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Thank goodness for baseball

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Matt Verdillo

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Currently, it seems to be a down time for U.S. sports.

The U.S. women's soccer team, despite a thrilling and inspiring run through the tournament, dropped a hard-fought World Cup title to Japan. The NBA is in a lockout, which is causing a number of big name players to consider moving overseas to play. Also, I'm pretty sure just about everyone has grown weary of the constant updates on the state of the NFL lockout. I know how important the NFL season is to much of the American public from approximately September to February, but I do not think we need daily briefings on the progress on Sports Center. After something like 130 days of being in a lockout, the information seems to get repetitive, but that's just my opinion.

Thank goodness for baseball, is what I say.

I knocked on wood because I do not want to jinx anything and because baseball players are historically superstitious, but the MLB has been lockout free for 16 years now.

There is no better time to be a baseball fan. Derek Jeter blasted a homerun for his 3,000th hit. The Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place in the National League Central Division. Asdrubel Cabrera is somewhat of a human highlight reel this season. Also, the steroid era is pretty much in baseball's past, but we are still seeing amazing numbers and performances. Jose Bautista is crushing the baseball, Justin Verlander almost threw two no-hitters, and Jared Weaver has been posting a miniscule ERA all year. No matter what, the baseball season will be filled with spectacular games and moments, most of which are not worth missing and you never know when they might show up.

Even if the MLB happened to be in a lockout, there is still plenty of great baseball around. The College World Series offered us some of the best, most exciting games all year. It gave us some amazing walk-off wins, some great pitchers' duels (like two closers battling for five innings), and some incredible storylines overall.

Also, even though the old Rosenblatt will be missed, we got to witness this in a spectacular new stadium. Luckily for those in the Shenandoah Valley, there is the Valley Baseball League, which features some of the best talent in college baseball. Therefore, I implore everyone to make it out to as many VBL as they can before the season ends because the competition is always strong, the games are exciting, and if you happen to be in Strasburg, then the food is guaranteed good as well.

You can always count on baseball; they don't call it America's National Pastime for nothing. Baseball is inescapable in America, and that's beautiful.

Chances are, no matter where you live, there is a good place to watch baseball not too far away. It's always worthwhile to take the time to catch a game with family or friends because it's always guaranteed to be a joyful time. Whether it's the excitement of a big-time Major League game or a Little League game full of players who just play, a baseball game is a great place. It brings people together and always allows for good times to be shared, which is why I'm guessing the season is so long. As they say, you can never get enough of a good thing and baseball sure is one of the best things.

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