When the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates kick off the 2016 MLB season on Sunday, we will have endured 153 days without meaningful baseball.

That’s five months and change of frigid weather, feverish hot-stove tracking and the long, sometimes tedious exhibition slate.

Now, at last, the games count. The stats matter. The grass is cut, the lines are chalked. You’re ready. They’re ready.

First, though, let’s check in with another installment of “hottest questions.”

This time, we’ll look back at the spring that was and the season that’s about to be and bring you takes and updates on the New York Yankees bullpen, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ injury woes, the Chicago Cubs and their sky-high expectations, baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement and Big Papi’s ride into the Boston sunset.

Grab some lumber, limber up your commenting muscles and dig in when ready.

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