After months of life without real baseball, the day has finally arrived. Today, at approximately 3:05 PM, Cole Hamels will toe the rubber, wind up, and pitch. And with that, baseball will have arrived.
I'm not here to tell you that there's some inherent magic in the day itself. That somehow, the success or failure of Opening Day is some sort of omen or microcosm for the entire season. What I will tell you, however, is that today is Game 1 of 162 -- and hopefully more, if things bounce the right way.
We can all point to our favorite predictions and projections to make our cases for where things might end up, but now, the club will actually take the field to prove it. And that's the fun of baseball.
Without actually playing the games, you don't get magical moments that come with baseball. You don't get Josh Hamilton hitting a walk-off home run against the A's in 2011. You don't get Eric Nadel's magical call of the Rangers clinching the organization's first World Series appearance.
Sometimes those moments go the other way, such as when Texas blew a 4-run lead on the next-to-last day of the season in the 9th inning. And even when those moments hurt as a fan, they're part of the entire experience.
I've long said that sports are the best reality television. You can disagree with me on that if you want, and I won't fight you on it. Just know, you're wrong.
And whatever happens today in Game 1, I know that it has almost no predictive value on the other 161 games that the team is guaranteed to play. Win or lose, we get a solid 6 months of baseball afterward.
Before it's all said and done, Yu Darvish will be pitching once again. Ian Desmond will try his talents in the outfield. And we might even get a redemption story in Matt Bush somewhere along the way.
And no matter how things turn out, there's sure to be some bumps along the way. After all, in baseball, you're going to win a third of your games and lose a third. It's what you do with that remaining third that determines how good you are. That's how fine the line is between success and failure. However that final result ends up defining this 2016 club, I personally can't wait for first pitch to get that journey officially started.
It's baseball time in Texas.