"Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned but heaven hath no sweetness like a sports fan vindicated." - Samcat

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Opening Day, er, Night. Anyway, we mean it this time.

(Photo from Boston.com)

I don't know about you, but I'm sort of looking forward to seeing baseball games broadcast at, you know, normal baseball times. Like 7:05. PM that is. Lest our international friends be getting any ideas. And I realize there's a reason for keeping the Sox out on the West coast to open the season and all that but in attempting to keep the players on a relatively normal sleep schedule, they've completely fuzzed up their fans. I mean, it's not just me, right?

5:30am, 10:40pm, 10:00pm. It's madness. What's next? A game at 4:31am? Don't get any ideas, MLB. We'll put up with a lot for the Red Sox but that doesn't mean we have to like it.

I watched a fair amount of normal time baseball yesterday including some of the Royals/Tigers game at the gym in the early goings and remembered that Justin Verlander is pretty good (though his bullpen apparently doesn't care), and Miguel Cabrera is seriously just getting bigger. Or so it seems. Then, over burgers and beers - because what's Opening Day without burgers and beers? - Greta and I watched David Wright do his damndest to make sure the Mets aren't blowing any leads to any Marlins this year, Johan Santana do dirty, dirty things to National League hitting (Greta: Seriously, what Santana is going to do to the NL this year is downright pornographic), and Jose Reyes not having the best day.

Also, Eric Gagne blew a save to the Cubs and Fukudome which...that one's too easy, right? The Brewers eventually won on a Tony Gwynn, Jr. sac fly but Eric Gagne has apparently spent the off season not bathing, not shaving, and not putting down the fork. "He just looks like he smells," my dad said when I talked to him last night. "I mean, the guy was great for the Dodgers and everything but doesn't he just look like he smells?"

"It's probably a playoff beard," I said, "isn't he a Canadiens fan?"

"Maybe he shoulda stuck with hockey."

Additionally, Greta and I observed that instead of retiring, Brett Favre has apparently aged backwards and is now pitching for the Brewers. Because you could tell me that the dude in the ski cap and parka sitting on the top step of the dugout and watching intently yesterday was Opening Day starter Ben Sheets, but I know it was Brett Favre, Jr. Would you put anything past Packers fans?

And the Orioles, well, things were promising with a lead-off walk by Brian Roberts, a bloop hit by Nick Markakis (who's number tee I wore to the gym for good mojo because, I don't know, he appreciates running?) and a wall-ball double by Millar. But that was pretty much the end of the good times for the Orioles. Because...yeah.

So while all that was fun and yay baseball and all that business, I must once again express my impatience for some Red Sox baseball. Like now. Because Paps isn't really Paps until he's Paps at home and Papi and Manny aren't really doing their Wonder Twin routine unless they're doing it for us. And Tek isn't really striking out unless...okay, yeah, that one translates. Sigh.

There's gonna be a lot of pontificating in this space over the course of the season. A lot of yelling and probably some stern words for a catcher or outfielder or reliever or such. I'll undoubtedly call Josh Beckett "Fat Head" at least once and I'm sure I'll implore Schilling to "shut up and pitch" on several occasions. But there will also be love and support and offers to buy Jon Lester a puppy if that's what he really wants. There will be judicious use of alcohol in it's many forms and perhaps, if you're lucky, you'll get to read the results of a night of tequila and bad baseball. There will be untoward things said about Jacoby Ellsbury (if you're his mother) and other, more vindictive untoward things said about JD Drew and Julio Lugo (if you're JD Drew or Julio Lugo). There will be steadfast love of Jason Varitek, deserved or not and there will be wonder and amusement and a little bit of fear of Jonathan Papelbon. There might also be pictures of Mike Lowell in a suit, should he choose to be photographed as such. That's how we roll around these parts. If you're new here, you'll figure it out. If you've been here before, thanks for sticking with me. It's good to have you along for the ride.

Baseball season is upon us. Ready for the rollercoaster?