My definition of friendship is closer to TR's. I have only a handful of very close friends that I'd trust my life with, but there are many people I am friendly with. Some are more than just acquaintances because we have a history together, or some common experience that elevates our relationship above the acquaintance level, but most are really just that.
I wouldn't call my closest friends "brothers" (some are female) because my own sister and brother would trump even my closest friends if I had to make a choice. Not everyone feels this way, I know. My personality makes me cautious about forming close life-long relationships, I'm very choosy and need lots of convincing (ask my husband!) to form those trusting bonds, BUT I am also fiercely loyal and generous and willing to go to the mat once I've made those strong connections. Because I am this way, I don't use the word "friend" lightly or casually, and I don't assign that title to very many people. It carries a great deal of significance and reverence for me. Let's just say I understand what TR means. We are probably on the same wavelength.
My husband is more like everyone else here! He has never met a stranger, believes the best of everyone, is open-hearted and gregarious and extroverted and trusting. He calls many people his friends. It's a different way to be, one I admire, but it's hard for me to relate to.
I do appreciate my cyber-connections on this board and the "virtual" community here that often feels very real. I love that we reach out to each other and offer advice, congratulations and consolation. It expands the world in a good way and speaks highly of the people that populate the baseball community. This sort of forum is not so different from having a group of pen-pals, which was something my mother's generation did. I consider you all my "cyber-pals" and look forward to possibly making a few acquaintances in person someday: IRL, as they say.