White Hat Sports Headlines

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Welcome to Opening Day: Sort of

I feel like Bob Uecker’s character from Major League, Harry Doyle, these days. Remember when he is obliterated during game one of a double header against the Red Sox, and he says:
“Welcome back to Major League Baseball, sort of.”

That’s what I’m feeling like this week and really for the past week concerning the start of the MLB season. I mean really how many opening days can we really have? The season “officially” opened last Tuesday morning, stateside and then the season was stagnant until the Washington Nationals of all teams hosted Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN this past Sunday night to open their new ballpark. (More on this in a minute.) Here’s where it gets complicated, the rest of the Major’s open up the next day, Monday, and now the Red Sox are finally playing again tonight which to the best of my knowledge is Tuesday again. My question is, which one was the real opening day? I’m not here to try and answer this question, I’m going to be useless and complain about it as if Bud Selig were smart enough to read this and then smart enough to carry out my wishes. I’m going to pretend now that I’m older than I am and tell you things that I think I remember from when I was a boy.
I re
member opening day being an exciting day; you watched games because even though there were games played a few days ago, those didn’t count because nobody was really trying to win those games because they don’t count. On Opening Day they actually count and people want to watch them. If your team wins its opener people are saying things like, “just 161 to go” and fun things like this. When you team opens the season up in Japan and the first game start at 6AM EST, you get questions like, “Did you wake up for the Red Sox?”
I having conversations like the one I had yesterday with my Dad:

Me: “Did you watch the Nationals game last night?”

Dad: “I saw it for a minute, wait, was that a real game?”

Me: “Yeah that was opening day.”

Dad: “They opened with the Nationals?”

Me: “Yeah.

Dad: “And the Sox don’t play till Tuesday night.”

Me: Reluctantly, “Yeah.”

Dad: “Makes a lot of sense.”

It doesn’t make sense at all. Why on Earth are there so many different opening days? I’m not ignorant enough to not know that it has something to do with revenue, but come on the scheduling could be a little better, right? Take the Red Sox early schedule for instance. Does it seem fair or to at least make sense to anybody that the Red Sox are going to open 4 ball parks this season including their own and open ball parks in 3 different countries (Japan, Canada and USA) before they open their own? Of course not, I guess Bud will do anything but look at steroids. He’s like a teenager at this point.

Final note, I rather enjoyed watching the Braves-Nationals game Sunday night. It had a patriotic feel to it with the President throwing out the first pitch in our Nation’s Capital. I think that this needs to be a tradition, here’s what I propose to do that might keep everybody happy except for the Japanese, but we only play there every 4 years. Open up Sunday night (yes, the same night as Wrestle Mania) at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. and have the President throw out the first pitch. Then the next day have the rest of Baseball play a full schedule and the season has started. This way only two teams start early and nobody has a day like I did yesterday, where I felt like the kid Santa forgot because the Red Sox weren’t on and everybody else’s team’s were playing.

~Sterling Pingree

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