Hope Springs Eternal

Tonight is the stateside start to the Major League Baseball season after the odd and unnecessary kickoff in Japan by the A's and Red Sox last week.

Today is a great day for baseball fans everywhere. Because there are no records, there are no sub-.500 teams, there are no cellar-dwellers. And there haven't been any sparkles and fades. Yet.

But some things seem to never change, like, oh I don't know, Nomar, and Schmidt going on the DL for the Dodgers. I don't wish ill upon any individual player unless they suit up for the Dodgers or the Yankees and then I just hope they get hurt enough to miss the season.

I hold out little hope that my San Francisco Giants will be much of a threat aside from their superior pitching talent. Lincecum and Cain are superb pitchers and both are definitely staff-ace quality. Zito should have a better year than last. Lowry is a very solid 4th and Correia is an understated 5th. The lineup the Giants are putting up isn't especially scary in terms of power but they are pretty fast and might surprise teams by playing small ball.

Which reminds me, this will be the first season in a very long time without Barry Bonds. His on-field presence will be missed but the circus that follows his every move will not. I do not deny that he almost certainly used steroids and other cheater drugs but he was, by no stretch of the imagination, the only one and my main complaint against the investigation of Bonds is that he is being used as the poster boy for steroids when he's barely even the tip of the iceberg. But at least Roger "Needleass" Clemens has done his part to take away the spotlight with his ridiculous denials and "they must be misremembering"'s.

And yeah, I do kind of hope that Clemens gets some jail time for his blatant and insane perjury and utter misrepresentation of the facts and reality. And for shooting his wife up with HGH too, that was a major league class act.

But enough of the spotted past of the game. Today is the start of a brand new season, a brand new era and a whole bunch of new stars are poised to leap into the imaginations of children and grown up children everywhere.

Today my Giants are in a tie for first place and that's likely about as close as they'll get this season but I don't mind, I'll be enjoying watching the Yankees lose, the Red Sox win, the Dodgers sparkle and then fade away and all the myriad microdramas that make up a baseball season.

Hot damn, its time for baseball again!