And now a brief diversion from politics & public policy:
Simply put, today is the best day on the American sports calendar. A lot of fans today are donning orange and blue to root the Florida Gators to success in an unprecedented feat: simultaneously winning back-to-back NCAA basketball titles while defeating the same school they beat to win the NCAA football title earlier in the year. Whoa! Yes, this game will be fun to watch for sure, and here’s hoping that Ohio State can make it a close contest.
But around this house today, sports fans don their blue and orange to celebrate Major League Baseball’s Opening Day. My beloved Detroit Tigers begin their American League pennant defense at home against the Toronto Blue Jays, with emerging pitching phenom Jeremy Bonderman on the mound.
Baseball fever has seized the land of my nativity with a newfound fervor, as a team coming off two long decades of futility shocked the sports world en route to last year’s Fall Classic. This year the AL Champion Tigers are back, virtually intact: with the proven powerful bat of Gary Sheffield added to the lineup to boost an offense that seemed to shy away last October against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Pitching? The Tigers are loaded – witness the fact that the loss of Kenny Rogers for half the season to a blood clot in his arm will slow Detroit down a bit but should be far from fatal. Almost every other team in the Majors would sell the farm to have the young talented combo of Bonderman – Justin Verlander – Nate Robertson – Joel Zumaya, with the amazing Andrew Miller groomed to join them soon.
Whatever the results on Opening Day, it signals the return of baseball season – the first Detroit has experienced with great hopes, expectation, and confidence in a long time. Less than 3 hours ’till Jeremy tosses out the first pitch: How sweet it is!