Welcome Back, Baseball. We've Missed You

Shhh, listen ... baseball season is here! We know because we hear the anguished cries of collegiate players being pummeled by the pros. In sports' version of a large man chasing a dachshund with a shovel, baseball continued its storied and venerable tradition of major league teams opening spring training competition against college opponents, with often hilarious results. And the Associated Press is always sure to chip in with hilarious opening paragraphs.

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Josh Beckett and the Boston Red Sox were in October form during their exhibition opener.

Well yeah, if the World Series is being played between the American League and ACC champions this year. The Red Sox slipped by Boston College 24-0 in their spring debut on Thursday, trotting out 20-game winner Josh Beckett to face a team that had not yet had a practice outdoors. The good news is that the Eagles covered. But my favorite linescore of the spring is still this one. Please note that the Pirates were limited to one run over the final eight innings by the Manatee Community College Lancers.

In other news, the Mets lost to the Cardinals 7-0 on Thursday. But don't worry New York fans, because the Mets are bringing out their $137.5 million stopper today, as Johan Santana makes his Grapefruit League debut in a game televised by MLB and SNY. And it also must be noted that Atlanta's Colter Bean allowed the tying run to score when he hit a batter with the bases loaded in the Dodgers' 5-4 win over the Braves in Joe Torre's debut with Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Cubs' outfielder Kasuke Fukudome was welcomed to the majors by being plunked with a pitch in his first at-bat by San Francisco's Noah Lowry. 福留 孝介!!

And its also a brand new baseball season for Touch 'Em All With Alyssa Milano, as she opens the season on her blog with photos of her new dog, and of herself at the NBA All-Star Game. Baseball Fever! Catch it!

BoSox Hammer Boston College 24-0 [SI.com]
Fukudome Plunked, Gets RBI In Debut [MLB.com]
Touch 'Em All With Alyssa Milano
Dodgers 5, Braves 4 [Inside The Dodgers]