Opening Day Redux

Get behind him or get out of his way. (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission)

Don’t let anyone tell you differently…the season begins today.

I had just short of four hours of sleep.  There was definitely a “Christmas Eve when I was six” feel to it. As I type this, I’m eying the clock at the corner of my desktop and keeping track of how long before I leave for Boston.  I’ve been to plenty of games at Fenway and more than a handful of Opening Days now but each one makes my heart race just a bit.  From my window I see blue sky and hear birds singing and the frustration of games 1-6 start to disappear one by one.

We are not somber.  I think we’re just the opposite.  We’re live wires waiting to be grounded.  We not only are dealing with the excitement of Opening Day but the frenzy of a Red Sox/Yankees series.  (It’s strange how I really hadn’t processed that part of it until this morning.  All week my focus has been on the losing, the supporting of the players and the going to Fenway for the Opening Day festivities.  The Yankees weren’t on my radar in regard to their actually being at Fenway this weekend.)

I feel there are a few things that should never be lost from sight:  This is a game.  Its main intention (for us) is to entertain.  If we ceased to be entertained by it, it might be time to find something else to fill that void.  The men who play this game are people too.  It isn’t their desire to lose.  They don’t try to lose and God knows they don’t want to lose.  They have feelings like any other person, rich or poor, famous or anonymous, and it benefits no one to turn on your own.

So while I head to Fenway today with much appreciation for the gift of the ticket and the company of good friends with faith in my heart that my team will right themselves on this home stand, my only genuine concern is encountering fans who think it’s their job to be idiots.  I’ve been so focused on the idea that some Red Sox fans were going to be jerky to their team that I didn’t even consider the Red Sox fans/Yankees fans dynamic.  It’s very possible that once I get to the park I ignore everyone and just focus on the game at hand because if I interact with the wrong folks I worry that my Irish will get up much too quickly.

This is a day for Red Sox fans to embrace not fear.

Says the man whose jersey I will be wearing today:

“Luckily, we have our fans, great fans on our side that will bring us out of this,” Youkilis said. “We thrive on them, and they thrive on us. It’s time for us to go play for them — and go play for each other in here.”

I’m kind of hoping he added, “Oh yeah…and Joba sucks!” and Brian MacPherson just chose not to print it.

My hopes for the day:  No fights in the stands.  Maybe a skirmish or two on the field to get the blood pumping.  No injuries.  A Red Sox win.  I don’t think I ask for much.


Random stat that doesn’t mean a thing:  John Lackey has been the Opening Day starting pitcher twice in his career before today.  Both times against the Texas Rangers with one win and one loss and both games were at home.

Blog suggestion for the day:  Over at Section 36 is a fun little rant about people who complain about baseball tickets.  Don’t know that I fully agree but it was written with such passion that I couldn’t pass it up!
Here’s a quote I enjoy and a video that everyone needs to watch today:
“So many of us picked the Red Sox, but then, what did all of us know?” Joe Buck, October 2004.

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