Baseball’s back — and with it, hope

The weather our region has experienced during the past 10 days or so has certainly left us confused.

While the calendar tells us that spring arrived on March 20, we’ve experienced below normal temperatures and snow.

That’s expected in our region of the country this time of year, but if you have any doubts that spring is here, you need only know that baseball’s back and along with it came pleasant temperatures and sunshine.

Major League Baseball actually opened its 2014 regular-season schedule last weekend, when the Dodgers swept Arizona in a two-game series played at the cricket grounds in Sydney, Australia.

Mahoning Valley fans had to wait just a little bit longer to get their first taste of regular-season baseball. But the wait was worthwhile. Monday afternoon, Pittsburgh native Neil Walker hit a home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Pirates a 1-0 victory in front of the largest crowd ever to witness a regular season game at PNC Park. Monday evening, the Cleveland Indians scored two runs in the ninth inning to win at Oakland, 2-0.

The Indians will open the home portion of their schedule at 3:05 p.m. Friday when Minnesota visits Progressive Field.

We all face plenty of serious concerns in our lives, and it’s true, baseball is only a game. But like spring itself, the return of baseball brings with it a sense of optimism. Fans around the country are able to look ahead and think about what might be. Spring – and the opening of the new baseball season – are markers that remind us that all things are possible.

Baseball’s back – we hope you’ll join us and sit back and enjoy.