In The Big Inning; Our Opening Day

Published 3:36 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Nobody's in a 0-2 hole.

Not down in the count or out.

The Mighty Casey has not swung and missed.

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Nor the least mighty Clarence.

Every pitcher's earned average is a perfect 0.00.

Glorious nada. Nothingness never felt so good. Entire pitching rotations unscarred, unscathed, unscored upon. Hitless wonders.

Summer has not slumped.

The dog days of August are playful pups.

There is no X of mathematical elimination next to any team in the standings.

No magic numbers, either, to separate the winners from the losers.

Nobody's lost a thing.

Everything, and everyone, seems capable of being found.

On Major League Baseball's Opening Day, an unobserved national holiday, everyone's a giant.

Sure, the guys with the word Giants stitched across the front of their uniforms are the only players who are actually the defending World Champs.

But that was last year.

This is now. There are gigantic dreams of glory hallelujah from sea to shining sea.

Fifty-seven consecutive games are waiting for hits.

Not a leaf has fallen from a single tree.

No flower mourns its petals.

The air is alive with songs on wings, not the still silence left by birds flying south for the winter.

The desert and the parched land are glad. The wilderness rejoices and blossoms. Like the crocus, it bursts into bloom. Water gushes forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand becomes a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus grow.

Gladness and joy overtake us.

Opening Day is what New Year's Day ought to be. The same clean slate, celebration of renewal and transformational resolutions, but with a lot better weather.

Roll down your windows and roll up your sleeves because everything is possible.

The Houston Astros might send a man to the moon.

Tranquility Base is everywhere.

Small steps all across America feel like transcendent leaps.

Even Wrigley Field is boo-less and 1908 feels like a winning lottery number. Curse-bringing goats and jinxing black cats lay down with the lamb and a forgiven Steve Bartman shall lead them.

No life-altering foul balls have gone astray.

No goat has been scaped.

The dove has returned to the clubhouse after The Flood with an ivy leaf in its mouth, the rainbow stretching from the first breaths of April to October's final exhalation and winter seems like something you swing and myth.

One hundred and sixty-two games and not a heart-breaking error in sight.

Every proportion of possibility is biblical.

Tinkers to Evers and nothing to chance.

Last year's broken dreams leap up like deer, mute prayers in the crowd are shouted with joy.

Even the Bible sounds like its opening words are “in the big inning.”

Hope springs eternal.

Spring hopes eternal.

Everyone rallies in the bottom of the ninth.

Extra innings.

Life after death.

No living soul with the word “Loser” after their name in a box score.

The closer has saved them all.