There’s the “Curse of the Bambino” and the “Billygoat Curse” – but really, the whole damn thing is a curse. Baseball. I’m still pretty irked that the Astros have been forced into the American League. I’m still pretty irked that because we changed cable providers JUST before the Astros signed on with a new network, I will not be able to watch most of the games. So I wasn’t going to care this year. Had no interest in getting mini-season tickets to the games. Planning on a trip to Cooperstown, but I was only going to live in baseball past, not baseball present.
And then I heard it. With the phrase “pitchers and catchers report,” spring training was under way. I can’t help myself, I get excited. And hopeful, even though I know there is no hope for my team this year. Twitter and the blogosphere came alive with other people talking about baseball and writing about baseball so I know others share my curse of caring about a game. I fear I have genetically passed down the curse to the daughters. Today they were both messaging me about the official announcement of this season’s Astros broadcasters.
Unlike for you poor schmucks who live up north, baseball even feels right this time of year. Spring training really starts in the southern spring. “Pitchers and catchers report” means it time to cut back the roses and feed them. It means the azaelas are starting to pop and the redbud trees are bright purple beacons across the neighborhood. The high school baseball players are out on the field, playing their music that I can hear in the back room of the bookstore, although I have to open the door and stand outside to hear the smack of ball in gloves and aluminum bat pings.
Baseball and the boys of summer are really all about the spring. Starting fresh, coming alive, full of hope and optimism and potential. Tossing aside winter with the first pitch. Curse you for making me care, baseball. And welcome back, you’re right on time.