A new major league baseball season began a few days ago.
There was a time when I looked forward to opening day more than any other time. That hasn't been true for years, but I still have a sentimental attachment to the game. And sometimes, during the off-season, I miss baseball and anticipate the start of a new campaign.
So when the Texas Rangers played the Houston Astros the other night, I tuned in to ESPN for a while.
Change comes slowly in baseball, but this Rangers-Astros game did, in fact, represent something new. The Astros have been a National League team since their inception in the early 1960s. (Originally they were the Houston Colt 45s, or something like that.) Now, though, they were playing their first regular-season game in the American League.
So I decided to watch part of it. I missed the beginning: throwing out the first ball, and all that ceremonial stuff. By the time I tuned in it was the third inning.
No score. No runners on base.
I watched as the batter took a few pitches. I watched as he fouled off a few pitches. I watched as the pitcher picked up the rosin bag, gave it a squeeze, and threw it back down.
The pitcher threw another pitch. The batter hit another foul ball.
The pitcher walked off the mound, and circled it. The first baseman came over and had a few words for him.
Then, another pitch. Ball three.
I wondered: have I really been missing this?