Entering a new season as the defending AL champions, the Rangers survived an offseason of uncommon turbulence that could make them stronger.
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.
In baseball's most visible month, Cliff Lee stands out as the game's most important player.
Did the Yankees buy a World Series celebration? Their money didn't hurt, but that $207 million payroll is the least of baseball's competitive-balance problems.
While the Yankees returned to glory by winning the World Series, the inevitability of full-scale instant replay in baseball stood out as perhaps the most important aspect of the 2009 postseason.
The Yankees are still in command, but this World Series suddenly has a different feel as it swings to New York for Game 6 on Wednesday night.
The Phillies are in a better position than the Yankees to just barely take control with the World Series shifting to Citizens Bank Park.
The New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies are the best teams not just in their respective leagues but also in all of baseball.
What have we learned from Manny Ramirez and Terrell Owens in the past few weeks? Maybe it's that the balance of power is shifting to ownership in pro sports.