It's cap and grilled-meat season

Apr 14, 2017 By Robert H. Peck

Others might refer to it as something else, of course

In Iowa, as in the Rockies, it's been a long, cold winter of dreariness and regret. Spring has fought for purchase against rolling fog and drizzle inundating us nationally since February. The few rays of sun we've seen have been pirated away from us quickly enough by royally unseasonable chills and snow. I've stepped in pool of slush after pool of slush walking to work, soaking me to the bone like a mariner hauling in marlins. Things have been grim.

But these days, it's looking up. Cardinals are singing in trees. Orioles and blue jays flitting around the branches. My white socks are no longer drenched in slush from giant puddles--I've dodged them, practically skipping to work as I whistle Yankee Doodle and Home on the Range.

I was down, but now I feel touched by the angels, driven to be brave. Like a tiger, or a phillie, or a diamondback, or even a cub. These are red-letter days.

If you haven't figured out what I'm getting at by now, I'll come right out with it: Major League Baseball has returned for the year.

It doesn't matter so much to me which team you support. Truly, it doesn't. I inhabit a strange nowhere land influenced by several outfits, with the Cubs and White Sox to my east, the Cardinals and Royals to the south, and Denver to the west. I'm an out-of-market subscriber to radio broadcasts for all of them via the MLB iPhone app, and I've tuned in games from most so far.

It's too early in the year to care much about rivalries and records and statistics. There will be time for that soon enough, and we can all begin to glower at each other. For now, appreciate the season with me!

If you're a fan of our "local" club, and you really ought to be, you can enjoy that that Colorado Rockies have surged to a 7-4 start. A weak opening for the team's powerful hitters seemed to be melting at last after a 3-1 win over the Giants on Thursday night behind a two-run homer from Trevor Story, who had gone cold after a strong spring training performance. But the real talk of Denver this April has to be the bullpen, no longer botching every other game but instead saving the Rox again and again. It's early, but the Rockies have the looks of a team that could carry long-crushed hopes of still-optimistic Colorado fans farther than the team has managed in a decade.

Even if you aren't a Rockies fan--heck, even if you don't like baseball at all--there's still much to appreciate about the beginning of the season. Promotional events at businesses from grocery stores to universities abound as the home team wins. Radio advertisements become, on average, marginally better to capitalize on the sporting theme;. Small talk at the office snack basket is revived with gusto, allowing us easy windows into conversation with the people we like - and easy excuses to shove the ones we don't off onto coworkers who share their favorite team.

America's apple pie and baseball combo has been running on half power since the fall, and we're back to full juice.

Baseball is a new passion for me, inspired originally by my dad, reinforced by the discovery that I look good in a hat, and cemented by the opportunity game nights afford to kick back with some sort of grilled meat.

Whatever your reasoning, give the MLB a chance this season. It gets a bad rap, too much so. I'll pitch in for some peanuts and cracker jacks. Tune in.

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