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Baseball is back: Finally, something to talk about with your father-in-law

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Burton Macys BalloonThe Mets are in first place! The Mets are in first place! Well, tied for first place, technically. For a few more hours. Yes, boys and girls, put on your eye-black, adjust your junk, and dislocate your jaw on six giant pieces of Hubba-Bubba: Today is Opening Day in six cities across the country (weather permitting), and until that first pitch is tossed, every team has hope (as every team is still undefeated).

Even with the front pages dominated by the Middle East, earthquakes, and financial instability, it’s comforting to know that the lullaby of radio baseball will put me to sleep tonight — and for the next seven months. It’s exciting to predict how many games it will take before radio call-in sideshow Jerome from Manhattan turns on his beloved Yankees. And it’s a blessing to finally have that go-to topic during those awkward silences with my father-in-law.

As Terence Mann (James Earl Jones) says in Field of Dreams, “The one constant through all the years*, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: It’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.”

So, root-root-root for the home team — be it the Mets, Cubs, or Mets. Play ball!

* EXCEPT 1994, WHEN THERE WAS NO FREAKIN’ WORLD SERIES! NO, I’M NOT BITTER. WHY DO YOU ASK?

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