What's that sound? Can you hear it? Could it be? YES! It's true!
Pitchers and catchers are reporting to Viera today. Spring training is beginning.
So it must be time for me to resume blogging about the Washington Nationals, too.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge could almost have been speaking about me when he wrote,
"All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair- The bees are stirring - birds are on the wing - And Winter slumbering in the open air, Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring! And I the while, the sole unbusy thing, Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing."
Before reality so rudely interrupted me after the end of the 2007 season, I was trying to tie things up and share my thoughts and feelings about the end of baseball at R.F.K. and say goodbye for the time being. I'd still like to talk about that, reminisce a little bit, and thank some people in the process, but that will have to wait for the weekend.
I must congratulate the more active Nationals bloggers (you know who you are) who have dutifully covered all of the hot-stove and other off-season goings-on and issues, the progress of the new ballpark's construction, and so forth. You have done what I simply could not, and done it very well. I love blogging about the Nationals, but the post-season demands of real life necessitated that I hang up the keyboard along with my hat for a few months. It was all about seeking some balance and tending to other areas of life. As Morris Buttermaker so memorably said to Amanda Whurlitzer:
MB: After tomorrow,we do what all ballplayers do...we shake hands till we see each other next season. Then we go fishing or hunting,Well, I didn't clean any pools, but I had other things that needed doing, places to go and people to see. Now it's time to catch up.
make some personal appearances...get to know the wife and kids again.
AW: I don't have a wife and kids.
MB: Neither do I,but I got my pools to clean. You've got your maps to sell and your ballet to learn.
Some quotes which really capture the mood I'm in right now:
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
~Percy Bysshe Shelley
"Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle ... a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream." ~ Barbara Winkler
Today, the excitement begins to build. Today, we start to get the daily updates from Viera. Today is where the 2008 season begins in earnest. Pretty soon, when the rest of the players report and Spring Training games begin, we get to look at boxscores again.
23 days until March 9th, when U.S. Daylight Time goes into effect, adding that wonderful hour of daylight at the end of our day (sunset that day around 7:30 EDT) and making us want to stay outdoors later.
35 days until March 21st, when spring officially begins.
44 days until Nationals Park opens and kicks-off Opening Day (yeah, I know, I have to fix my countdown widget. All in good time.)
There is much to be excited about. We'll talk about it soon. Stay tuned.
Oh, and Happy New Year.