’s Fenway Park becomes the first Major League park to see its 100th birthday, Chicago’s Wrigley Field will follow suit two years from now. With stricter sanctions on performance enhancer usage, I think it is time to sift through everything problematic about the game and sit back and enjoy a day at the ball park.
A philosopher by the name of Jacques Barzun once wrote, Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball. The fall of Communism over the last thirty years has resulted in more foreign lands adopting the game of baseball, but it is still rooted here and is still our national pastime. There is no clock to burn out. Time in baseball is measured only in outs. Make it to first base, and you have defeated time.
OK America, Play Ball!