Edson: Why Time Begins On Opening Day

Maybe it’s the long winter.

Maybe it’s the lack of sunshine and warm temperatures.

But when the baseball season opens this week with a true road game in Japan, the clock will start to tick again. We can emerge from our five-month shell.

The Detroit Tigers don’t start their season until March 28 in Toronto. They play the Blue Jays four times and then travel to New York to play the Yankees for three games.

When they finally open the season at home, they will have played seven games and the season, for all intents and purposes, might be over.

Call me a Pollyanna – and some of my friends do – but I think the Tigers will avoid 100 losses this season and maybe even win 70 or more games.

The reason? The late signing of two veterans to anchor the infield – Josh Harrison and Jody Mercer – plus the development of some of the Tigers young players.

So there is hope. And that’s the reason Opening Day is so special.

In fact, early April is one of the best times of the year. Much of our snow goes away and here is what we have to look forward to:

* The opening of the baseball season, with sunshine and warm weather.

*The NCAA basketball tournaments.

* The NFL draft.

* The Masters golf tournament.

* The start of high school and college spring sports.

And it all starts this week when the first real game is played, a true road game in Japan.

That means the people who play fantasy baseball – like my friends and I – had our drafts over the weekend.

It took us 40 minutes to draft in our eight-person league and then we talked and teased about our teams for another hour.

So getting baseball back kind of meant getting our friends back full time.

And every morning, once the season starts, we can see what time the Tigers play and plan our days accordingly.

If you’re retired like I am, that also means squeezing in a game of Strat-O-Matic table top baseball from time to time.

Even though the Tigers probably will struggle again this season, it just feels good to have baseball back, along with the sunshine and the warm weather.

Nick Edson is a retired Hall of Fame columnist and sportswriter. He worked 25 years at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, 18 as sports editor. He is a two-time president of the Associated Press Sports Editors Association and a member of the Michigan Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.