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Opening Day!
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I love baseball's opening day. It's like being able to open a favorite book again every spring, knowing that it will be exactly the same as the first time you read it but completely different too.

Photobucket Not everyone likes baseball, understandably. A lot of the story is written in box scores which are probably as difficult to decipher as ancient Greek poetry if you aren't a baseball fan but beautiful and full of music and meaning if you know the language and the rules.

Box scores and other baseball statistics are about the only numbers that I've ever been able to bear. I could never sit still for long division, let alone algebra. Calculus? What's that? Sudoku? You've got to be kidding! But tell me that new Yankee Mark Teixeira's line last year was .308/.410/.552 and you've grabbed my interest.

Yes, I'm a Yankees fan. I began following them when Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris (the M&M boys) were chasing Babe Ruth's homerun record. Those two were like Superman and Batman. What does a kid in grade school know about buying championships? Besides, throughout the sixties the Yankees were awful. They finished last. Even with Mantle and Maris on the team. Of course players get old but what does a teenager know about getting old?

I spent endless hours playing Strat-O-Matic Baseball, throwing dice and consulting the long columns of numbers on the game cards, trying to make my Yanks perform the way teams of superheros are supposed to. I didn't have much success. Even playing solitaire one's conscience will only allow for so much cheating. I guess I should have put poor old Mickey on steroids by giving him extra rolls of the dice.

But every season the book opened again, with a chance for a better ending. And better endings finally did come along, although not until the late seventies. Sure, I had the pleasure of watching the Yankees win some championships in the seventies, but I was entitled. I deserved every cent George Steinbrenner spent on the team. As a young man I suffered for my team!

Who can say how it will all come out this time? I'll know in October.

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