I watched the official opening day game last night for the first time in a while. Jon Miller and Joe Morgan (I love those two guys working together) were calling the first game of the season, which was also the first game in the brand new National’s ballpark in DC. Everything was the first this and the first that. The first hit. The first strikeout. The first home run. At first it was funny, but then I realized how wonderful the whole “new thing” was. Kinda like when you get a new car, or a new job (hopefully not that often) or a new “________”. (You fill in the blank, it’s guitars for me.) I think I’m going to make this a yearly ritual, getting immersed in the newness, over and over again.    The other thing that is so wonderful about baseball particularly though is that, ignoring for a moment our our recent steroid problems, anybody can play. Short guys, tall guys, big guys, little guys, even slow guys sometimes. Larry Bowa was short and he was a great shortstop. Cal Ripken was tall and he was a great shortstop. Some of these pitchers are in great shape, others look like they need to lay off the gravy. It’s not like football where you have to be over 300 pounds to be a lineman, or in basketball where you have to be 6’6″. If you work hard and love the game, you can play (although not necessarily at the pro level). And paradoxically, hitting a baseball is so hard that if you can do it successfully one-third of the time you come to the plate, you’re actually really good!     I wonder if baseball is a little like heaven. (Can you tell I’m a fan?) I kinda hope so…

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