A hearty and healthy “Welcome Back” to all the details of Major League Baseball.
I love the digital age.
At exactly 8:23 Sunday evening, I knew baseball season had officially returned.Â Granted, I had arranged my Sunday around baseballâ€™s opening night. Â I had spent the late afternoon and early evening grilling cheeseburgers with sides of sweet potato fries and grilled skewers of vegetables accompanied by a few adult beverages; plopped myself down in front of the TV and watched Baseball Tonight; and then switched over to YES and relished Josh Beckettâ€™s first pitchâ€”even though Derek Jeter took a hack and bounced out to short. Â However, the season didnâ€™t start for me until my buddy Tex sent me a simple text message:
Six minutes later, Jorge Posada drove a Beckett fastball off the Pesky pole down the right field line and my cell phone blew up.Â First my sister sent me an exultant â€œha, yes,â€ followed immediately by my dadâ€™s â€œhip hip Jorge!â€ As I lifted the phone to respond, Curtis Granderson went deep over the right field bullpen.Â Now, we had something brewing.
Dad: Oy.Â You should have heard John Sterlingâ€™s radio call on Granderson.
Andy (my old roommate): So whatâ€™s john sterlingâ€™s tagline for him?
Dad (immediately): “Oh Curtis â€“ you are something grand-ish”
After a few others starting to flood my inbox, I managed to forward Sterlingâ€™s unique tagline for a Granderson homer to Andy.Â He responded:
Just threw up a little in my mouth.
Baseball is back and I couldnâ€™t be happier to welcome everything about it back into my life.Â Iâ€™m not talking about the games and outcomes, because as important as they may be, they pale in comparison to the little emotion-filled intricacies, such as the above text conversation, that comprise the major league baseball season.
So, without further ado, allow me to welcome the details of baseball back into my life.
Welcome back, Michael Kay, head play-by-play man at YES.Â Youâ€™re an excellent sports-talk radio host on ESPN radio.Â However, you constantly incite text messages from my sister like, What the hell is he going on about?
Welcome back, Karl Ravech, Tim Kurkjian, John Kruk, and â€œBaseball Tonight.â€Â Itâ€™s still the best baseball show on TV, even with the addition of Curt Schilling.Â In fact, I kind of enjoy watching Schilling on my HDTV to see just how unkind the past few years have been to him.Â Was that joke too soon following his wifeâ€™s recent book tour?
Welcome back to the rotating cast of goodness that is the MLBTV broadcasts of â€œMLB Tonightâ€ and â€œQuick Pitch.â€Â Harold Reynolds and Mitch Williams are slowly becoming the voices of Major League baseball to me.
Welcome back, Joe Morgan and Jon Miller.Â Seeing the two of them in their garish ties and fake smiles always reassures me.Â Theyâ€™re alive.Â Good.Â Now I can change the channel.
Welcome back, Orel Hershiser.Â Hershiser killed it during the College World Series last year and was always a wonderful addition to the ESPN broadcasts during last season.Â I was elated to see him sharing the booth with Miller and Morgan. Â Maybe heâ€™ll take airtime away from both of them.
Welcome back Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball sites.Â Between November and April, I have no idea what to do with my downtime.Â Now, I can once again obsess over players on the waiver wire, stay up way too late adjusting my lineup for the following day, read the countless number of â€œexpertâ€ sites touting the value of Adrian Beltre and Aaron Harang, and infuriate my fiancÃ©e as she finds my face glued to the computer screen once again.
Welcome back, HR, RBI, W, SV, WHIP, ERA; not to mention VORP, WAR, ERA+, OBP, OPS, BABIP, UVR and all the other advanced metrics illuminating every dark corner of the game.
Welcome back to my favorite websites: Fangraphs, Baseball-Prospectus, the MLB portal on ESPN.com, Baseball-Reference.com, MLB.com, Yankees.com, and of course Seamheads.com.
Welcome back barbecues and radio broadcasts of games blaring in the background.
Welcome back, chin music, taters, web-gems, diamond dailies, worm-burners, fifty-footers, â€œRed Sox Suck,â€ sausage races, bombs, shots, lasers, frozen ropes, nail-biters, shellackings, Baltimore chops, and pick-off attempts.Â Letâ€™s not forget to leave the door open for Bull Durham, Major League, Rookie of the Year, The Rookie, and this yearâ€™s newest addition â€“ Sugar.
Welcome back to the wild card, the All-Star Break, pennant races, and box scores.
Welcome back to the eternal background noise of my springs and summers.
And finally, welcome back to the â€œSeamheads writingâ€ folder on my desktop.Â Itâ€™s been far too long since I saved something to you.
Iâ€™m so glad to have you all in my life once again.