The true start of spring is that bright and shiny day when Christ comes out of his cave, sees his shadow and baseball season starts with that first pitch.
Forget the tulips. Ignore the robins. Don’t let the hummingbirds, awakening bears, geese flying north or egg-coloring kits on sale in the grocery store fool you.
The date of the vernal equinox doesn’t matter one single whit, because the true start of spring is that bright and shiny day when Christ comes out of his cave, sees his shadow and baseball season starts. There’s your rebirth, boys. The slate has been swiped clean and anything is possible. This Is Next Year. Spring has indeed sprung.
It seems, however, that the 45th POTUS disagrees with that sentiment. In lieu of throwing out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals home opener, Donald J. Trump encouraged his newly appointed Attorney General William Barr, to throw out the 1st Amendment instead.
The baseball season is a long grind. 162 games. Six months of battling bitter rivals, self-inflicted errors, special counsels and the vagaries of supposedly impartial umpires. You’d think Mister Trump would appreciate the similarities to his new job.
Nobody knows why the Oval Office Oompa Loompa refuses to drive the 2.9 miles from the White House to Nationals Park. Maybe he thinks all that green is wasted by not being part of a golf course.
You know if his good buddy Vladimir Putin asked, he’d snap to it so fast he’d startle beer vendors. Same with Kim Jong Un and the Saudi Crown Prince. Nobody, not even the president, wants to tick that guy off.
Its not like Trump has a candy-ass arm either. In 2004 he landed a Trump helicopter in the middle of center field and threw out the first pitch at a Somerset Patriots game, throwing a damn good high fastball. Just a little outside, but if Curt Schilling or Greg Maddux had thrown that pitch, it would have been called a strike.
Everybody likes baseball. Even ogres and trolls and troglodytes enjoy baseball. And yes, that includes George Will. Maybe President Snowflake can’t risk having non-rally fans boo him. It’s not like he has to do it every home game. It’s once a year. That’s what presidents do on Opening Day. Ever since William Howard Taft in 1910. 109 years ago. They don’t call it the American Pastime for nothing, you know.
FDR did it 11 times, most of them from a wheelchair for crum’s sakes. George Herbert Walker Bush, who was captain of the Yale baseball team, threw a wicked slider. Barack Obama famously threw a ball while wearing a Nationals jacket, a White Sox hat and mom jeans.
Harry Truman threw out 7 opening day pitches, the same as Dwight D. Eisenhower. Ambidextrous Gerald Ford threw 2, one left-handed and one right-handed. It took Ronald Reagan four years to throw his first opening day pitch, so maybe there’s hope Donald Trump will get in the swing of things, because every single President has done it, except Jimmy Carter, who was a one-termer. Ominous.
On this end, we’re picking the San Francisco Giants to beat the Milwaukee Brewers for the NL pennant. And the New York Yankees to beat the Oakland Athletics in the AL. Then the Giants reverse the results of the 1962 World Series and win it all in 7. Hey, a guy can dream, can’t he? Play ball.