I wrote half a post about the sudden rash of injuries heading into Opening Day.
I wrote half of another post complaining about Bud Selig ruining Opening Day.
But I dumped them both yesterday morning because I was in Chicago on business and I decided that Opening Day is no time for negativity. The Cubs opened at home yesterday and the city was alive with baseball. Every morning news show was live from Wrigley, obsessing about the weather (repeating 1,567 times that this was the first time since 189-something that the Ivy was green on opening day due to an unusually warm spring), and generally reveling in the scene. The Sox fans were out in force too making sure that this Floridian knew that the City of Big Shoulders had divided loyalties. It was awesome and I didn’t go anywhere near a ballpark.
If a battered fan base like Chicago’s is that pumped, so are we. Right? I am going to take this Opening Day in similar stride (maybe it was that late beer I had at The Billy Goat Tavern that sparked all of this).
When James Shields toes the rubber this afternoon, I have no idea what is going to happen. The Rays certainly have a lot more questions coming out of Spring Training than they did going into Spring Training. And we’re playing a really good stretch of teams to start the season.
But, here’s what I do know. The uniforms will be white. The bunting will be out. The players will line up on the baselines. Shields will throw a pitch, it will count, and we will watch. That makes me happy.
As an aside, for the fourth time in the last six years, the Rays home opener coincides with The Mrs.’s birthday. A fact that has been commemorated on the the videoboard at the Trop multiple times thanks to old friends. We aren’t heading to the ballpark tonight because The Mrs. joins me in the 30-35 age bracket today. Here’s hoping the home nine come through with a birthday gift for her.