If you're a baseball fan, you just have to love Opening Day.
Of course if your actually at a game and don't happen to be on the left coast or far south, it's going to be a test of your will to outlast freezing rain and $8 beers, but then again, there's only one Opening Day a year!
Being a Reds fan, it was a little bittersweet to open on a losing note as Cincinnati dropped a narrow 2-1 decision to the Mets. However, it was good to see our starting pitching do a pretty nice job though our allotment of bats must have gotten lost in the mail between the Queen City and Florida. Perhaps the city of Sarasota held them hostage in protest since this was the Reds final spring training there.
I got to watch about half of the Reds game before heading into work Monday afternoon, thinking that since the game was being televised by ESPN that I could watch the conclusion at the office. No such luck however as the network or fiends in the league office determined that the game should be blacked out several hundred miles from the Great American Ball Park. If I had a bushel of tomatoes this afternoon I would have been hurling them feverishly towards Bud Selig's direction.
Instead I got to see the Rangers rout the Cleveland Indians, which was a bit of a consolation prize.
Even better however, was the second game of the day, in which one of the Yankees' half billion dollar boys, C.C. Sabathia, was handily blasted by the lowly Baltimore Orioles. Hooray for Opening Day justice!
Adam 'don't confuse me with PacMan' Jones', went 3-for-3 with two RBIs for the birds, which already makes him more valuable to the Cowboys than PacMan was this season.
Maybe the media will start talking about the O's centerfielder and leave Jerry Jones alone for a bit.
Not to be outdone, one of the Yankees other big money boys, Mark Teixeira, went an impressive 0-for-4 and left four men on base conjuring up the postseason form of A-Rod.
One of the most intriguing things I noticed in today's openers was the rarified feat of the Arizona Diamondbacks' Tony Clark and Felipe Lopez.
The two switch hitters combined to homer from each side of the plate, the first time that it had ever happened on Opening Day and the first time it had been done in any game since Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada did it for the Yankees in 2000.
Adding to the strangeness of it all is the fact that the two players combined for only nine TOTAL home runs in 2008.
For you Cubby fans out there, the Northsiders seemingly picked up where they left off as Carlos Zambrano allowed just a run over six innings and Chicago got home runs from both Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez in a 4-2 win over the Astros.
And for those out there looking to check out a potential sleeping giant, the Florida Marlins pounded out a 12-6 win over the Washington Nationals.
No starter in the lineup for the Marlins was older than 29 and four of them were 26 or younger.
With baseball by day and the NCAA Championship game by night, it doesn't get much better than that, as long as I can still win my bracket!