Last Saturday, Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow, signaling an early spring.

It couldn’t have come at a better time.

It’s baseball time.

And it doesn’t come too soon.

I think everyone was tired of what passes for professional football. In these parts, I don’t know how many still even follow the game. The National Football League has done everything it could to figuratively shoot its toes and feet off, from its stance on protests to the poorly performed drama to pull the nomadic Rams out of St. Louis a few years back. I know a lot of folks invested 21 years and much money into trying to support that team and got shut out on the deal.

But enough about that. Football is gone. Even college football is gone for the foreseeable future after the NCAA unfairly tarred and feathered the University of Missouri for doing the right thing.

NCAA, why don’t you spend some time discovering the roots of the University of Kansas mascot.

But now we have baseball.

And that’s our sport.

Within a few weeks, the St. Louis Cardinals will show back up at Spring Training and we’ll be discussing the fortunes of the boys in red for the summer.

Maybe, if we’re lucky, we’ll know where Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will be playing this summer. They’re the top free agents still out there.

I think many of us are holding out hope that Harper might end up in St. Louis, but I don’t know if the Redbirds have that type of king’s ransom.

Kids, take note.

If you want to make a career playing sports, baseball is the way to go. There are many opportunities in the sport professionally from playing, coaching and managing to groundskeeping and front office positions. And there are many teams around the world looking for eager people to fill those roles.

So, how will the Cardinals fare this year?

It’s much too soon to tell how the team will do. It’s tough to tell how the other teams will respond, who will step up and who is playing too long.

Hopefully, for St. Louis, it will be a good year with many fans attending games and enough wins to reach the playoffs.

Hopefully, it will be more wins than the hated Cubs from the city on the lake. After Kris Bryant’s comments on our city, it’s the least that karma could deliver this season.

It will be a little longer before we get to the local baseball season, but I have no reason not to believe that the local teams are going to make it a great spring and summer for those who can’t make it down to see the Cardinals in action.