This is a day for optimism.  The World Champion St. Louis Cardinals help the Miami Marlins open their new ballpark tonight. First pitch is at 6:05 Central time. Airtime on KHMO is 5:10 with Mike Shannon and John Rooney.

Things will work out at 2B for the Cardinals. David Freese stays healthy all year. Allen Craig comes back in strong in the outfield. Lance Berkman turns in another solid year. Likewise for newcomer Carlos Betran.  And Chris Carpenter steps in and helps co-anchor the rotation. That’s the optimistic angle. Some, or most of those things will work out. Some won’t.

A year ago, the optimist figured that Colby Rasmus would finally get it and harness his considerable raw talent. Didn’t happen, but the trade of Rasmus set the stage for one of the most memorable stretch runs in baseball history.

The campaign for #12 in'12 begins tonight.

Meanwhile in western Missouri...

As a baseball fan who came of age as a Cardinals and Kansas City Royals fan in the days of George Brett, Hal McRae and Paul Splittorf,  I’m optimistic about Missouri’s other major league team.  First time I’ve had a good feeling about the Royals since the early 1990’s. KC has finally assembled a decent everyday lineup. Eric Hosmer can flat out play. So can Mike Moustakas.  Alex Gordon has finally settled in as a solid ballplayer.  If the pitching surprises as it did in KC in ’03 or with the ’96 Cardinals, KC could nail down one of the two wild card berths in the AL.

This is the time for optimism. Even Pittsburgh Pirate and Chicago Cub fans have visions of October baseball in six months.

Like Joaquin Andujar said about baseball in 1985..."Youneverknow."