Did you hear that? The sharp snap of a fastball hitting the catcher’s mitt? The glorious, echoing crack of the bat on a warm and sunny afternoon? Baseball is back, if only in Arizona and Florida, and the returning sound of our national past-time is music to the ears of baseball fans everywhere. There’s something distinctly serene about the sounds of the game, something that excites and comforts at the same time. It’s enough to dispel despair and abolish doubt, if not for more than a briefly cherished moment.
If all my pining couldn’t make it clear, the Kansas City Royals played their first Spring Training game of 2014 yesterday. I’d say it wasn’t pretty, considering it resulted in an 11-7 loss to the Texas Rangers in which KC committed four errors, but that would be a lie. It was damn pretty, because it was live Royals baseball, and because such a thing hasn’t happened in over 150 days.
Don’t tell me it was a meaningless charity game. Just don’t.
KC’s first live ball of the new year came with short stints of success dispersed among sustained pitching struggles. Danny Valencia made his mark quickly with his first Royals long-ball, several Kansas City pitchers were hardily scored upon by Texas’ monstrous offense and the two teams combined for nine errors. Oh, how sweet it is to read a box score again.
The most important thing to remember is also one of the biggest reasons why baseball is so loved: there’s plenty more to come.