Today the 2018 Major League Baseball season starts. On Opening Day, fans of every team can approach the new season with optimism that this might just be the year for their team to win it all.
Fans of the Cleveland Indians, like Russell and UJ and me, are hoping that, on this 70th anniversary of the Tribe’s last World Series title, this might be the year that the team ends a very long drought. With the winless streak now celebrating its 70th birthday, we think it’s time for its mandatory retirement. And after last season, where Cleveland won more than 100 games but lost to the Damn Yankees in the playoffs, Tribe fans are hoping that the team has the pieces in place to make another legitimate run for the championship banner.
But Tribe fans are not alone, of course. The start of baseball season is great, because every baseball fan everywhere feels inward optimism about their squad, even if they won’t admit it publicly. Lightning can and does strike. Sometimes teams just gel, and unlikely heroes emerge, and rookie phenoms actually pan out. Every year, it seems, there is a Cinderella story, and at the start of the season every fan hopes that their team will end up donning the glass slipper. The sense of hopefulness and possibility is intoxicating — but also can be brief and ruined by reality.
This year, though, at least for those of us in the Midwest and East who’ve been enduring the Winter that Won’t Go Away, there’s another reason to celebrate the arrival of baseball’s Opening Day. If the Summer Game is finally here, we can hope that summer itself isn’t far behind.