Here Comes the Blue!
The baseball off-season creates a brewing anticipation that crescendos to the molto-fortissimo of Opening Day.
Before I start waxing poetic about the Dodgers, I'll present to you a list of facts about the changes to the team in this off-season:
* Right fielder J.D. Drew, reneging on his word, declined his option on his contract and ended up signing with the Boston Red Sox. The Princess (as T.J. Simers of the LA Times called him) led the club with 20 homeruns tying with the oft-injured Nomar Garciaparra.
* The Dodgers signed 39-year old leftfielder Luis Gonzalez, 34-year old starting pitcher Jason Schmidt (formerly a hated San Francisco Giant) and centerfielder Juan Pierre.
* The Dodgers, near the bottom in the majors last season in home runs, brought in no power hitter.
* The Dodgers just exercised Manager Grady Little's 2008 option and added a 2009 option to his contract.
* The Dodgers have among the best farm system in the majors filled with rookies ready to be plugged in for any injured player (witness last year's rise of catcher Russell Martin and leftfielder Andre Ethier).
While baseball is dominated by such facts and statistics, its allure transcends into the emotional. The 162 games played in the regular season from April to September are more akin to a trek. Anything can happen at any juncture of the journey to any team at any time. It's an emotional keg stand ready to burst.