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Sports Authority

Zuba: Baseball brings the best time of year (April 11)

| Tuesday, April 8, 2014

America has made it through about a week of baseball so far, and what a joyous time it has been.

Spring has even attempted to take over South Bend, so in the interest of staying positive, here are the top-5 best things about having baseball back in our lives.

5. Baseball means good weather

It might come back slowly and painfully, but darn it, it will be here. There is hope.

4. All sports, all the time

Now that baseball season is underway again, there are sports on all the time. And it’s not exclusively reporters trying to fill airtime with speculation and ill-advised commentary. There are games happening all day long, every day to break things up. Don’t be alarmed: This is awesome.

It might take some adjustment to get back in the swing of following sports at such a frenetic pace, and humility will be required to acknowledge that you cannot watch every single one of your team’s favorite games, but we will all get there. Consider March Madness to be a warm-up and remember to support your fellow fans.

3. Historic events

If you miss a game, don’t sweat it. Your team will play tomorrow. Even if something historic happens, and you miss the game, something monumental will happen again soon — at least according to the various sports statistics bureaus.

Let’s say you miss the first perfect game of the season. That’s O.K., because tomorrow, someone might very well break the record for most hits ever in a game on a Thursday afternoon by a player whose name starts with “Q.”

I have to admit, I enjoy reading some of the absurdly specific “records” that baseball statisticians track. It makes every day feel special and historic, and I can tell my kids someday that I was alive when someone set the record for most hits ever in a game on a Thursday afternoon by a player whose name starts with “Q.”

I like to wake up in the morning knowing that ESPN will probably have history to report by the end of the day, and only baseball provides that sort of confidence.

2. Hope

Your team could still win it all. After the first couple weeks of a football season, some teams are inevitably ruled out of the playoff picture, if not mathematically, then at least through common sense.

Baseball, however, promotes blind and enduring hope deep into the season. Is your team 20 games out of first in July? There’s a lot of baseball left to play.

Disclaimer: The type of hope mentioned above is unreasonable and possibly unhealthy, but technically, there is still a lot of baseball left to play in July. It’s hard to argue with that logic.

Right now, the best part is, we haven’t even gotten to May yet, so every team is still in it.

This point aside, some people fall on the opposite end of the hope spectrum. Even though there are hundreds of games left to play, if your team is in first place, you probably feel pretty good about yourself because winning that Opening-Day game sure makes it seem like your team is going to win the World Series—because, obviously.

1. A serious reason

Baseball is, in some ways, an odd duck in today’s sporting world. Each team plays 162 games, and even dedicated fans have to miss a large portion of those. The game seems slow and consequently outdated in a culture that puts a premium on instant gratification and has a short attention span.

But the psychological contests that happen in between each pitch is unparalleled. Watching a baseball game forces a person to take stock of the most minute details, and that’s a powerful exercise.

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