BALTIMORE — After today, the forecast calls for improving weather with drier, sunny days, especially for the coming weekend.
We say improving because for too many weekends in a row, there’s been too much rain, too many storms and too many washed out days for those of us who look forward to enjoying spring outdoors.
Friday is Opening Night for the IronBirds, a coincidence, perhaps, that we point out because maybe all we needed for good weather was for the start of the season for Aberdeen’s New York-Penn League team.
That may be a stretch, but some years back, when the Cal Ripken World Series was in town in the middle of a rainy stretch of weather, questions were asked about contingency plans in the case of washouts.
“Cal said it’s not going to rain,” was the answer.
We never knew for sure whether the Baltimore Orioles’ Hall of Fame Iron Man said that, but it made for a good story to tell others.
It didn’t rain during that World Series.
And it’s not supposed to rain this weekend either as the IronBirds open another season, their 17th, Friday night.
Baseball fans in this area are definitely looking for two things with the start of a new season – warm, dry weather and something to cheer about. The IronBirds are an affiliate of the Orioles and baseball fans know there’s been nothing cheer about in what quickly became a lost season for the big league club.
As this is being written, the Orioles aesthetically and statistically are the worst team in Major League Baseball. Early Tuesday, the Orioles had 19 wins over the first two-plus months of the season. The next worst teams – the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals – each had won 22.
The IronBirds, for much of their existence, have struggled to win. There have been a few seasons, such as last year, when Aberdeen has either made the playoffs, or challenged for a spot. This would be a really good time for the IronBirds to make another legitimate run for the playoffs. Their parent club in Baltimore sure won’t be making one.
Perhaps, a predicted change in the recent dreary weather pattern and competitive, exciting baseball in Aberdeen will help things feel a bit more summery. Other than the longer days of June, these have been rather dreary times exacerbated by dismal baseball 30-some miles to our south.
The baseball adage that hope springs eternal sounds most appropriate as the Aberdeen IronBirds start play again Friday. Good luck for a fun, successful year.