A new baseball season rolls in, looking nothing like the old. Jacque Jones has moved to the north side of Chicago, while Jim Thome has gone to the south; Alfonso Soriano is in the outfield, while Nomar Garciaparra is at first base; Johnny Damon is trying on pinstripes, while pigs are trying on wings. It seems like a totally different sport than the one I knew so long ago (and by "so long," I mean "five months").
Luckily, there are things about the game that remain constant: Prior and Wood are both on the disabled list; everybody hates Manny, unless he's standing at the plate with a bat in his hand, in which case everybody loves him; my home town of Portland continues to fool itself into thinking it can support a major league baseball club; the Metrodome continues to manage the neat trick of sucking and blowing simultaneously, and Minnesota continues to manage the neat trick of failing to figure out what to do with it. In a world that's always changing, it's nice to know that some traditions persist.