By the time this goes to print, or zaps its way through cyberspace, the 2006 Major League Baseball Season will be in full swing.
Weather permitting in most cities.
Aah, could there be any sound more energizing than the sweet spot of a Louisville Slugger meeting a 94 MPH fastball as they move in opposite cylindrical arcs, somewhere in the open air void approximately three-and-a-half to five feet above home plate?
Or enervating if you happen to be on the wrong side.
Either way, no other combination of objects makes the same sound, and only in a proper ballpark does that sound reverberate in quite the correct manner.
The chatter on the field; the clamor in the stands.
Cold beer vendors and sellers of steaming hot dogs hawking their products up and down the aisles.
Who 's on first, What 's on second, Ramirez is on third.
It 's Spring, and all the Big Grown Up Men come out to play their little boys ' game.
Or get stinko trying.
Debates abound about how the Cards are gonna kick the Cubs ' ass this year -- again. (For some strange reason, St. Louis fans can never remember slight details like their team losing 10 of 16 to the Cubs last year.)
Will the White Sox be able to repeat their 2005 World Champion success story?
Can Ron Santo make it out of Shea Stadium with his hair intact?
Is there any play left in Jeff Bagwell and Roger Clemens?
How much is a 16-ounce beer gonna cost at Wrigley Field this year? (It 's 3.2, don 'cha know, kind of a crowd control measure.)