One of the best days of the year is here, baseball's opening day. I'd slot it below Patriot's Day but ahead of groundhog day. There are high hopes for the Sox after signing many of the best free agents this offseason. But there's hope for everyone; according to Baseball Prospectus's playoff odds report, every team has at least a 3% chance of making the playoffs. My personal goal is to go to games in 8 parks this year, including 4 new to me. I'm starting on Jim Bouton's Ball Four to get me in the baseball mood. I'd highly recommend Moneyball and This Ain't Brain Surgery also.
There's a lot of interesting research going on about the game; earlier I mentioned Baseball Prospectus and Baseballthinkfactory, but also check out Tangotiger's site for looks at how the value of scoring or preventing a run changes in different situations, the ability of a pitcher to prevent hits on balls in play, and accurate measures of fielding ability, among many other things.