Times are tough in America. Our brave men and women in the military are fighting in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although the economy is improving, unemployment is still high and many people are struggling to put food on the table. Crime continues to rise at an alarming rate with murders spiking in the Philadelphia area at an alarming pace. The education system is in need of a serious overhaul. And the weather seems to have gone haywire throughout the United States.
All of this turmoil has led to an angry America, with people growing more stressed by the minute.
But fear not folks, for Sunday morning, an 18-wheeler left Citizens Bank Park loaded with Phillies gear headed to sunny Clearwater, Fla., in preparation of the 2012 Major League Baseball season.
On Saturday, Phillies pitchers and catchers will report to Clearwater for the start of spring training.
Of course, this won't solve all of America's problems, but it's great to think about a starting rotation featuring Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels throwing to catcher Carlos Ruiz.
Throw in a Joe Blanton, a Kyle Kendrick, a Vance Worley or some to-be-determined hurler as the fourth and fifth starter and Phillies fans are looking at a rotation that stacks up with the best this team - or baseball, for that matter - has seen in a very long time.
It's a great time to be a Phillies fan. The past four seasons have been easy to take, with a World Series championship in 2008 and a trip to the Fall Classic in 2009. The Phillies fell just short of making a third a straight World Series trip in 2010, losing to the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS, and last year, the Boys of Summer lost in the NLDS to the St. Louis Cardinals, the eventual World Series champions.
Hey, fans, it really doesn't get better than this.
This is the time of the year when baseball fans dream of championships. It's the time of year when youngsters bond with their fathers - and their mothers, too.
The movie "It Happens Every Spring," starring Ray Milland, captures the springtime feel. Milland plays a college professor who develops a formula that repels wood. When he smears it on baseballs, his pitches become unhittable. He takes leave from college to pitch for the Cardinals as "King Kelly." Naturally, he leads St. Louis to a world championship. And while the movie was ridiculous in many ways, many can relate to the fantasy.
Bringing our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan should be America's No. 1 priority. Straightening out the economy, reducing crime, improving education and ensuring health care coverage for every citizen must also be near the top of the priority list.
This week, though, is the start of spring training for Phillies pitchers and catchers, and because of that, many people will be able to forget their problems.
At least for a few hours.
-Delaware County Daily Times