If spring training is the soft opening to the baseball season, Opening Day is the hard launch. That’s why it peeves me to hear poor performance in April excused with cries of “it’s early.”
Sunrise is early.
Christmas music in November is early.
Spring training is early.
Regular season baseball is never early. Not in March. Not in April. Not ever. A win today counts the same as a win tomorrow. Which is to say, wins carry no shelf life; they’re evergreen—not milk.
I need only to remind you the Cubs lost the division flag by a single victory last season. One more win, be it any month last season, and there’s no division tiebreaker loss, no wild card loss, no one-and-done in the postseason. We’ll never know what might have been last year, but it serves to remind us that early excuses likely brings an early fate.