I was bestowed with the good fortune of having a friend who purchased tickets for the Tiger’s opening day game and is unable to attend. Fortunately, I was able to jockey my schedule so that I will be able to attend. Nothing in life better represents the onset of spring and the beauty of summer than the start of the baseball season. Even more enjoyable, is the pageantry and excitement that surrounds opening day.
That being said, this is a critical opening day for Major League Baseball. With the offseason furor over the use of performance-enhancing substances, this season will be a true test of the magical redemptive powers the sport seems to posess. The sport of baseball continually has been it’s own worst enemy and wedged ambivalence into the hearts of many fans, what will it do to regain favor? A fellow blogger, has written one of the better entries I have ever read about this very ambivalence. At Orange and Brown , they deserve to be commended for bringing to the surface the feelings many of us are encountering as the season approaches.
It is also a critical opening day for the Tigers organization who continue their intrepid march back to respectability. With the eventual absence of Bobby Higginson, few vestiges of previous failures remain in the organization. In some ways, this should be cause for joy. In other ways, it is an opening to new challenges and will become increasingly a means by which to gauge the relative success of the organization as lead by Alan Trammell and Dave Dombrowski. Nothing would bring me more joy than to watch the Tigers remain in contention for the American League Central Division championship into August and beyond.
With this ambivalence, I like many fans will ultimately be suffering from this season, I have been forced to remember how integral baseball is in providing us a connection to our past and those core values and beliefs that Americans hold dear. Hearing the voices of people like Vin Scully, Ernie Harwell, George Kell and so many others stand as a testament to our abilities to endure. And as things change and we face new challenges in our lives, baseball may be the perfect reflection of the difficult road ahead and how to navigate it.