A pox...

I believe in diversity and I believe in tolerance, and I can prove it. I have friends who are Cubs fans and I have friends who are Cardinals fans and I still accept them. They are welcome in our home and they know it, showing up for our First Friday gatherings, as well as other times, with regularity, making those times more fun. I am okay with their wearing their teams' paraphernalia and keeping me up to date with their teams' successes and failures. They are intelligent fans who know the game, appreciate the history of their teams, and are aware of the thousands of statistics that only major league baseball can generate (right-handed hitting Ernie Forbles' batting average the day after a night game on the road in June when the sun is shining and lefty reliever Portnoy Rackowitz is pitching with  a 2-1 count).

My friendship and expansive tolerance is partly based on sympathy because, with the Cubs every century or so with a World Series championship notwithstanding, their teams are, well, inferior. Inferior to what, you might ask. Inferior to my team, for 62 years now, the Boston Red Sox. We have better fans, history, ballpark, city, players, management, and more nuns in the stands.

But tolerance and welcoming diversity only go so far, and they do not include embracing fans of the Forces of Evil, the New York Yankees. A pox on their houses

Be Better, Boston!

fenway As I write this, my team, the last-place (last year) Boston Red Sox are beating The Forces of Evil in the very pit of Hell. That means the Red Sox are whipping the Yankees in the new Yankee Stadium. This bodes well for the season, and the possibility of a 162-0 record still exists.

Opening Day, Opening Day, are there better words in the English lexicon? All things are possible, the sights and sounds of smells of baseball have returned, and all is well, at least for the moment.

My most memorable Opening Day was 1971, when using a ticket I ordered when I was still living in Israel, I got to see the Red Sox and Yankees in Fenway Park. With snow flurries most of the time. With the great Yaz making a sliding catch in left field, one leg in front of him to keep him from sliding into the wall down the left field line.

I have been a Red Sox fan for 57 years and counting, and that includes mostly bad seasons. Never a front-runner, it was a delight to win the World Series in '04, ending 86 years of futility.

A good friend of mine is a serious, committed Cubs fan. It's been over a century, 113 years, since they've won a World Series so, after Boston, I'm pulling for Chicago. A dream World Series would be Boston and the Cubs. Right now, it is possible.

Play Ball!