Thursday, March 10, 2022

Winter Is Over!

I was out taking my dogs for a walk when the news came over my phone that the MLB lockout is over. At first, I wondered if it was some sort of hoax. More than once in recent months, some joker's tweet that Rob Manfred had resigned was solemnly passed to me as fact by Google news. But today's news was verified by multiple news sources I could trust. Baseball is really back — pending, of course, ratification by both sides. Fingers crossed, but it seems pretty unlikely that either side would welcome the bad publicity sure to accrue to whoever chose to renege on this deal.

I found myself both surprised and oddly emotional when I heard the news. From this morning's reading, I knew that there was a possibility of a deal being reached relatively quickly. Still, the recent disappointment at other times the sides were allegedly close had drained away any feelings of hopefulness. In fact, the latest failure by the two sides to come to terms after Tuesday night's marathon had increased my fears that this lockout could stretch into summer. The idea of spring training beginning on Sunday seemed like a complete fantasy. Funny how often the gift that you really weren't expecting seems extra meaningful.

There even seemed to be significance in my surroundings when I received the news. I was walking the pups on a bridal trail near where I live. We received a late winter snow of an inch or so yesterday. There was still snow on the ground and surrounding trees, but the warming temperature transformed the landscape back to early spring. By the time we got back to my car, it actually felt like training camp was only a couple of days away.

I could pretend that I was going to hold hard feelings against MLB and the team owners, but I already confessed last week that I was going to embrace baseball's return:

At some point, this will be resolved. These gifted athletes will take the field and play ball again. When that day comes around, I'll be admittedly feeling somewhat disgruntled over being deprived of my favorite sport, but I won't even pretend that I would even consider not coming back to baseball. I've loved the game for more than a half-century. I also spent much of that time wishing for owners that weren't some lethal combination of cheapskate and numbskull. I still enthusiastically want to see where Steve Cohen's deep pockets and willingness to invest in the underlying infrastructure can take this club.

I'm really looking forward to having the opportunity to write about my New York Mets for real again. Please check back here. Until then, please be well and take care.

Let's go Mets!

 Follow me on Twitter @MikeSteffanos

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