by Kevin Burton
Baseball is back! In a virus-sick world where we can use some good news, I say this qualifies.
Did you know birds that sing in the spring, sing about baseball? Spend time proving me wrong if you wish, but why? Instead, why not busy yourself wiping joy from your cheeks, giggling under your breath.
Baseball has always been a welcome sign of spring. This year, with the country making a tentative move toward opening up, with vaccination rates increasing, even more so.
It’s been a long, cold, lonely winter for sure. Here comes the sun!
My Reds are coming off a playoff year sort of. They lost a short best-of-three playoff series last year without scoring a run. There are people talking about my American League favorites, the Royals, as a .500 or better team.
The Royals won the Arizona Cactus League this spring. That became irrelevant when the real games started yesterday.
Baseball America says the Royals and Reds will finish fourth in their respective divisions.
Great to hear the voice of Denny Matthews yesterday as he started his 53rd season as Royals broadcaster.
More signs of spring? The local farmers’ market opens tomorrow (we may go to the second one next month, after our second virus vaccine shots). And we’re talking about getting the grill out.
That latter is great news. It will be even better once we can get out to Yoder Meats and fill up our freezer again. Kansas readers, look them up. You’ll thank me later.
We just have that sunny disposition going.
So rather than interrupt that, we’re going to overlook St. Louis scoring six runs in the top of the first and holding on to beat the Reds 11-6.
The Royals also stumbled out of the gate, giving up five runs in the first inning of their home opener against Texas. But they scored five in their half of the first. That inning took 50 minutes to play. No opening-day game had seen both teams score four or more runs since 1906, according to Royals radio.
The first four innings took 2½ hours and I began worrying about my usual 7:30-ish a.m. posting deadline.
Texas had the worst record in the American League last year and may be historically bad this year.
Understatement by Denny, “This game has not lacked for walks.”
It was a 50 baserunners, 400-plus pitches thrown kind of game. Opening day dragged into opening night, four hours 26 minutes. Royals win 14-10.
Did you know KC Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is now a minority owner of the Royals? Well he is and he was in attendance at the game.
Perhaps he noted that the Royals scored more on opening day than the Chiefs did in the Super Bowl.
Wait a minute, I was trying to be sunny. Sorry.
Well, partly sunny and partly cloudy is about the best we can do these virus days, and we’ve learned to be happy for it.
The Royals allowed 10,000 fans through the gates. That’s more fans than last year, but not your usual opening day number.
Baseball fans can still get peanuts and Cracker Jack. Frito-Lay still makes them, but you don’t get a prize any more. To me the prize is part of the deal. The prize is like the fortune in a fortune cookie. It’s quickly forgotten but it’s part of the deal.
Bring back the prize!
On a more serious note, The Mets-Nationals games for yesterday and today were cancelled because of covid issues with the Nationals.
So the covid news seems better these days, but the crisis is far from over.
But my skin and my battered psyche ache for the sun. Here it comes kids!
Isn’t it great to be alive, listening to birds in the trees rhapsodizing about double plays?