Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The optimism of the season

CHEER UP! There's a new infusion of optimism in America flowing from Arizona to Florida. It is widely adorned with the hopelessly exaggerated pronouncements of Capitol Hill but is a non-partisan exercise that happily escapes the political bombast of the plodding and predictable Sunday morning talk shows. It is called spring training and not a day passes in a snowbound winter that a baseball player or manager in the warmer venues doesn't offer a Utopian vision of how much better he feels about this year's prospects than those of the team that finished 62 games out of first place last year.

There is, for example, Manny Acta, the Indians new manager. Commenting in the Beacon Journal after the team's four-inning intrasquad game, Acta was upbeat:
"I liked the way the hitters looked. They are not so far behind [the pitchers]. Also, the pitchers pounded the strike zone."
Fans who are suffering from political fatigue should be feeling better already. Acta is not alone in his optimism. Everybody on the practice fields has something good to say about himself or his team to build the club's confidence level with no filibuster on the horizon. Players with stitched up shoulder and mending ankles insist they have never felt better; front offices trying to sell season tickets in lean times point to a new look at third base or right field that will elevate the team to the playoffs. Hotdog vendors give no indication that they are prepared to strike this year.

It's the way the world was meant to be in March. Of course, for the have-nots perhaps not even luck will improve their fortunes. As Walter Alston was heard to say:

"It's pretty hard to be lucky when your pitching is bad."

1 comment:

John said...

From the early Spring until late Fall,
We heed the call of Baseball.
The pitchers are smart and cunning
Except for Jim Bunning.
All he can do is stall.