Major League Baseball is back and all is right with the world. ISIS has disbanded, the Republican party has purged itself of all anti-climate change, anti-evolution, and anti-vaccination members, and Wells Fargo has committed its mortgage-based profits to support programs for the homeless.
OK, maybe not. Nice as the thought may be, I’ll admit that baseball can’t do everything.
But at least the faithful hordes have actual games to obsess over, a definite improvement over over-analyzing off-season moves.
As I write this, I’m listening to the Orioles/Tigers game, the official first preseason game of the year. The Orioles’ radio broadcast isn’t available online (during Spring Training, MLB generally only distributes the home team’s broadcast), but it’s enough to quell the withdrawal pangs.
The pre-preseason started Sunday, when the Philadelphia Phillies took on the University of Tampa Spartans. The game was, of course, a mismatch: the Spartans won easily, 6-2. In the wake of the game, the Phillies offered to trade their entire 40 man roster for the Spartans’ starting lineup. Unfortunately, their request was denied and today they have to play their first game against an MLB opponent today with the same squad that lost Sunday. They’re playing the Yankees now, and trailing 1-0 after an inning and a half.
The Miami Marlins and Detroit Tigers reclaimed the professionals’ honor yesterday, defeating their college opponents in style (Marlins 7, Florida International University 2 and Tigers 12, Florida Southern College 2). Professional versus college games continue today, with the Diamondbacks taking on Arizona State; the Marlins facing the University of Miami; and the Red Sox, in an excess of enthusiasm, facing both Boston College and Northeastern University.
Obviously, a doubleheader this early in the spring is exhausting. The Red Sox will take tomorrow off while the Twins take on Minnesota (the university, not the entire state), and then the two MLB clubs will face off on Thursday in the first game against professional opponents for both teams.
I mentioned earlier that radio broadcasts are limited in the preseason; especially in the early going, not all games are available. The situation is even worse for television. Forget about trying to follow your favorite team.
But it hardly matters. Enjoy the sights and sounds of baseball, and remember that you’ll be able to watch more than 150 of your team’s games once the season starts.
Unless, of course, you’re a fan of the Dodgers, whose games aren’t available to almost three-quarters of the LA area. Sorry, guys. Maybe Time-Warner will cut a deal in the next month.
Oh, and as for you Phillies fans: in the wake of their embarrassment by the Spartans, Las Vegas has them at 275/1 odds to win the World Series. Time to get your bets down. Remember, at this time last year, the Giants faced 20/1 odds and the Royals were at 35/1.