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 Wednesday, March 12, the 71st day of 2014. There are 294 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Soldiers from the barracks on the Arsenal manage to elude the vigilance of the guard nearly every day and come to town armed. In the hands of excited and perhaps intoxicated men, these weapons are dangerous. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Manufacturing's merchants and professional men of Moline were petitioning the Western Union Telegraph company to establish a telegraph office in the business area of the city. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Three Rock Island students, the Misses Eleanor Cleaveland, Dorothy McCabe and Ruth West, escaped injury when fire destroyed College Hall at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War gave a party for William H. Stremmel, the only survivor of John Buford Post 243, GAR. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The East Moline Grade School Board of Education last night granted salary increases totaling about $47,000 to teachers and staff members. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Five champion spellers from the Rock Island/Milan School district were selected after competition this week at Modern Woodmen of America. Winners are Sarah Cottay, Christopher Gilbrich, Jared Vogele, Kedric Roper and Kenny Stevenson.