Albert Pujols' contract with the Angels is a clear indication of Major League Baseball's strength and stability next to the uncertainty of Chris Paul's future in the NBA.
It's always a harbinger of hope, sure. But in this year's mixed-up, locked-out sports world, baseball's Opening Day is something else, too. It's shelter from the storm.
The years between 2000 and 2009 should be called the decade of the fan in sober acknowledgement of the ultimate victory of the dollar in sports, writes Howard Bryant.