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Opening Day
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Today's a big day for me. It's the first day of baseball season. The Seattle Mariners and Oakland A's played in Japan. I had my first box score to peruse, with hundreds of others to come. I saw that Ichiro rediscovered some of that magic he lost last year and got four hits in front of his countrymen, whereas the former Yankee top prospect Jesus Montero, shockingly traded over the winter, went 0 for 4.

But then you either already know that or -- much more likely -- couldn't care less. Baseball is one of those things that grabs you, or it doesn't. It's an addiction for a few and Grand Canyon sized yawn for most.

When did baseball get its hooks into me? Like all kids did in those days, my friends and I used to play ball in the backyard. We used to work our way through the lineup of the New York Yankees. We knew the players from watching games on television. So we'd choke up and try to hit a single when we pretended to be second baseman Bobby Richardson but when we got to Micky Mantle and Roger Maris we'd shift our grips to the end of the bat and try to belt the baseball into the trees at the end of the yard. I think we always tried a little harder when we pretended to be "the Mick."

Maybe it was the players, and their ongoing stories, that attracted me to baseball.. No other sport plays so many games, offering an new chapter day after day. Nor does any other sport keep such a complete record, in statistics, of the trials, tribulations and triumphs of its characters.

I love the unfolding drama of baseball. It's a year-long epic with countless story lines, thrills, heroes. The plot is hackneyed. Teams play 162 game regular season followed by playoffs to determine a champion. It's the same thing every year and the rules don't change (much) either. But it's what goes on as that old plot unreels, the subplots, that are so fascinating. To me. You're probably bored stiff if you've managed to get this far.

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