Oh friends, we are getting close. Baseball is just around the corner (written whilst knocking on the biggest piece of Louisville Slugger wood we could lay our hands on).
The dawning of the grapefruit league season brings with it the dusk of the no good, very bad endless news cycle of despair.
You say, “Let’s talk impeachment trial.” We say “Huh-uh. Let’s talk about five-time All Star Nolan Arenado.” Yeah, he’s a Cardinal now.
You say, “By golly, this country is on a one-way track to socialism.” We say, “Let’s throw that conversation the old Uncle Charlie, and who better to throw it than recently contracted Redbirds legend Adam Wainright.”
You say, “That the influx of new coronavirus strains is an imminent threat.” We say, “Have no fear, because the resigning of future hall of famer Yadier Molina is an imminent probability.”
Oh friends, oh friends, oh friends, we are getting so close we can taste the Cracker Jacks. Pitchers and catchers will start reporting to Spring Training in the next week or two. The Cardinals are scheduled to play their first exhibition game on Feb. 27. They open the regular season on April 1 in Cincinnati (not sure we love the idea of kicking off the season on April Fools’ Day, but whatever, we finally traded for Nolan Arenado), and our home opener comes one week later against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Have you seen what is happening here?
The above paragraphs represent more than 200 consecutive words of nothing but good, hopeful, optimistic news. It’s been so long! The coming spring signals rebirth, the coming season fills us with hope and joy – and did we mention that we finally, finally landed eight-time Gold Glove winner Nolan Arenado?
Just picture Arenado cross-stepping toward the third base line to backhand a two hopper, pivoting and throwing a dart across the Busch Stadium grass to Paul Goldschmidt. Waino pumps his fist from the mound, and Yadi points his battered glove towards the newest Redbird. It’s a fairly routine play, but it represents decades of culture building that allows arguably the two best National League West players of the past decade to call St. Louis home, their chests now emblazoned with the birds on the bat.
Oh friends, we are getting close. The bubbles in the suds of beer are popping, the hot dogs are turning the deep brown of your grandfather’s old leather ball glove.
“Beer here, get your ice-cold Budweiser here.”
“Co-ahhh-ton candy, here.”
“Who needs peanuts? Peanuts. Get your peanuts.”
The sounds and the smells and the sights and the unrelenting, unforgiving hopefulness of a new baseball season are knocking the dirt off their spikes and getting ready to step into the batter’s box. The white lines point out to the foul poles and continue on forever, infinitely. We are reinvigorated and recharged. We are reborn.
Oh friends, we are getting close.
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Publishers Note: Our annual St. Louis Cardinals Preview will be featured in the March 24 issue. Call (636) 591-0010 to reserve your advertising space today. For readers, remember to visit westnewsmagazine.com/request (if you haven’t already) to keep receiving West Newsmagazine in your mailbox after April 1.