Major League Baseball starts tonight when the Red Sox and Yankees face off tonight on ESPN. Shocking that ESPN would open with the only two teams that it thinks exist, but that’s a different post for a different day. (Okay, one more thing, couldn’t get a look at Minnesota’s new ballpark, Target Field or something? No one cares about the Sox-Yankees.) Anyway, regardless of teams, I’ll be watching and I’ll enjoy every second of it.
There’s something about Opening Day that’s just magical. I feel like every sport has at least one thing that it does better than every other sport. Hockey is the best live sport, the NFL has the best draft, soccer has relegation (European leagues, anyway), college basketball has a gigantic single elimination tournament, the NBA has….tall…people? Never mind about the NBA. But baseball has Opening Day and they do it right.
Like Mceezy said over at Doin Work, it’s a holiday. We’ve waited through the gray, cold, awful Winter and now Spring and Summer can officially begin…better known as Baseball Season. I hate cold weather. I mean, I really hate it. I love hockey and football, but I know that when it’s time for them to start, the weather is about to go worthless. With baseball, it’s just the beginning of that perfect time of year when the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming. There is just so much to look forward too.
I also love it because it’s that time of the year when anything is possible. The Royals have the same record as the Yankees. The Pirates might actually win their first game and be a game over .500. Anything can happen. I can still have hopes that Jason Heyward will hit .600 with 80 homers and 200 RBIs. Anything less than that is failure.
It’s also got the tradition that other sports don’t have. Is anything better than day baseball in Cincinnati on Opening Day? Well, yes, but not when it comes to the start of a sports season. In fact, I’d wager that the only thing that comes close is the Detroit Lions playing on Thanksgiving Day. And as bad as the Reds are…we’re talking about the Lions here. Give me Opening Day at the Great American Ballpark.
I’ve never actually been to an Opening Day. Though I literally just got a text from my friend in Atlanta who will be at Turner Field tomorrow. I also have some more friends who will be at Kaufmann Stadium for the Royals opener against the Tigers. They’ll be treated to an outstanding pitching match between last year’s Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke and Tigers ace Justin Verlander. Opening Day is the only day where we know that each team’s best pitcher will be on display.
Some years I’m literally counting down the seconds and reading every article I can leading up to the first pitch. Some years I just try to ignore it until it’s right up on me. This year was the latter and that probably has something to do with the Olympics. Anyway, this past week crept by so slowly. It was brutal.
Now we have 55 minutes until the game and just like every year, I’m just downright giddy. Enjoy the season and go Braves.