The weather we have experienced in the last week or so has certainly left us confused.
A look at the calendar, for example, tells us that spring has arrived. A look outside, meanwhile, has made us wonder we've seen snow and temperatures well below normal.
Rest assured, spring is officially here, and for proof, you need only to know that baseball is back.
Major League Baseball officially opened its 2013 season at 8 p.m. Sunday, when the Texas Rangers visited the Houston Astros. That means the long winter is over for fans of the game who have been looking for something to fill the void since Oct. 28, when the San Francisco Giants completed their sweep of the Detroit Tigers in the 2012 World Series.
Fans in the Mahoning Valley waited just a little bit longer for their first taste of regular-season baseball. For some, that came at 1:35 p.m. Monday, when the Pittsburgh Pirates hosted the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park. For some others, the season started Tuesday when the Cleveland Indians opened their schedule at Toronto.
Area residents have proven over and over again that they are among the most loyal fans in all of baseball. While the Pirates have not had a winning season since 1992, they continue to draw large crowds to PNC Park on a regular basis. And though their futility is only a little less, the Indians continue to generate considerable interest locally.
Another example of baseball loyalty in Trumbull and Mahoning counties comes every June when the Mahoning Valley Scrappers begin their season. And just around the corner baseball field fields in all communities will soon buzz with youth leagues and already, despite overdue spring weather, high school baseball and softball fields are getting a dose of action.
Our lives are filled with many uncertainties. We worry about the price of gasoline and whether or not our elected officials will ever be able to balance a budget, for example.
Those are serious concerns, to be sure, but we would remind you that spring is here. It's a season of optimism, a time to look ahead and to think about what might be. It's a time when all things are possible.
It's time for baseball. Sit back and enjoy.