Waking up this morning, I may or may not have bounced up and down on my bed a bit before brushing my teeth and checking my computer like always. But what was different about today was the influx of excited messages on my Facebook newsfeed from Cardinals fans.
Yes, I’m not the only one talking about baseball anymore! It’s opening day, folks, and we finally get to see some games that count! But before I go on to discuss the extreme giddiness that is taking over my entire being, I do have to say that it is accompanied by a slight bittersweet taste.
This offseason, for me, was about as thrilling as the regular season…and that’s saying something considering we lost baseball’s greatest player and a Hall of Fame manager – not to mention one of the best pitching coaches of all time. There were some devastating days, but with all its bumps and bruises, no one can deny that the MLB kept us entertained.
And for me, the months since last October will always be marked by opportunities with the MLB Fan Cave and a proximity to my beloved team that every fan would covet. Stepping up to the big stage will certainly rob me of that, so call me selfish, but I am going to miss Spring Training.
That being said, we all know that everything has been leading up to tonight. This evening, the Cardinals will make their debut as the reigning World Series Champs, hungry for more…and most of all, hoping to prove to the many doubters that they can compete without Albert Pujols.
There will be a long road ahead, but we’ll be behind them every pitch because if we learned anything last year, it’s that our Birds can indeed accomplish the seemingly impossible.
In just 2 hours, we’ll witness the leadership of Matheny; the power of Holliday, Berkman, and Beltran; the strong arm of Yadi Molina.
And I cannot begin to describe to you the degree to which my sappy heart will swell tonight as men who have now shaken my hand and called me by name take the field. I’m pretty sure that even though I’ll be alone in my apartment, I’ll be able to feel the energy of Cardinal Nation as we all sit on the edge of our seats and cash in our inaugural deep breaths of 2012.
So, crack open that first baseball beer, tear into a bag of sunflower seeds, and smile because it’s finally that time of year again! The parade may have ended months ago, but our celebration of these players has only just begun.