I know it’s only the first week of the Baseball season but if you are a New England baseball fan you’ve got to like the way things have started:

Mookie Betts robbed Bryce Harper of a homer, stole two bases in one sequence and clubbed a three-run homer. David Ortiz added two hits, including a homer over the Green Monster in left-center. Catcher Sandy Leon, acquired from the Nationals late in Spring Training, produced three hits against his former team. Pablo Sandoval added two hits and had a nice play at third base in his first home game for Boston.

Now it’s highly unlikely that the Sox will be playing .700 baseball when he season is 70 games old rather than 7 but with the kind of offensive lineup this team has it wouldn’t surprise me to see them still in first place when June and July comes around nor would it be a shock to see them in the post season but it’s a long season and a lot can happen.

But for now as we wait for the snow piles in the parking lots to melt I’m going to enjoy things as they are.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT —  I don’t want to discuss Hillary Clinton.  I’m blogging this several hours ahead of post-time so I don’t know what Memeorandum’s top stories are, but I will predict that at the moment you are reading this, most of the top stories in your news feed are Hillary related.

I have nothing to say about Hillary except she’s a lying liar and I have no respect for her whatsoever.

Let’s talk about something else today, besides Hillary.

Let’s talk about baseball:  the all-American sport.  We’ve just come off opening week and my husband is already giving up on the Cubs.  He can’t help it; he’s been a Cubs fan his whole life and he’s used to never having a winning season.  Maybe the curse will be broken and they’ll have a good year.

We have satellite TV at our house and this year we ordered the Extra Innings baseball package, so now we can watch almost any game we want to.  So far it’s been a nifty little investment (albeit an expensive one).  As an added benefit, it means that much less time that I have to watch someone blather about Hillary Clinton on television.  And even better, my satellite baseball package doesn’t have that stupid, distracting strike-zone box superimposed in front of the batter like ESPN does.  I quit watching ESPN’s opening night game simply because that box irritated me to death.

Baseball is simply a joy to watch.  I love watching the game but I also love watching the fans and the players in the dugout.  Why is it that everyone at a baseball game looks like they’re having such a great time?   Even the players seem to radiate the pure joy of the game.

The most common complaint I hear about baseball is that it “moves too slow.”  I think that’s part of the joy of baseball; you have time to strategize the next play, anticipate what pitch might be coming next…is the runner on first going to try to steal?  Is the double-play option in effect?  Baseball is certainly not without its drama – just look at that 19-inning game last week!  Talk about drama!

As far as baseball writers go, they don’t get any better than Roger Angell.  His tribute to Derek Jeter was just poetry.

I could care less what Hillary Clinton has to say in the coming days; I do not care about her empty promises, her declarations about what America needs, her continuation of the ruination of this country, or her bumbling, philandering, scalawag of a husband.  For the next six or seven months, I will be watching baseball, which to me, celebrates all that is good and ever was good about America.

Maybe Hillary should watch more baseball.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

Yesterday the big international news of out of the Church was the Pope daring to speak aloud an uncomfortable truth

“In the past century, our human family has lived through three massive and unprecedented tragedies,” the Pope said at a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian massacres.

“The first, which is widely considered ‘the first genocide of the 20th century,’ struck your own Armenian people,” he said, referencing a 2001 declaration by Pope John Paul II and the head of the Armenian church.

The Turks are not amused:

“The pope’s statement, which is far from historic and legal truths, is unacceptable,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted. “Religious positions are not places where unfounded claims are made and hatred is stirred.”

The Foreign Ministry summoned the Vatican’s envoy in Ankara, and then announced it was recalling its own ambassador to the Vatican for consultations.

The ramification of this statement will be felt for decades but I saw something today that will have even larger ramifications.

Yesterday was Divine Mercy Sunday and at St. Bernard’s Parish at St Camillus Church there was an extra mass at 2 PM.

Yesterday was in the 60’s and sunny.  It was the first really gorgeous Sunday of the year.  It was a day of cookouts (in fact the local Market Basket was practically out of hotdog buns.)

Yet when I got to the church at 12:30 the place there was a large crowd not only in adoration before the blessed sacrament but waiting for a chance to receive confession from one of the six priests hearing them.

The number of people taking confession was so large that the mass at 2 was actually delayed as one of the priests was literally stopped on his way to get vested by people who hadn’t had a chance to confess while a 2nd continued to hear confessions past the mass’ start.

And when mass was done and most of the extra priests had left the congregation adored before the blessed sacrament praying the traditional prayers for Eucharistic Adoration in addition to the chaplet of divine mercy.

Why is this such a big deal?  Just a few years ago half of the parishes in Fitchburg were closed, yet on the best Saturday Afternoon of the year so far given six priests and 90 minutes there wasn’t enough time for the entire crowd to have confession before the scheduled time of Mass.

And mind you this is in Massachusetts in the most liberal state in the entire US, the father of Gay Marriage.  If this is what’s happening in the Bay State what is happening in places more devout?

To a lot of people in media, the Catholic Church in America are the university professors who dissent or the pols who reject its doctrines.

But if I’m correct and what I saw yesterday was repeated nationwide then the cultural change within the church as the EWTN generation replaces the vatican 2 generation the Catholic Church in America will be ready and willing to stand up courageously at a time when it will be needed most.

 And it’s that faith that will change the world.