Well, it was the unofficial Opening Day, anyway, for those who don’t count the 1–game showstopper on Sunday, incomprehensibly staged in Boston after the Yanks won the World Series last year. Yes, yes, we know. The schedule is arranged beforehand. Still, Yankee fans will remember that the Opening Day 2005 rematch between the Yankees and Red Sox was also held in Boston, following Boston’s first championship in 86 years on the heels of the Yankees’ collapse in the 2004 ALCS after a highly-charged season marked by on-field hostilities between these 100+-year rivals. But at least, that year, the whole country — that is, Baseball Nation — wasn’t held hostage to a single game in the allegedly “liberal elite” northeast, paradoxically home to these 2 mega-corporations (by baseball standards) which are so often accused of monopolizing not just the national broadcast agenda but the game itself, while handing out millions to front offices across “the real America,” where the fruits of revenue sharing are too often treated like entitlements and frittered on anything except the very players that would draw the kind of crowds that support winning teams while creating profits. On the political ambiguities of baseball, enough said, for the moment.
Opening Day April 5, 2010: Some Highlights
Garrett Jones put the Allegheny River on the baseball map yesterday! The Pirates picked up right where I saw them leave the Dodgers flailing near the end of last season: Bucco Paradise: PNC Park. (Dodgers 5 @ Pirates 11) Nice that David Wright could reclaim CitiField after a tough year, with a HR on a new opening day. (Marlins 1 (@ Mets 7) Tigers batted .308, largely off Greinke’s relievers, and Detroit’s bullpen shut down the Royals for 4 innings after Verlander’s brief outing at Kauffman Stadium, where I have not been, yet. (Tigers 8 @ Royals 4)
Buehrle! I just listened to yesterday’s Right Sox host the Indians. 7 shutout innings for the win. That was some play in the 5th, running into foul territory for a ball that had struck his ankle/shin, then flipping between his legs to Konerko, who caught it barehanded. I am glad he started strong after struggling following the perfect game last year. (I attended the disappointing match-up with Sabathia at The Cell shortly after that.) It was also refreshing to see the team score in early innings with 2 outs and runners in scoring position. Alex Rios seemed sharp after last year’s talk of “lackadaisicality” in his approach. (Indians 0 @ Right Sox 7)
And, yes, I was a little startled at Bruney’s performance, but I trust him for the future. Do we know what went wrong?