The hope of Opening Day.

Opening Day is hope.

Sometimes it’s the naive hope of a kid wishing for a unicorn on a birthday candle. Sometimes it’s the realistic hope of blue skies and sunshine on your day off. Sometimes it’s the painful hope that Red speaks of to Andy Dufresne in Shawshank Redemption when he says, “Hope is a dangerous thing.”

For Rangers fans, the past six years haven’t even been enough to stir up a wisp of hope, good, bad, or indifferent.

The cruel reality of major league baseball is too many teams go into the season with no hope. Texas experienced that the past six seasons. The Oakland Athletics have no hope of finishing anything other than last this season. Detroit and Kansas City and Boston are hopeless. As are Washington and Pittsburgh and Cincinnati and Colorado.

The sun started to poke through the dark clouds of Rangerville last year when, in the span of a few days in the offseason, they signed Marcus Semien and then Corey Seager. A bit more light slipped in when, late in the season, also in the span of a few days, both the inexperienced and sinking-under-water manager and the exposed and past-his-expiration-date general manager were finally relieved of duties. Then, actual golden rays of hope flooded down on Rangers fans when the Rangers snagged Jacob deGrom and Nathan Eovaldi in the free agency sweepstakes. Then, Bruce Bochy. Then, sunshine washed down.

For once, the Texas Rangers are not hopeless. To paraphrase the Eagles in “Hotel California,” we haven’t had that spirit here since 2016.

None of the baseball experts on the TV, the radio, or the printed media give this Rangers team a chance to make the playoffs. But don’t pour water on those hopes just yet. Not a single one, no TV talking head, no radio shrieking voice, no print verbose guru picked the Philadelphia Phillies to be in the World Series last year. But there they were.

That’s the beauty of baseball. If your team is trying, actually for real trying, anything can happen. And often it does.

Today is Opening Day. Jacob deGrom takes the mound in a Rangers uniform.

Jason deGrom. The Rangers.

Has there ever better reason for hope?