Put away the parkas and wool coats, unfold the lawn chairs, lather on some sunscreen, and stock the cooler. It’s June 16th and it’s baseball’s second opening day. The day isn’t marked by a specific calendar date, but rather an event.
Last night the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup, effectively ending the hockey season. A couple nights ago the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA championship and completed the basketball season. The NFL is in the midst of a contract dispute laced off-season. So as of today, Major League Baseball has fans to itself. As the only one of the four major sports leagues currently playing, baseball can bask in the glory of coverage.
Your team is mired in a losing streak and sitting in the basement of its respective division? Who cares? At least people will talk about it because they have nothing better to do. The season is almost half over and the dog days are quickly approaching, but this is one of the best days in a baseball season.
The primary focus of sports coverage can shift to MLB. Now, rather that a flash across ESPN’s Bottomline or a quick 30 second highlight, a two-hit shutout or a multiple home run performance can garner the attention it truly deserves.
For a true baseball fan, this is when the season really takes shape. The hot stove is getting hotter, the trade deadline approaches, and divisional races are becoming a little more clear.
For fans in the Midwest and on the East Coast, fear of snow covered seats and sub-zero wind chills are a distant memory. Fans in Minnesota can enjoy their beautiful new ball park in rays of gorgeous sunshine while counting the days before Joe Maur’s return. Indians fans can focus on first place instead of frozen seats.
Yes, the summer sport has entered summer. Full scale coverage can begin. Bring on the front page articles about trades in the works. Bring on the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby. But most importantly, bring on the dreams of division titles, league pennants, and World Championships.
Baseball’s second season of pure entertainment starts now, so settle in and watch the magic unfold. Because true entertainment isn’t told with a laugh track or perfectly timed lines, it is told in balls and strikes. It is told in stolen bases and plays at the plate. It is told in division leads and play-off implications.
Happy Opening Day Part Deux.