Our long national nightmare is over! It's Opening Day! I'm not attending a game today, what with my injured ankle making such a trip more trouble than pleasure at this point, but I'll be hitting a game soon enough. It's the first time I've missed Opening Day in decades, and something about it feels quite wrong.
But I'll be rooting along with the good people making their pilgrimages to the ball park.
One of the problems I've had with how busy life gets when one is juggling jobs and family and what not is keeping up with my team (the Cardinals!) as well as the rest of the baseball scene.
Not one week ago, I discovered the most wonderful cure for this. If you are trying to figure out what to give the special baseball-loving someone in your life, I heartily recommend The Slurve. The Slurve is a daily email with the briefest mentions of what you need to know to keep up with the National Pastime/Obsession. Its author, Michael Brendan Dougherty, is known more for his contrarian traditionalism and insightful political commentary. So what's he doing writing a baseball newsletter? He explains over at The Daily Beast. And here's an explanation from the site:
We think there's never been as much good writing and insight about baseball as there is now. But your local sports page is stuffed with the usual local griping. The highlight show is a beer commercial interrupted by a few replays. And trying to follow anything beyond your local team on the internet is a hassle: rage-inducing lists, fake debates, NSFW headlines. Let the Slurve send you everything you need and the best of the rest.
I just like it for the links to the best baseball features, the updates on every single team in the league, the injury reports and the links to stuff a baseball fan enjoys.
A sample from today's newsletter of the efficient updates on a few of the teams I love to follow:
WSH: Harper: "I want everybody to see the other side of me, too — that I can be on a magazine with jeans and a T-shirt on and my hair done and things like that. [wtimes] • Davey Johnson enters lasts season as Washington Nationals manager, but he’s not thinking retirement just yet [wapo] • Stephen Strasburg, Nationals’ opening day starter, set to begin his first season without limitations [wapo]
If you do not have time to scour every local newspaper or spend hours wading through comment threads on juvenile sports web sites, this is just a fantastic resource.
I speak for baseball fanatics everywhere when I say this is a great gift to give us. Subscription info is here.
So, how are you marking Opening Day? Which ball park are you hitting? What are your hopes for the season? Who's overrated? Who's going to surprise us?