Thursday, March 28, 2019

EXTRA: Opening Day too early? Nah!

Spring training is ovah! It’s time for the 2019 regular season to begin.
Future super-dooper star? Or a dud?

Sure enough, the Chicago White Sox began their season Thursday (their attempt to redeem themselves from last year’s 100-loss debacle) in Kansas City (where the Royals were even worse in 2018), while the Chicago Cubs were in suburban Dallas/Ft. Worth to take on the Texas Rangers.

FROM HERE ON in, the ballgames count for something. We’ll get to see if that prediction of the Cubs finishing in fifth place this year has any legitimacy to it, while the White Sox’ so-called youthful talents will have the chance to show they really will be stars who can take the Sout’ Side to a championship.

Of course, there are some people who are grousing over the date – this is the earliest that Major League Baseball has even begun its season, which will allow for more off-days during the regular season. But some fans are complaining about the weather.

As though they believe baseball is solely a warm weather sport that should only be played in California or in the Deep South.

So perhaps the Cubs playing in Arlington, Texas isn’t too abhorrent to them. But Kansas City (where the noon-hour temperature was 63 degrees and cloudy skies)? No amount of quality barbecue could make up for the less-than-ideal weather.

PERSONALLY, IT DOESN’T bother me. Mostly because I find the game itself more intriguing than that of any other sport. Particularly the very factor of the pitcher vs. hitter – the constant duel to see which one comes out on top.
Recalling past Sox memories

No amount of football tackles or basketballs being stuffed into hoops overhead can match up to it.

And as for the chill in the air? Well that’s just the reality of weather in the Midwestern U.S. or the East Coast. In short, the places where baseball is a long-standing factor and traditions are built. Unlike places like Phoenix or San Diego, where Major League baseball almost has a fake feel to it.

I’ll take a good White Sox/Royals brawl on Thursday, as two teams are desperate to show they’re not as worthless as some fans would try to dismiss them as. Particularly those Chicago Cubs fans who just can’t handle the thought that anybody root, root, roots for anybody other than the Cubbies.

ANYWAY, IT’S SPRINGTIME (it became official last week). And the first game to be played in Chicago comes April 4 – with the White Sox taking on the Seattle Mariners.
Wrigley faithful to convene again for 2019. Photos by Gregory Tejeda
With Chicagoans getting their first chance to see the alleged youthful star Eloy Jimenez playing in left field. We’ll get to see if he’s worth the six-year (with two option years) contract worth just over $70 million – more than any other ballplayer has ever received before even playing his first major league game.

We’ll have to wait a few days longer before the Wrigley Field faithful can pack their way into the ballpark – for which they’ll grossly overpay for the privilege of tickets to the ol’ ball game.
For as the old Harry Simone Songsters told us all those years ago, “It’s a Beautiful Day for a Ballgame.” Even if the temperatures Thursday were only in the mid-50s.


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