Written by Andrew Cicco.
Dear Major League Baseball,
Hi. It’s Andrew, but you already knew that. It’s been a while, even though the last out of the World Series feels like it happened just last week. Through all the excitement of celebrating Clayton Kershaw finally getting his ring, I forgot what was just around the corner: a long, lonely and lackluster four months without baseball.
Things got a little rough without you for a while. It almost seemed like it wouldn’t get better, either. But that’s the funny thing about you and other sports, isn’t it? Even when things get their worst, you’re there to distract us from our problems, even if just for a second. I’m sure there are others like me who needed you really badly, too, and that’s OK.
Honestly, I’m just glad you’re back.
Once we get to the tail end of February, my spirits always get lifted, as is the case for the millions of others like me out there. Everyone knows what February means: It’s time for spring training. Even though it’s pre-season work, it’s still exciting to see that you’re back at all. For baseball fans everywhere, like myself, it’s like a second Christmas, and after waiting all those long months, baseball is finally back.
A lot has changed since you left us with the Dodgers atop the baseball world. We’ve seen a lot of superstars change teams, like George Springer (Houston Astros to Toronto Blue Jays) and Trevor Bauer (Cincinnati Reds to Los Angeles Dodgers), and we’ve seen a couple of guys lock in their loyalty to their current cities, like Marcell Ozuna (Braves, 4 years/$64M) and, perhaps the most electric young athlete you’ve ever given us, Fernando Tatis Jr. (14 years/$340M). A few of your rules have changed, and new and better changes are happening with you, too. You gave us a new list of prospects to be excited about for years to come, and we lost one of your brightest stars and oldest trailblazers in Hank Aaron. Like in real life, you give us ups and downs; we feel uplifted when we win and distraught when we lose. Some need to work harder than others, and some may choose to take the wrong path. But, like life, every single bit of it is worth it because that’s part of the experience. When things get at their worst, you’re there to pick us back up. I don’t know about everyone else, but I really needed you back.
As a lifelong fan, I’ve turned to you in every aspect of my life. The times I’ve appreciated you the most were always when I felt I was at my worst. Those have been happening a lot since the pandemic first started, but that’s one of the added “perks” to depression, isn’t it? It doesn’t matter because you always help me push through, as I know you’ve done for millions alike out there.
It’s been a long four months waiting for you to get back. Now that you’re back, I’ve got a quick question: What took you so long? First game is Feb. 28, right? Atlanta Braves versus Tampa Bay Rays, right? I’m there.
I’m so elated that you’re finally back. Now we’ve got a season to start. Let’s do this.