I hold these truths to be self-evident: There is baseball in Heaven, and I hope I am not pitching tomorrow.

While sitting outside in a much-needed SUN day this afternoon with a Victor Sinclair and a Colorado beverage, the obvious occurred to me. It hit me like a ton of bricks – or at least like the time I was behind the plate and caught a hitter's baseball bat swing with my chin.

This coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemonium did not originate in Wuhan or Wapakoneta or Lake Winnebago. This was not a product of Chinese biological or chemical warfare gone astray – or even by design. This global and political hullabaloo was not due to kung fu fighting or fowl plague from chicken chow mein. (Can I say "chow mein" in these politically correct times? Sure I can. And I can count to 10 in Chinese!)

Nope. None of the above.

This is the work of very, very angry Baseball gods. I believe they are mad at Hall of Famer Marty Brennaman.

And I don't blame them.

Think about it. When the legendary Marty B. was behind the mic for Cincinnati Reds' radio broadcasts from the 1970s through the 1980s, the 1990s, the 2000s and the 2010s, did anyone ever talk about – much less panic – over COVID-19?

Of course not.

With Major League Baseball set to open this week, and with the Reds' Opening Day previously planned for March 26 (with the Famer as Opening Day Parade grand marshal, no less), is it any wonder that the Baseball gods are upset?

They know.

They know that real baseball fans started missing the wonderful wit and wisdom of Marty Brennaman late last summer and into early autumn. They know that real baseball fans could not bear the thought of the 2020 Major League season beginning without Marty.

So they concocted this coronavirus – which has nothing to do – they promise – with that bitter swill from Mexico.

It's taken the federal and state government months, and they still haven't figured this out. They allocated another $2 trillion of our taxes in a so-called "stimulus package," and they still remain clueless. They throw the word "package" out there more than a Vine Street cat on a Saturday night in the late 1960s. (Ask your grandpa.)

For more than 50 years, I have listened to the Reds (and other MLB teams) on the radio. Without a doubt, the all-time best announcer and frequent ad libber was Marty Brennaman. Whether it was calling the great Cincinnati teams in 1975, 1976 and 1990 or what my dad and I called the Vern Rapp Tomato Years, Marty always made each and every broadcast entertaining, enlightening and interesting.

Everyone always wanted to hear what was on Marty's mind. One time, and I will swear to the Baseball gods this is true, someone brought up politics, and Marty stated "I never voted for a (alliterative modifier) Democrat in my life." The way he said it was pure Marty, and it would have been equally humorous if he had said he never voted for a Republican. It was, simply, his way with words. And spontaneous, like always. He was – and is – sharper than the proverbial tack.

When he wasn't doing live play-by-play, his radio shows like "Brennaman and Bench" or "Brennaman and Jones" or the "Hot Stove League" were just as entertaining. Sometimes even more so. WLW Radio should give him two hours every evening just to talk about anything and everything.

The Baseball gods know. This pandemonium rests solely with the gods, who are crying heavenly tears because they miss Marty. They are not alone.

We must call upon them to lift us from the corona pandemonium. The baseball season needs to begin. They've already taken the NCAA basketball tournament from us. They've taken Opening Day. They've closed schools, colleges, bars, restaurants, theaters, salons and others. We get it. I hope they don't force our own state rep to close his Muntz Street business. The horror.

We have endured our collective penance.

We will repent.

We will sacrifice.

We will pray for absolution.

Meanwhile, we beg for reconciliation.

This is not Marty's fault. He was only the carrier.

The gods must be crazy.

Let's play ball. Please.

Rory Ryan is publisher and owner of The Highland County Press, Highland County's trusted source for local news and its only locally owned and operated newspaper.