Try as they may, the nitwits running Major League Baseball can’t ruin Opening Day.

Which Opening Day, you ask? We had one Sunday, for one game, and of course, yesterday. A few more teams will christen the season today.

That’s one of the beauties of Opening Day in baseball. There’s not just one.

The purists are indignant about the newly-begun practice of setting one game aside on Sunday night to get the ball rolling. And that’s understandable. Baseball purists put tradition above all else, and tradition dictates that Opening Day is Opening DAY, with nobody throwing a pitch until the Cincinnati Reds have thrown a pitch.

But Opening Day means so much more than when the games actually start. You can start the games at five in the morning in Japan, and Major League Baseball has done just that, and it still doesn’t take the fundamental appeal of the event.

Hope.

Whether you’re a New York Yankees or Kansas City Royals fan, Opening Day is the day when anything seems possible. Even though one team pays for a lot more possibilities than the other year in and year out, the bottom line is there are Royals fans out there who deep down think there is a chance their team is going to shock the world and win the whole thing this year. They probably won’t admit it, because they’ll be laughed at and ridiculed, but they do believe it.

Opening Day is a day to contemplate such hopes. The mind races with possibilities. The rookie who will make a big splash. The former phenom will finally reach his potential. The washed-up veteran who will find the fountain of youth. The injury-prone star will suit up for all 162. And the teams that spent more money than yours don’t look so tough.

A win on Opening Day means your one step closer to the pennant. A loss, and there are 161 more tomorrows.

Except for the Nationals. Their fans are going to want the season over by April 28.


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