And there lies the majesty of baseball and the soft, fuzzy beauty of a new season's beginning. Baseball, more than any other sport, is like life. It's a slog, an epochal grind of 162 games-over 1,400 innings, thousands and thousands of at bats-with each pitch a contest, an opportunity, a chance to succeed, to connect, to crush a hanging slider over the fence, or to swing for the fences with a mighty whiff, a bowed head, and a defeated return to the dugout. Like life, there is continuous change; the pendulum of fortune vacillates from swing to swing, from pitch to pitch, from leaping, over-the-fence grab to botched, under-the-glove blunder. Wins come, losses mount, new players come, old men go. Old friends, like Brian Roberts, whose body has been unfairly ravaged by the game, could fade away or see it end at any moment, an awkward slide bringing a sudden end. Others, like Pedro Strop or Jake Arrieta, struggle to take their prodigious, God-given talent and make sense of it, to make it work, knowing all the while if they can't, they too will be gone, not making it to 162.