Phorecasting Phemonenal Pheats?


Opening DayAs a diehard sports fan, there is a certain beauty surrounding the start of any of the four major pro sports seasons—football, basketball, hockey and baseball—yet, the start of the baseball season is the one I most eagerly await. Not only is baseball my favorite sport, but there is a certain promise that comes with the apparent spring weather.


The first week of the NFL season is usually an exciting time, but it also signals the end of summer, the start of school and all of those things that my childlike mentality still has trouble accepting at those times. And is there anything magical about those October and November start dates for the NHL and the NBA (in seasons where there is not a strike or lockout)? Not to my way of thinking. There is a certain poetry to the start of the baseball season.


Poet, philosopher and bridge namesake Walt Whitman once wrote, “I see great things in baseball.  It's our game – the American game.  It will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism.  Tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set.  Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us.”


Frankly, Mr. Whitman had me at “our game” and lost me a little at “dyspeptic.” So, naturally I’ll seek out another poet, (and noted academic and former commissioner of Major League Baseball, A. Bartlett Giammatti) who penned this about the national pastime. “It breaks your heart.  It is designed to break your heart.  The game begins in spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.”


Opening Day of the baseball season is a New Year’s Day of sorts. It is a renewal of promise—even if many of these promises are soon broken. Of course as sports fans, it’s of some comfort that these promises are broken by others. On second thought, that’s not much comfort at all.


Getting right to the point, how will the Philadelphia Phillies perform in 2013? Will they fulfill the promise that they showed from 2007 thru 2011, when they captured five straight divisional pennants? Will they break our hearts, leaving us to face a cold, chilly fall without baseball? Will it be a little of both?


Prior to Monday’s Opening Day, I joined a couple of my co-authors in Phorecasting the Phortunes of the Phillies. Will they Phlounder or Phul-fill their mission to at least garner a playoff spot? And yes, I apologize for all those Philler words. Perhaps, my PH-balance was off. Please phoregive me; I’m excited.


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