Tag Archives: opening day

Buehrle’s Play

If you’ve seen it, here it is again. If you haven’t, enjoy. Unbelievable….

I’m So Ready For Baseball, I Don’t Even Care If It’s the Yankees vs. Red Sox

Here we go… Easter lunch is out of the way, so now the real holiday can begin – no disrespect to Jesus of course. Two of Major League Baseball’s top franchises will take the diamond tonight and kick of the 2010 season. Normally I’d be as interested in a Yankees-Red Sox affair as I would in a Spurs-Jazz snoozefest, but tonight, I’m so starved for baseball I can’t wait to see these guys in action. Aside from the whole Opening Night thing, there’s plenty of other storylines to keep me glued to the tube. Sure, it’s a rivalry game featuring the defending champions blah blah blah, but here is what has got me excited…

CC Sabathia vs. Josh Beckett – Forget great Opening Day matchups, this is about as good a matchup as you’ll see on any given day in baseball. Sabathia is a Bay Area product, so he’s got plenty of supporters at Doin Work. He’s also one of the preseason favorites for the AL Cy Young Award. While Beckett isn’t as high on the Cy Young list, he’s still one of the best pitchers in the game. He may not have the hardware that most pitchers covet, but I’m sure he wouldn’t trade his two World Series rings or his World Series MVP for anything. One might anticipate a pitcher’s duel tonight, but there’s so much firepower on the offensive side for both teams that there are sure to be some runs put on the board as well.

New Additions – Each team picked up one guy I’m looking forward to seeing make their debut tonight. The Yankees replaced Johnny Damon in center field with former Tiger, Curtis Granderson. Granderson is quietly emerging as an elite player in this league, and the Yankees coveting him only further cements that. If he can get his average back up closer to .300 this year, he’ll surely build on his first all-star berth last year with many more to come, since there’ll be no shortage of exposure playing the Big Apple. The Red Sox, on the other hand, tested my hatred of them by signing the legendary Marco Scutaro. Even if Scutaro spurned the A’s to sign with Boston, he can do absolutely nothing to ever stop me from being a fan.

John Lackey in a Boston Uniform – You know how there are certain things that make you cringe or gag at the sight of it? I’m willing to bet that John Lackey donning a Red Sox jersey is going to be one of those. As much as I dislike the Red Sox, there’s not really any players on the team that I hate, aside from Papelbon of course. I think Lackey is going to be that guy, and I look forward to it. I’m actually going to keep a trash can by the couch to start the game in case the first camera shot of Lackey makes me throw up. It could happen.

First Fantasy AB of the Year – I try to keep my fantasy nerdom to a minimum here on the blog, but I can’t lie…. When Granderson steps into the box to face Beckett in the first pitch of the season, my squad, Five Tool Academy, is going to have a monopoly on fantasy stats for the duration of the at-bat. Beckett returns to my team by way of the draft (7th rd) after helping HolyShirtsandPants secure third place in last year’s league. Granderson is a new addition after being selected in the 5th round as part of my five tool plan, complementing other power/speed combo players Matt Kemp, BJ Upton, and Adam Jones. The fantasy season won’t be won with one at bat, but it starts here.

Counting Down the Twelve Days of Baseball

Okay, so we’re roughly ten days out, but twelve has a much nicer ring to it. Cowabunga dude… Opening Day is fast approaching. This weekend will be the final one for baseball in Arizona. Beginning the middle of next week, teams will be filtering out and making their way home to prepare for the start of the regular season. Next weekend will be a hodgpodge of exhibition games and then the magic happens. The magic that is Opening Day. I’ve always said I’m not big on party holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, New Year’s Eve et cetera. My stance is, who needs an excuse to party? If I wanna get drunk with a bunch of people in green, I’ll go to an A’s game – waaay better than St. Patty’s. Nah, I’m more for the laid back, family holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. You know, the ones that actually mean something. In that fashion, I’m hereby declaring Major League Baseball Opening Day an official holiday for myself. I’m going to ask for work off that day. I don’t see why not. If I were Jewish I’d ask for Rosh Hashanah off. If I were Christian I’d ask for Easter off. But I’m don’t take any religious holidays, so why can’t I take Opening Day? If I were to rank specific days of the year based on their importance and the amount I look forward to them, I’m willing to bet MLB Opening Day makes the top 10, maybe even the top 5.

It wasn’t always the most, wonderful time of the year. Baseball and I had a huge falling out that lasted the greater part of the 90s. Neither of us could really tell you what it was. I just wasn’t interested in baseball anymore, and baseball wasn’t interested in piquing mine. The irony of it all is that logic would say I wasn’t a fan of the steroid era. I’m always a fan of the smaller, faster guys, so it would make sense that I lost interest as guys started to beef up. But, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise. I was a big fan of the speedy Ray Lankford, for instance, and suddenly, rather thanĀ  swiping 40 bags a year, he’s jacking 30 homers a year instead. I still rooted for him. Then of course there was the Summer of 98: McGwire and Sosa. I won’t go into detail because we were all there. I think it brought a lot of us back, whether or not we want to admit it. There was something about one particular game late down the stretch of that season that resonated with me through to this day. I wanna say it was the game McGwire hit #62, but after my Adam Morrison memory debacle, I’d say it very well could’ve been #61, or #70, or even #65 or 66. The point is – and it was a day game, this I remember – there came a moment as McGwire’s monumental home run sailed over the fence in the clear blue St. Louis sunshine, where it all came back to me. All the possibilities that baseball presents, where anything can happen on any given day, any given at-bat, and any given pitch. The NBA can claim it all they want, but Baseball is really where amazing happens. And Opening Day is the most wide open day of them all. A fan in Kansas City can look at the standings and see their team in first place, or Skip Schumacher can lead the big leagues in home runs for a day. What am I wishing for this year? That, on the first day of baseball, Roy Steele says to me, “in to pitch the ninth, Andrew Bailey.”