Winter, mind you, remains a hemorrhoid the size of Montana for all of us, but for those afflicted with "Baseball,'' the snow-riddled, frozen tide has turned.
Hope has arrived.
Spring training has sprung, and that means that on the horizon is a sunny day at Busch Stadium, Wrigley Field or Comiskey Park (I know it's U.S. Cellular Field, but I refuse to call it that), replacing 30-below windchill mornings and salt stains on the cuffs of our slacks.
Those of us who are afflicted with "Baseball" now find our lives are in the midst of a much-needed jump-start, our senses are a little sharper, and our outlooks a little brighter. The tension of four months of throwing snowballs instead of fastballs has come to an end.
If "Baseball" says it's spring, it's spring. I'm going with it.
We are a curious and odd bunch, those of hooked on "Baseball." Truth is, "Baseball" cannot be shaken; there is no cure. Once "Baseball's" hooks are in ...
Hope — silly as it might seem — is all some folks stricken with "Baseball" have. Just ask a Chicago Cubs fan. Those stricken with "Baseball" live for spring training, for it is a sign our nine-month roller-coaster ride of rooting for our favorite team is at the gate. It is a curious time filled with the smell of freshly cut green grass, the sight of five-ounce white spheres whizzing by, and the sound of 34 inches of finely shaved birch colliding with horsehide (I also know baseballs are no longer made of horsehide).
Those of us with "Baseball" have a unique way of looking at life. In a fast-paced world where most people want results 10 minutes ago, we love a game that takes three-plus hours to play. And when it's over, good or bad, it leaves us wanting more.
For those we cheer in "Baseball" — and many times complain about — hope springs eternal these days. Today, every team is in first place; every hitter is batting .350; every pitcher has 20 wins and an earned-run average near my lifetime GPA of 2.00. Reality is a mere six weeks away; these days, there is hope.
Today, no matter what the overpaid weather guy getting five minutes too many on TV tells us, is sunny and warm in Florida and Arizona, where "Baseball" — and spring — have sprung.
It will be that way here, soon.
It must be noted that I am among the many people frustrated by being kicked around by Mother Nature for the past four months, yet I am filled with hope and optimism, knowing "Baseball" has arrived. I know any other surprises Ma Nature has in her holster will only be glancing blows.
Spring is here. Embrace it. It's OK. "Baseball" says so.
Columnist John Marx can be reached at 309-757-8388 or Jmarx@qconline.com.
Today is Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.