Sunday, April 01, 2007

The New Year cometh

Tonight at approximately 8:05 p.m., we'll begin the New Year.

Jan. 1? Please. That's for Caesar and his calendar. Tonight is when the year begins.

Well, there is some debate. Traditionalists would say that the real New Year begins tomorrow. The diehards would say it always begins in Cincinnati.

But this is baseball, and since the powers that be now start the game on Sunday night, you'll get no argument from me.

This year will be the first since 1999 that I haven't taken off to either watch the opening games on TV or go see one in person. I won't be making the three-and-one-half hour trek to the ATL on Friday to see the Braves' opener, either. Well, what can I say? Responsibility (and jury duty) will do that to you.

But that's OK. Thanks to the greatest invention in the world (aka TiVO), I won't miss one pitch.

The national game is showing back up at a perfect time. It's been a difficult few weeks. Funny how life reminds you --- sometimes cruelly --- what you can and can not place your trust in.

But that's another story for another day. This is New Year's Day!

I'll get to watch the Braves again this year. Now that the court jester that is Bob Rathbun is gone from anywhere near a Braves broadcast booth, I'll be happy to tune in to SportSouth and FSN in addition to the venerable stop at TBS.

This is the Superstation's final season with the Braves. I'm going to miss Skip and Pete with all my heart. Those guys have been my family, every year from April to October, since at least 1985. Sigh. Time marches on, I guess.

It's been a great ride, guys. You're the best.

Feeling optimistic about the Braves. Bullpen is in better shape than last year. (Course, two monkeys and a blind man would have been better relievers than that bunch.)

And the Tigers are poised to have another good year. Although I hear that the Gambler may be out until July. That may be the worst premonition since Caesar ran into that soothsayer.

I'm such a dork. Thanks to my good buddy and colleague Nick Frantz, I'm set up for another year of Fantasy Baseball on Yahoo sports. Hee Hee. I call my team the New York Knights. What can I say? I love Roy Hobbs and "The Natural." (Although it's still not as good a movie as "Field of Dreams," Dean.)

Which reminds me. A new director's cut DVD of "The Natural" will be in stores Tuesday. Director Barry Levinson promises a new opening sequence and 30 minutes of never-before-seen footage. Cool.

OK, gotta run. Time to prepare for New Year's.

Let the little kid inside you blossom forth today and tomorrow. That's what this New Year's is all about.

Oh, and if the phone doesn't ring in the next few weeks, you'll know that it's me. I'll be somewhere where green fields and blue skies converge into the greatest game ever played.

Happy New Year!

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