You always get a special kick on opening day, no matter how many you go through. You look forward to it like a birthday party when you’re a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen.
Today is the day after the 2018 MLB season officially began and had we made Opening Day a holiday, I wouldn’t be at work nursing a hangover, so it’s not my fault if my boss asks. It came, it went, and it was magical. Opening Day celebrations kicked off with 26 of the 30 MLB teams in action, thanks to mother nature two games were postponed due to weather. Men who have worked day in and day out their whole lives to make a roster now stand on the field taking in what they have accomplished. They say the butterflies never really go away before an Opening Day, no matter how many you have played in, and it seems to be what retired players miss the most every passing season. Thousands of people filled stands and welcomed back the greatest game ever given to man and the Game wasted no time easing into the shallow end. The season started off with a blast on the very first pitch of the game. Last year MLB “Juiced” the balls to make more home runs happen and it appears the juice has carried over to this season, as there were a ton of Home Runs hit on the first day. It was just a great all-around day to be a baseball fan.
History was made yesterday, as Giancarlo Stanton became the 2nd Yankee to have multiple Home Runs in his debut with the team. The other guy? Oh, just a man named Roger Maris. George Springer became the first player to hit leadoff Home Runs in consecutive seasons. Four teams completed comebacks to win their opening day games-Rays-White Sox-Braves-Athletics. Ichiro roamed the Mariners outfield again, Nelson Cruz launched a 2-run shot that gave the M’s a lead in the first, and Felix looked to be back with a scoreless 2 hit 5 1/3 inning game, being pulled only because he was on a pitch count. Noah Syndergaard became the first Mets pitcher to record double digit strike outs (he had 10) on opening day since Pedro Martinez did it in 2005. In Toronto the Blue Jays paid respects to the late Roy “Doc” Halladay by retiring his number before the game. We had a shutout, an inside the park Home Run, a 4-outfielder shift, but most of all we have the game back for the next 6 months and, if history holds true, we should be in for one hell of a season
This morning 13 Teams awoke with a belief, as slight as it may be, that they can go 162-0 while 13 other teams woke up wondering if this is just one of many losses they must look forward to this season. I saw Marlins fans sitting in the stands with paper bags on their heads obviously knowing that they are in for a very long season… I mean they are cursed so what did they expect? Read my articles people! But as we all know this is a grind and one loss is not going to derail anyone’s season just yet. We have a long season ahead and that is something to look forward to.
Some would have us just crown the Yankees now and save the heart break for the other 29 teams. It would be good for baseball to get a large market team back into the dynasty conversation. A Yankee vs Dodgers World Series would rake in millions of televisions revenue to the league and give the execs what they want, eyes on screen and butts in seats. But is that what would be the best match up to watch? Is that what we want? Time will tell if this year is “your teams year” or if they are asking you to trust the process in a rebuild. Either way you look at it there will be baseball on everyday until the end of summer and that ain’t all that bad if you ask me. Grab a blanket, a brew (or 5), hotdogs and head out to the game and make memories. Play ball.