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, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital. 1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post . 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.